The Why Women Project

A community and creative collective of women for hire. Offering memberships, sponsorships and creative services through the feminist gaze.

Cristina
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Project Ends on September 20, 2019

Project Description

Words from "I Am Yours" by Reema Zaman, required reading from Why Women's Feminist Book Club, a series bringing women-identifying authors to Why Women's community. As part of month-long discussions online and at book club, Why Women dedicated Women's History Month to breaking free of silence culture. Photo by Nadia Bedzhanova for The Why Women Project.

THE GENDER GAP

From media to advertising, too many talented women get overlooked in production and leadership roles that set the tone for everything we consume, from content to consumer products. When women’s narratives are co-opted by someone else for profit, a ripple effect hurts big and small brands, professional women, and their ability to earn.

 

Three things happen when we don’t get a say in who tells women’s stories: 

  • The big: Big brands that market to women hire the wrong creative team to tell their story.  
  • The bad: Female founders who need creative services can’t afford them.
  • The unacceptable: Creative women don’t get the ownership they deserve.

 

A WOMEN'S ECONOMY 

Why Women is creating a professional community whose collective force demands that women get the opportunity—not only to land the creative gig, but to be compensated for our unique and powerful creative vision. The bigger we can grow our femme-ily, the more negotiating power we have in an industry notorious for undervaluing creative work.  

 

Because women should be the ones to tell our stories, and get credit for it, not some dudes co-opting feminism at an “it” ad agency. Women biz owners from a fast-growing set of entrepreneurs should have the option of working with an all-women creative team. And brands who believe in impact and diversity should have the chance to work with women from an org that’s feminist on the inside. Why women? When we connect women to revenue-generating companies, we build an ecosystem that empowers us as earners. 

Why Women Founder Cristina Cala with "How To Be Alone" author Lane Moore at Feminist Book Club, hosted at The Wing. Photo by Jessica Palenzuela for The Why Women Project.

WHO WE ARE, AND HOW WE'RE TACKLING THE GAP

Our collective of women in media, marketing and film have more than a decade of experience creating content for brands and publishers like TIME, Condé Nast, WSJ, Huffington Post, Vox, Mic, ESSENCE, Teen Vogue, Glamour, Paper and Google and more.

 

Our creative women for hire are looking for clients and we want your help to get them hired and get them paid.  

 

We produce feminist events and experiences that sell out. Two that we’re looking for partners for are Why Women Feminist Book Club, an author discussion series filmed by an all-women crew at The Wing, and Why Women SPEAK: Live Stories From the Feminist Gaze.

Cristina Cala moderates Feminist Book Club at The Wing Flatiron. Ticketing for events helps to pay it forward to an all-women film crew hired from the Why Women Creative Collective. Photo by Nadia Bedzhanova for Why Women.

WHAT WE'VE DONE
Founder Cristina Cala launched The Why Women Project in 2017 as a small group of seven creative professionals who traveled from East and West Coast to capture stories at the Women’s March on Washington. Cristina’s idea to assemble a talent collective of women, femmes and non-binary creatives came from the painful realization that, when looking for a female photographer to shoot a major beauty campaign *about empowering women* … there wasn’t one in her direct network. Even after working on the advertising side of publishing for almost a decade.

 

Since then Why Women has connected with 200 women in our community of socially conscious women and creative pros who come from the most impressive companies in the world. That’s a lot of knowledge to bring to small, women-owned businesses.

 

In 2018 we launched our first Why Women event series: Feminist Book Club and SPEAK: Live Stories From the Feminist Gaze. To promote the works of creative women and the feminist gaze, we’ve brought in amazing talent to speak and share their work with our community:

  • Blair Imani, Muslim LGBTQ activist and author
  • Lane Moore, comedian and author
  • Reema Zaman, Bangladeshi author
  • Gina Apostol, Filipina author
  • Erica Génécé, freelance photographer for ESSENCE
  • The 36-24-36 Project, a body-positive photo series
  • Njambi Morgan, a New York Times-featured poet

 

Partners

We’ve collaborated with women-owned brands and companies that support the work and creativity of women:

  • Unbound
  • Shiffon Co.
  • The Wing
  • Camp David
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Amberjack Publishing
  • Freelancing Females
  • PicsArt

 

Shiffon Co. Founder Shilpa Yarlagadda, Why Women's Cristina Cala and Shiffon's Shreya Chaganti in the Duet Pinky Ring, a promise to #wearthechange in support of women. The jeweler and partner of Feminist Book Club funds young entrepreneurs with profits from the ring. Photo by Alana Steinberg for Shiffon.

