Girls’ Leadership

  Expand Your Horizons

Our mission at Watermark is to increase the representation of women in leadership roles by empowering women to make our mark in our companies, careers and communities. So we want to do our part to ensure that there are plenty of well-qualified women to consider when it comes to filling jobs – and board seats. Therefore, Watermark partners with a variety of girls' leadership programs throughout the year.

The future has never been brighter for today’s girls, and Watermark believes that the more we invest in and support girls’ education and development, the brighter the future is for all of us.

Here's a look at some of the groups we partner with and support:

The Representation Project

Over 70 percent of college students surveyed said Miss Representation helped them realize how the media demeans, disrespects and disparages women and girls; 60 percent report speaking up when seeing or hearing something derogatory toward women as a result of viewing Miss Representation. The Representation Project's #NotBuyingIt social media campaigns prompted major corporations to change how they represent men and women in advertising and merchandising, and the #AskHerMore campaign is credited with inspiring red carpet reporters to add more depth to their interviews with female entertainers.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s first film Miss Representation premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and exposed the ways in which mainstream media and culture contribute to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

In response to overwhelming public demand for ongoing education and social action in support of the film’s message, Newsom founded the organization that has become The Representation Project in April 2011. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, The Representation Project inspires individuals and communities to create a world free of limiting stereotypes and social injustices.

Jennifer provided our keynote address at our 2016 Make Your Mark Awards, and a portion of our evening's fundraising was directed to the good work of The Representation Project.

Girl Scouts of Northern California

Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Laura Bush – all Girl Scouts. The majority of women in the Senate and the House, all current female governors, all three female secretaries of state, almost every female astronaut and Silicon Valley's own Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg? That's right. Girl Scouts.

While some people still think of Girl Scouts as just cookies, campfires and friendship bracelets, this organization is much more. Girl Scouts are big thinkers, ground breakers and role models. Girl Scouts design robots, start garage bands and improve their communities – and yes, they sell the best cookies on the planet. When she's a Girl Scout, she’s also a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™.

Annie Cai (above, left) spoke about her Gold Award project during our Watermark Entrepreneur Conference in 2016; and Mishbah Surani did the same at our 2015 Entrepreneur Conference.

A portion of our Watermark Entrepreneur Conference proceeds benefits the Girl Scouts of Northern California.

Girls Who Code

By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs available in computing related fields. US graduates are on track to fill 29 percent of those jobs. Women are on track to fill just 3 percent.

Girls Who Code was founded with a single mission:
to close the gender gap in technology. The organization is  building the largest pipeline of future female engineers – 10,000 so far – in the United States. Their efforts are working. Alumni are majoring in computer science at top universities across the U.S., and more than 60 corporations have pledged to hire them.

A portion of our 2016 Watermark Leadership Conference proceeds benefited Girls Who Code.

Expanding Your Horizons Network

Expand Your Horizons

Scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are the builders of the future. But there is a gap. Women hold 57 percent of college degrees but only 21 percent of STEM degrees. Imagine a time when women hold half of the STEM degrees.

The Expanding Your Horizons Network was founded in 1974 by a group of Bay Area women scientists, mathematicians and educators who imagined exactly that. Since then, this volunteer organization has shown nearly 1 million girls what it means to be a woman in STEM via one-day conferences designed to encourage 6th-12th-grade girls to consider education and career options in science and mathematics.

About 300 girls from the Livermore, Pleasanton, Dublin, Sunol and San Ramon school districts attend local Expanding Your Horizons conferences annually. The one-day conferences, held on college campuses, typically consist of 90-minute workshops that provide hands-on science- or math-related activities. Plus, the girls can visit numerous career displays and interact with professionals from industry, government, academia and public service, discussing career and education choices – all in a friendly and relaxed environment.

A portion of our 2015 Make Your Mark Awards fundraising benefited Expanding Your Horizons.