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Man Smart, Woman Smarter

"Man Smart, Woman Smarter" has always been one of my favorite songs. It's a calypso song that dates back to at least 1936, and got widespread exposure when Harry Belafonte released it in the 1950s. (Check out the versions by Rosanne Cash and the Grateful Dead, and thank me later.)

I thought of the song the other day because when I first got into fundraising, it was one of the few fields where women held local staff leadership positions. This all stemmed from the times when women were mostly homemakers and were available during the day to be a PTA volunteer or class mother at their children's school, or to volunteer for local or national causes. Over time, women became the lead local campaign volunteers and transitioned into staff executive director positions. Often times, women were the first executive directors when a national charity established a local chapter or office in a new market. At my first Leukemia & Lymphoma Society staff conference in 1979, almost half of the local executive directors were women.

So, a toast to the women who were smarter than men and opened the doors to make philanthropy a career path for all!

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