Press

We’ve made press appearances in publications that cover business, culture, diversity and identity politics.

  • The Slowdown (Why A Women’s Economy Will Win) *Our interview with iFundWomen CEO Karen Cahn!*

  • i-D Magazine (How To Support Women and Non-binary Writers With Cristina Cala)
  • LatinX (Yes, I Read.)
  • PicsArt (For The Why Women Project, Time’s Up on the Gender Gap)
  • Huffington Post (A Letter To Our Stand-Ins On A Day Without A Woman)

 

Pay!

But most proud of all, our events have generated jobs for:

  • Writers

  • Editors
  • Photographers
  • Filmmakers
  • Video editors
Lilit Abgarian and Nadia Bedzhanova lead the Why Women production crew while filming Feminist Book Club. Photo courtesy of Ingrid Vega for The Why Women Project.

WHERE WE’LL PUT YOUR MONEY

Your direct support through our crowdfund allows us to continue to expand memberships, events and programming. Put your money where women want to work—on meaningful projects that directly support creative women and their businesses, and we’ll hire them to capture the story at our next event or brand client.

 

Your donation will help us form partnerships and community events with collaborators like:

 

Why Women with "Insurrecto" author Gina Apostol for SPEAK: Live Stories From the Feminist Gaze at Camp David in Industry City in Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Camp David.

 

Into it? 

There are two amazing ways to support our women's economy. Consider donating! And share our campaign to help future members and women-owned businesses find our services.

 

With gratitude and love,

Cristina and The Why Women Femme-ily

 

Updates

The Project FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • I donated to receive a ticket to a Why Women event. Which event is my reward for? 
    • Your ticket is good for the event series, rather than a specific event from that series. We'll be planning out our programming during and after our iFundWomen campaign, so sign up for our newsletter on our site and check our social media so you can RSVP when you see an event you like. Your ticket does not expire. See you there!

 

 

$49
Why Women Tee

Show your support by advertising our tees and telling a friend about Why Women membership and creative services. For women-identifying and nonbinary donors, the Why Women Tee is discounted at 49% the price tag of our Male Ally Tee to represent the widest gender pay gap between Hispanic women and white men.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Male Ally Tee

Show your support for women-owned, women-powered businesses by advertising our tees and telling a friend about Why Women membership and creative services. For male ally donors, pay your reparations by purchasing the Why Women Male Ally Tee at 100% of the cost of our women’s tee discounted at 49% to represent the widest gender pay gap between Hispanic women and white men.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Why Women Tote

For carrying your feminist essentials. #WearWhyWomen

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Unbound Oh! To Go with Portable Vibrator

Take a staycation or travel in pleasure with a donor reward that vibes. The Oh! To Go Bag by women-owned wellness brand Unbound comes with a chic, portable-but-powerful vibrator and a selection of lubes like Clitoral Jolt Gel and was Why Women-curated for the best solo sex of your life for our Feminist Book Club discussion of “How To Be Alone” by Lane Moore.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Feminist Book Club Ticket

Your donation supports Feminist Book Club's mission to advance women writers and writers of color. And it reserves you 1 ticket to the event, hosted at women's co-working hotspot The Wing! We’re pretty sure it's a Why Women fave because we sell out seats and have even been featured in i-D! FBC is unique for a book club because we bring in the author for a live critical discussion with our founder, Cristina. We always end with a Q&A so you have a chance to get the answer to your burning question straight from the author.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: Modern HERStory

Re-learn history with a copy of "Modern HERStory" by Muslim and queer activist Blair Imani. Our very first pick for Why Women Feminist Book Club, this woman-penned, woman-illustrated guide to feminist icons gives visibility to 70 often-erased women, POC and nonbinary change-makers from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, and includes a glossary of inclusive terms. We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

*** qoute from blair/cristina convo ***

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: How To Be Alone

Comedian and author Lane Moore’s honest, moving portrayal of loneliness as a self-parented, self-sufficient, but still-hopeful hopeless romantic comes naturally and still manages to make you laugh. “How To Be Alone” is a No. 1 best-selling debut from the writer, former Cosmo sex & relationships editor, GLAAD award winner, and creator of comedy show Tinder LIVE! We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: I Am Yours

As the first Bangladeshi woman to write a memoir on themes of abuse, Reema Zaman is a history maker, and one of the many, crucial voices that drive Why Women’s mission to tell stories through the feminist gaze. Despite her experiences with abuse, assault and anorexia, the 2018 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow was able to rewrite the ending to these universal narratives by claiming her own voice in "I Am Yours," a Feminist Book Club pick. We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: Insurrecto

