Women’s Equality Day honors the anniversary of women’s right to vote – a major milestone on the journey towards equal rights for women. As we celebrate the many bold, trailblazing women of the past and deepen the brand’s commitment to the next generation of groundbreaking female leaders, Johnnie Walker proudly launches the next phase of its ‘First Strides’ initiative to help close the gender gap in leadership.

The ‘First Strides’ initiative will focus on developing a broad community of women ready and empowered to lead the way forward by funding, mentoring and championing women entrepreneurs and leaders in both public and private sectors. To achieve these goals, the iconic brand is building meaningful partnerships with leading organizations paving the way for more seats for women in the boardroom and in public office – including IFundWomen, the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses, and She Should Run – the only nonpartisan organization focused on reaching and cultivating the potential of women who may have never considered elected leadership, but should.

Johnnie Walker is also proud to partner with Lilly Singh to add her voice, talents and passion to efforts to accelerate women in leadership. The entertainer, writer, actor and gender equity advocate has scripted and produced original content to raise awareness of First Strides, championing female leaders and spotlighting the unique challenges they face on the path to progress and parity.

“I am thrilled to work with Johnnie Walker on this important effort,” said Singh. “We have to make space for more women in leadership roles. We often talk about the importance of having a seat at the table. Well, right now there is only one woman at the table for every three men – even though gender diverse teams perform better, are more innovative and more profitable. In other words, it pays to let women lead. We need to build a future where women have more equitable access and opportunities, and where we are all seated as equals.”

She Should Run has set a bold goal to inspire 250,000 women to take their first strides toward public leadership by 2030. Johnnie Walker is proud to donate funds to help mobilize women from all walks of life to explore the possibilities of public leadership. To learn more about how you can be part of the movement, visit www.sheshouldrun.org.

Together with IFundWomen, Johnnie Walker continues to support the organization’s mission of closing the funding gap, with a goal of reaching $1 million in grants by 2030 for women-owned businesses so they can thrive in the marketplace. The Johnnie Walker and IFundWomen partnership will offer selected entrepreneurs capital through grants, as well as access to coaching and connections through the IFundWomen platform. To learn more and apply for funding, visit www.ifundwomen.com/johnniewalker.

“Johnnie Walker is committed to celebrating and enabling bold first strides that open the door for seconds and thirds to follow,” said Sophie Kelly, SVP of Whiskies at Diageo North America. “We are proud to support the meaningful work of partners IFundWomen, She Should Run, Black Girl Ventures and the ERA Coalition, among others, and we hope to help them achieve their goals in creating positive change.”

Johnnie Walker introduced the First Strides initiative this year, an evolution of the brand’s First Women campaign, building on the brand’s purpose driven mission to see more meaningful firsts achieved, so there can be seconds, thirds and fourths to follow. To learn more, click here.

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