The global Tiffany Circle, with the mission to financially support the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and act as advocates, inspired a group of women in Australia to establish an Australian chapter. The structure and its benefits mean that the power of collective giving has a greater philanthropic impact.
Since inception, the Society of Women Leaders has contributed to over 25 causes. With direction from the Australian Red Cross, members allocate funds equally to international and domestic programs, especially to those which don’t attract government funding.
The supported programs are diverse: for example, providing seed funding to establish a project within a prison setting; supporting a service for young mothers in a remote Aboriginal community; helping youth homelessness; assisting Australian Red Cross’ International Disaster Response to the Afghanistan crisis; COVID-19 response, and the Ukraine conflict.
– Australian Red Cross Society of Women Leaders, Australia
"Accepting that conflict and disasters will occur, Society of Women Leaders members want to build resilience into communities".
On International Women’s Day 2023, SWL hosted an event which raised awareness of and funds for the Red Cross Global Migration Lab, highlighting the worldwide migration challenge unfolding through natural disasters and armed conflicts.
The Society of Women Leaders, in close relationship with the Australian National Society, provides its members with greater insight into the complexities of overlapping disasters - international and domestic. Members vote on which programs to support, creating strong connection to cause and deep understanding. The nature of the SWL group means its members are not engaged in the field, although SWL has supported women deployed to areas of conflict and other areas of humanitarian focus. As Australian Red Cross advocates, SWL also harness additional support from its member’s individual networks.
Society of Women Leaders brings philanthropy to life, attracting like-minded women with shared values. Members are constantly inspired to stay engaged because of the value and importance of their contributions they are making in the lives of those experiencing disadvantage or facing hardship.
SWL acknowledge that women often do not see themselves as leaders or recognise their true value that leads to a reluctance to accept leadership positions or deeper involvement. They note that women can feel an absence of support because often they are supporting others.
To effect change, members advocate in their own communities and lead by example: advancing the humanitarian mission of Australian Red Cross, connecting like-minded women who make a difference, improving the lives of women, children, families, and communities experiencing vulnerability; building strategic alliances for change, lending their voice to issues they believe in most, leading through philanthropy.
SWL members dream of leaving the world a better place than they found it. Accepting that conflict and disasters will occur, they want to build resilience into communities, ensuring they are better prepared, more adaptable, and stronger. They hope that individuals, families, and societies can see a way forward and maintain a sense of hope when events occur.
Women hold only 12 per cent of the world’s board seats.