Why Women added “Insurrecto” to Feminist Book Club’s Required Reading list after a reading by the author at our event series SPEAK: Live Stories From the Feminist Gaze. Award-winning author Gina Apostol sat down with fellow Filipina Ingrid Vega of Why Women to talk about unlearning a whitewashed, colonial history through fiction.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
Shiffon Duet Pinky Ring

Join the Shiffon Co. #GirlGang by wearing the change: fine jeweler Shiffon’s Duet Pinky Ring as spotted on queens and role models from Michelle Obama to Serene Williams. Wearing one is a symbol of women paying it forward through mentorship of other women. Purchasing one through our iFundWomen campaign supports our collaboration with Shiffon on Why Women Feminist Book Club, as well as Shiffon's non-profit fund, Startup Girl, to provide seed money to more women entrepreneurs. Photo of Shiffon Founder Shilpa Yarlagadda by Lea Winkler for the Wall Street Journal.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$200
Why Women SPEAK, 2 Tickets

Why Women SPEAK: Live Stories from the Feminist Gaze is re-launching, but only with your support. Pre-reserve a pair of tickets to our best-selling event. Our last one was a sold-out success with storytellers that included award-winning author Filipina author Gina Apostol, ESSENCE photographer Erica Génécé, body-positive photo series The 36-24-26 Project, New York Times-featured poet Njambi Morgan and Why Women founder Cristina Cala. Your donation helps us continue to bring more women and WOC creatives to the stage to unpack traumas caused by the patriarchy through their art.

 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$2,500
The Solopreneur: Branding Package

Why Women creative services for the solopreneur. This package is perfect for freelancers but also works well for full-timers who could use a pro's help positioning their experience for the next job (or that promotion.) Due for a rebrand? A seasoned member of the Why Women Creative Collective will work one-on-one with you to develop a custom branding package to kick off your next venture. Package includes:

  • Consultation & Custom Brand/Rebrand Strategy
  • Bio optimized for up to 3 formats recommended by your consultant  
  • Custom logo, mobile-optimized  
  • Website copy, mobile-optimized  
  • Social branding 

To make it look as pretty as it sounds, ask about our custom photography packages.

 

 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
The Strategist: Content Strategy Package

Brand and content strategy for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The strategist package is like your pap. You need to do it once a year for the health of your business.

  • Consultation & Audit: A market + service alignment to assess how well your services are aligned with your audience and competitors. 

  • Content Strategy : Consultation on ways to strategically productize and sell your skills and services through content 

  • Communications Guide: Outlining your topline brand strategy and content strategy

  • Channel Audit & Recommendation: Assessment of best-performing channels; which channels will generate the most leads, so you complete the strategy assessment knowing where to focus.

To put your new content strategy into action, ask about working with a Why Women editor on editorial planning and content production. 
 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$7,500
The Director: Creative Services Package

The all-inclusive creative branding package to make your communications look and feel seamless, from copy to design, web to social. Here, we work some matriarchy magic to make sure your brand is ready for launching or expanding and, most importantly, always consistent. A must for small brands and growing businesses. The package includes:

Communications & Copy:  

  • House Style Guide
  • Website copy

  • Social branding package across key platforms

Graphic Design Package:

  • Designed guideline, per style guide

    • Logo or logo refresh
    • Brand font
    • Brand color palette
    • Art direction
    • Social extension 
  • Website design or redesign (to be custom-priced)

To keep your site fresh and help generate leads with content, ask about working with a Why Women editor on editorial planning and content production.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$950
Why Women Founding Collective Member

Why Women Creative Collective members are our femme-ily members who are committed to professional development in creative fields. As a founding member via our crowdfund round, you’ll have the earliest access to networking, professionally focused programming, and work opportunities for Why Women and vetted companies in the femme-ily. (This annual membership price will go up once our Founding Member spots are filled.) This is an opportunity to put your creative talent in front of a new kind of company committed to gender parity in business practices, as well as collaborate with fellow collective members. All collective members also receive first access to tickets. Thank you for getting on board to grow a women’s economy of creative talent with us!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$3,000
Why Women Founding Consultant

Our Why Women consultants are our femme-ily members who have at least 5 to 10 of years experience in their respective fields. Our future consultants are the womxn who want to lead workshops from salary negotiation to essay workshops or the art of the angle: from photography to journalism. Why Women Founding Consultants will share the creative lessons they have learned with our other collective members, whether newbies or professionals. And they’ll get paid doing it. So snag an income-generating side hustle with Why Women now. (This annual membership price will go up once our Founding Consultant spots are filled.) Thank you for backing our dream to grow a women’s economy where women are paid for our creative talents and can thrive together!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$3,000
Small-Biz Sponsor

For the small business who wants to reach Why Women’s community.

