Eight reasons to volunteer as an expert with Women on Wings

Volunteering your professional expertise with Women on Wings is:

“An MBA for life.”
“Just another day at the office… not!”
“Building structure, creating empowerment”
“How many minds can realize one common goal”

Why might you share your professional skills pro bono as a Women on Wings expert?

Here are eight reasons that we have seen are most common for those professionals who have volunteered with Women on Wings:

1. Support job creation in rural India 

Women on Wings’ aim is to co-create one million jobs for women in rural India so that impoverished Indian families can thrive, and women obtain a more equal position. In fifteen years, we have co-created 333,400 jobs in rural India. As an expert you will contribute to this positive momentum!

2. Join a global community working on actionable change

By becoming an expert who works pro bono, you will join Women on Wings’ staff, social enterprises and government initiatives (which are the backbone of job growth and empowerment of rural Indian women) network and funding partners, and other experts that collectively enable Indian rural economic development and extra jobs for women.

3. Gain new professional skills and a network 

Participate in a community of like-minded individuals with thrice yearly inspiring expert networking dinner meetings in Austerlitz, in the Netherlands.

Our experts tell us time and again how much they learn from working with Indian social entrepreneurs. Not that she was not a good listener before becoming a Women on Wings expert, but HR and leadership professional Esther Goethart (picture 5th from left) shared that she has experienced deep listening from the social entrepreneurs and she has seen that this skill is very important to start a relationship from an equal point. Read how more experts benefit professionally from working with Indian social enterprises in this study.

4. Impact a girls’ life tremendously 

With an additional income, a mother will be convinced she can make a difference in her family’s prospects and put the money toward her children’s education so they may remain in school longer. Schooling is important, especially for rural girls. According to UN Women, an extra year of primary school increases girls’ eventual wages by 10-20 percent and encourages them to marry later. It makes girls less likely to experience violence. They will also have fewer children.

5. Support an Indian social enterprise 

Social enterprises are run by founders who partner with Women on Wings to improve the livelihood of rural families by empowering women with a job. These entrepreneurs tell us that by working with Women on Wings team and experts they have clarified direction and targets, honed strategy, maintained focus, and created successful progress. This pro bono consulting makes it possible for them to scale and employ more rural Indian women.

6. Gain new perspectives

Experts say they have become inspired seeing the passion and commitment of social entrepreneurs and have inspired others in their professional networks and forums with their increased social awareness and knowledge. They have gained confidence and patience in working in demanding situations arising out of constraints related to culture, geography, language and mind-sets. As an expert, you will be exposed to diverse cultures, new viewpoints, and ways of working amidst adverse conditions.

7. Tackle the SDGs 

You will work with Indian organizations in the textile, handicrafts, food, agriculture and forestry sectors that are alleviating poverty through rural development and job creation plus raising equality for women. Many are working on a circular economy and regenerative agriculture.

In one week, a Women on Wings expert might lead two different workshops: one in the Uttarakhand foothills and another by the Bay of Bengal.

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Since 2007, more than 120 business professionals from the Netherlands have shared their time, energy and skills with Indian social enterprises and government initiatives with 10-15+ years’ experience in for instance strategy, finance, HR leadership and organization, marketing, sales, social media, supply chain management or e-commerce. Since change does not happen overnight, Women on Wings believes in long-term partnerships. Experts commit themselves for at least three years and invest approximately 15 days per year to Women on Wings.

Women on Wings’ impact is carried out via tailor-made pro bono business consultancy, dedicated account managers, talented experts, a social enterprise community platform, masterclasses, multi-disciplinary workshops, online sessions, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer learning at group summits.

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