PITTSBURGH, Sept. 14, 2021 – PNC Bank announced today the launch of Project 257℠: Accelerating Women’s Financial Equality, an initiative designed to help close the 257-year economic gender gap and expand on PNC’s decades-long track record of supporting female financial decision makers. “Project 257” was derived from the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report that found at the current pace of progress, it will take another 257 years for women to catch up to men from an economic perspective.
“I don’t know anyone who thinks this is an acceptable timeline,” said Beth Marcello, director of PNC Women’s Business Development. “As a financial institution that prospers when our customers prosper, it makes perfect sense that we would want to help tackle the economic gender gap. Project 257 aligns with our brand purpose – when we accelerate women’s financial equality, we are making a positive difference, leveraging the power of our resources to help all move forward financially.”
Coinciding with the launch of PNC’s Project 257 is the bank’s partnership with SheEO, a global nonprofit whose mission addresses one of the major factors driving the 257-year gap: women’s lack of access to capital. SheEO provides interest-free loans to businesses, or “Ventures,” owned and led by individuals who identify as women or nonbinary and crowdfunds capital from “Activators” who fund the loan pool and play an active role in evaluating and selecting the Ventures. To date, SheEO has crowdfunded $7 million to support more than 100 Ventures in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
PNC Bank’s three-year, $1.257 million commitment is the largest contribution that SheEO has received from a U.S. company. Through this partnership, PNC will work with SheEO to drive awareness and help increase the number of Activators who support SheEO Ventures. Fifty PNC employees who identify as women or nonbinary will serve as Activators on behalf of PNC – one per market in which PNC has a presence — and play a significant role in the selection, mentorship and success of SheEO Ventures.