Sponsoring our events is a pledge to help us further our mission and cover the production costs of our programming series, including Feminist Book Club and SPEAK, as well as custom programming for your business. In exchange, we will devote brand placement to deliver a meaningful brand experience to our highly engaged community of women.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$15,000
Corporate Femme-ily Sponsor

Sponsoring our events is a pledge to help us further our mission and cover the production costs of our programming series, including Feminist Book Club and SPEAK, as well as custom programming for your business. In exchange, we will devote brand placement to deliver a meaningful brand experience to our highly engaged community of women.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Contribute

Rewards

$49
Why Women Tee

Show your support by advertising our tees and telling a friend about Why Women membership and creative services. For women-identifying and nonbinary donors, the Why Women Tee is discounted at 49% the price tag of our Male Ally Tee to represent the widest gender pay gap between Hispanic women and white men.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Male Ally Tee

Show your support for women-owned, women-powered businesses by advertising our tees and telling a friend about Why Women membership and creative services. For male ally donors, pay your reparations by purchasing the Why Women Male Ally Tee at 100% of the cost of our women’s tee discounted at 49% to represent the widest gender pay gap between Hispanic women and white men.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Why Women Tote

For carrying your feminist essentials. #WearWhyWomen

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Unbound Oh! To Go with Portable Vibrator

Take a staycation or travel in pleasure with a donor reward that vibes. The Oh! To Go Bag by women-owned wellness brand Unbound comes with a chic, portable-but-powerful vibrator and a selection of lubes like Clitoral Jolt Gel and was Why Women-curated for the best solo sex of your life for our Feminist Book Club discussion of “How To Be Alone” by Lane Moore.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Feminist Book Club Ticket

Your donation supports Feminist Book Club's mission to advance women writers and writers of color. And it reserves you 1 ticket to the event, hosted at women's co-working hotspot The Wing! We’re pretty sure it's a Why Women fave because we sell out seats and have even been featured in i-D! FBC is unique for a book club because we bring in the author for a live critical discussion with our founder, Cristina. We always end with a Q&A so you have a chance to get the answer to your burning question straight from the author.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: Modern HERStory

Re-learn history with a copy of "Modern HERStory" by Muslim and queer activist Blair Imani. Our very first pick for Why Women Feminist Book Club, this woman-penned, woman-illustrated guide to feminist icons gives visibility to 70 often-erased women, POC and nonbinary change-makers from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter, and includes a glossary of inclusive terms. We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

*** qoute from blair/cristina convo ***

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: How To Be Alone

Comedian and author Lane Moore’s honest, moving portrayal of loneliness as a self-parented, self-sufficient, but still-hopeful hopeless romantic comes naturally and still manages to make you laugh. “How To Be Alone” is a No. 1 best-selling debut from the writer, former Cosmo sex & relationships editor, GLAAD award winner, and creator of comedy show Tinder LIVE! We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: I Am Yours

As the first Bangladeshi woman to write a memoir on themes of abuse, Reema Zaman is a history maker, and one of the many, crucial voices that drive Why Women’s mission to tell stories through the feminist gaze. Despite her experiences with abuse, assault and anorexia, the 2018 Oregon Literary Arts Fellow was able to rewrite the ending to these universal narratives by claiming her own voice in "I Am Yours," a Feminist Book Club pick. We'll choose one lucky donor to take home our only signed copy.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$100
Feminist Book Club: Insurrecto

Why Women added “Insurrecto” to Feminist Book Club’s Required Reading list after a reading by the author at our event series SPEAK: Live Stories From the Feminist Gaze. Award-winning author Gina Apostol sat down with fellow Filipina Ingrid Vega of Why Women to talk about unlearning a whitewashed, colonial history through fiction.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$250
Shiffon Duet Pinky Ring

Join the Shiffon Co. #GirlGang by wearing the change: fine jeweler Shiffon’s Duet Pinky Ring as spotted on queens and role models from Michelle Obama to Serene Williams. Wearing one is a symbol of women paying it forward through mentorship of other women. Purchasing one through our iFundWomen campaign supports our collaboration with Shiffon on Why Women Feminist Book Club, as well as Shiffon's non-profit fund, Startup Girl, to provide seed money to more women entrepreneurs. Photo of Shiffon Founder Shilpa Yarlagadda by Lea Winkler for the Wall Street Journal.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$200
Why Women SPEAK, 2 Tickets

