First Strides: Johnnie Walker, Lilly Singh Team Up for Women's Equality Day
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‘We Have to Make Space for More Women in Leadership Roles’: Johnnie Walker Partners With Lilly Singh for Women’s Equality Day

First Strides

Johnnie Walker is teaming up with Lilly Singh to work on its First Strides initiative for Women’s Equality Day. (Image: Johnnie Walker)

Just in time for Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26, scotch whisky brand Johnnie Walker has launched the next phase in its “First Strides” initiative to help close the gender gap in leadership, the brand announced Thursday.

Women’s Equality Day honors the anniversary of the day women gained the right to vote.

Through the First Strides initiative, Johnnie Walker says it will focus on developing a community of women empowered to “lead the way forward by funding, mentoring and championing women entrepreneurs and leaders in both public and private sectors.”

The brand is partnering with organizations that focus on paving the way for more seats for women, including IFundWomen, which funds women-owned businesses, and She Should Run – a nonpartisan organization focused on helping women run for elected leadership roles.

Johnnie Walker and IFundWomen have a goal of reaching $1 million in grants by 2030 for women-owned businesses. The partnership will offer grants to entrepreneurs, as well as access to coaching and connections through the IFundWomen platform. To learn more and apply for funding, visit

“Johnnie Walker is committed to celebrating and enabling bold first strides that open the door for seconds and thirds to follow,” Sophie Kelly, SVP of Whiskies at Diageo North America, said in a news release. “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 is also partnering with YouTuber, writer, actor and gender equity advocate Lilly Singh. Singh has written and produced content to raise awareness of First Strides.

“I am thrilled to work with Johnnie Walker on this important effort,” Singh said in a news release. “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.”

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.