International Women's Day: Catherine Lieber Shimony & Joan Shifrin

Catherine Lieber Shimony & Joan Shifrin, First Republic Clients
March 3, 2014

Since the early 1900’s, International Women’s Day has been observed throughout the world, inspiring women and celebrating their achievements. This year’s theme is ‘Inspiring Change’, and it encourages advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere, in every way. In honor of this, First Republic Bank would like to share the perspectives of some of our exceptional women clients. 

Global Goods Partners is a nonprofit organization that sells handmade, fair trade products in order to improve the economic status of women in marginalized communities around the world. Prior to launching the company, Co-Founders Catherine Lieber Shimony and Joan Shifrin, often talked about the women they met on their travels and the reservoir of skill, intelligence, creativity and wisdom that was often untapped or entirely suppressed. With a passion for women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation and justice, the women shared a vision to create market access and generate income for marginalized women around the world. Today, Global Goods Partners works with nearly 40 artisan groups which collectively employ over 3,000 women in close to 20 countries; they are changing women’s lives by helping them to build sustainable livelihoods.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Our greatest accomplishment has been building market access for thousands of women around the world. In turn, this has helped them earn a living wage, while advancing the health, education and general well-being of their families and their communities.

If you could turn the clock back to when you were starting your career, what advice would you give yourself?

Catherine: Stick to your interest/passions and seek advice early on in your career. Go overseas if you plan to work with populations overseas.

Joan: Face your fears before they turn to self-doubt and trust in what you know to be true. Cast a wide net when seeking guidance in areas outside your core competencies and cultivate your network.

Who has been a role model to you in your life/career and why? 

Catherine: Eleanor Roosevelt and her fight for Human Rights.

This year's theme for International Women's Day is 'Inspiring Change'. If you could impact change, how would women's lives look 50 years from now? 

The world’s future peace and prosperity depends on women attaining equal footing in positions of power in all fields, from leading nations and industries to establishing their voices in their communities and households.  

What would you like your legacy to be? 

As the mothers of young women, we want to leave a legacy of authenticity—that the work we did both professionally and as mothers touched women’s lives and empowered them to challenge the status quo.

The views of the authors of these articles do not necessarily represent the views of First Republic Bank.