Why Women SPEAK: Live Stories from the Feminist Gaze is re-launching, but only with your support. Pre-reserve a pair of tickets to our best-selling event. Our last one was a sold-out success with storytellers that included award-winning author Filipina author Gina Apostol, ESSENCE photographer Erica Génécé, body-positive photo series The 36-24-26 Project, New York Times-featured poet Njambi Morgan and Why Women founder Cristina Cala. Your donation helps us continue to bring more women and WOC creatives to the stage to unpack traumas caused by the patriarchy through their art.

 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$2,500
The Solopreneur: Branding Package

Why Women creative services for the solopreneur. This package is perfect for freelancers but also works well for full-timers who could use a pro's help positioning their experience for the next job (or that promotion.) Due for a rebrand? A seasoned member of the Why Women Creative Collective will work one-on-one with you to develop a custom branding package to kick off your next venture. Package includes:

  • Consultation & Custom Brand/Rebrand Strategy
  • Bio optimized for up to 3 formats recommended by your consultant  
  • Custom logo, mobile-optimized  
  • Website copy, mobile-optimized  
  • Social branding 

To make it look as pretty as it sounds, ask about our custom photography packages.

 

 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$5,000
The Strategist: Content Strategy Package

Brand and content strategy for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The strategist package is like your pap. You need to do it once a year for the health of your business.

  • Consultation & Audit: A market + service alignment to assess how well your services are aligned with your audience and competitors. 

  • Content Strategy : Consultation on ways to strategically productize and sell your skills and services through content 

  • Communications Guide: Outlining your topline brand strategy and content strategy

  • Channel Audit & Recommendation: Assessment of best-performing channels; which channels will generate the most leads, so you complete the strategy assessment knowing where to focus.

To put your new content strategy into action, ask about working with a Why Women editor on editorial planning and content production. 
 

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$7,500
The Director: Creative Services Package

The all-inclusive creative branding package to make your communications look and feel seamless, from copy to design, web to social. Here, we work some matriarchy magic to make sure your brand is ready for launching or expanding and, most importantly, always consistent. A must for small brands and growing businesses. The package includes:

Communications & Copy:  

  • House Style Guide
  • Website copy

  • Social branding package across key platforms

Graphic Design Package:

  • Designed guideline, per style guide

    • Logo or logo refresh
    • Brand font
    • Brand color palette
    • Art direction
    • Social extension 
  • Website design or redesign (to be custom-priced)

To keep your site fresh and help generate leads with content, ask about working with a Why Women editor on editorial planning and content production.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$950
Why Women Founding Collective Member

Why Women Creative Collective members are our femme-ily members who are committed to professional development in creative fields. As a founding member via our crowdfund round, you’ll have the earliest access to networking, professionally focused programming, and work opportunities for Why Women and vetted companies in the femme-ily. (This annual membership price will go up once our Founding Member spots are filled.) This is an opportunity to put your creative talent in front of a new kind of company committed to gender parity in business practices, as well as collaborate with fellow collective members. All collective members also receive first access to tickets. Thank you for getting on board to grow a women’s economy of creative talent with us!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$3,000
Why Women Founding Consultant

Our Why Women consultants are our femme-ily members who have at least 5 to 10 of years experience in their respective fields. Our future consultants are the womxn who want to lead workshops from salary negotiation to essay workshops or the art of the angle: from photography to journalism. Why Women Founding Consultants will share the creative lessons they have learned with our other collective members, whether newbies or professionals. And they’ll get paid doing it. So snag an income-generating side hustle with Why Women now. (This annual membership price will go up once our Founding Consultant spots are filled.) Thank you for backing our dream to grow a women’s economy where women are paid for our creative talents and can thrive together!

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$3,000
Small-Biz Sponsor

For the small business who wants to reach Why Women’s community.

Sponsoring our events is a pledge to help us further our mission and cover the production costs of our programming series, including Feminist Book Club and SPEAK, as well as custom programming for your business. In exchange, we will devote brand placement to deliver a meaningful brand experience to our highly engaged community of women.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
$15,000
Corporate Femme-ily Sponsor

Sponsoring our events is a pledge to help us further our mission and cover the production costs of our programming series, including Feminist Book Club and SPEAK, as well as custom programming for your business. In exchange, we will devote brand placement to deliver a meaningful brand experience to our highly engaged community of women.

0 Supporters
Select this reward
Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Contribute