Digital platform highlights 31 remarkable women in 31 days

“Under the Sisterhood” provides podcast series and safe space for women to share

Founder & CEO of Under the Sisterhood Elizabeth Elfenbein (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

One woman is making it her mission to not only empower other women, but to unite them as a sisterhood-- no matter where in the world they’re from.

It’s called Under the Sisterhood; an online global community where women’s well-being is strengthened through sisterhood with the goal of inspiring change around the world.

“Under the Sisterhood is a platform for women, a space for women to be seen, heard and celebrated,” said founder and CEO Elizabeth Elfenbein. “It was really important for me, you know, as the founder of the company to create this safe space, even though it goes out and it’s offered to women at large around the world, to create this space where women felt that they could share their authentic selves and want to share. The questions really brought so much to light, there were a lot of, of course, universal truths and commonalities, but everybody has their unique journey. And the female experiences are unique to themselves.’

Elfenbein said creating this company came at a time of major change in her life.

“I went through a period, I was at the top of my career, I left a big job, an industry where I was very well respected. So successful, but I was incomplete,” said Elfenbein. “And I went on this journey of self-discovery, I basically went through the experiences. And I realized that the sisterhood was the space for me that was really missing the most. And I think what happens is that as a woman, you get to the top, you have so many, you have three kids, you’re raising your kids, you’re doing your job, your whatever, and you don’t have time to really build that sisterhood.”

Elfenbein said she realized if she needed this kind of space, it meant so many other women would need it as well. So she dug into her pockets, went to her savings, and created this online ability for women to share though virtual meetings, social media, vlogs and podcasts.

“We launched it on Women’s Equality Day, for the point of saying that this is an important day. And we are, you know, this is a very important subject,” said Elfenbein.

“At the core of it when we launched was a was a podcast platform where I was the host. And season one, we spoke with 39 women. And we asked them eight questions. And it’s really important to cite this because we really wanted to get under the hood of what it means to be a woman in today’s world, It’s an all-inclusive, so it’s all backgrounds, all ages, and all cultures. And in fact, of the 39 women that we talked to, they represented 24 countries, you know, from Africa, Egypt, Pakistan. You know, Costa Rica, Dominica, you know, Brazil, China, so really the gamut, really speaking to women around the world.”

In honor of Women’s History Month, Elfenbein said they created a special series of podcasts called Women’s March of Voices, which launched March 1. The idea is to highlight a different woman every day, as well as their experiences, achievements and fights for equality.

“So we’re celebrating 31 women in 31 days, representing 25 countries, in many different capacities of life from doctors and literal healers, life coaches, performers, professional athletes, like really looking at women, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmothers. And interestingly, we started our first season women 18 to 85. This celebration of 31 women represents women from 20 at the time to 79.”

Some of those women featured this month include founder of Beyond Clinical Walls Dr. Bayo Curry Winchell, attorney and VP for UN Women USA Lucia Kanter St. Amour, feminist, activist and writer Tess de Rooij, and founder of Kim McDonnell, among others.

Another component of what Under the Sisterhood provides are Sister Circles. Sister Circles are virtual meetups where women gather and share aspirations and thoughts on what it means to be a woman today. The organization said the meetups were created to allow women the space to discuss their “Superpowers” – and give their individualized perspectives on and around these questions: What’s your story? What are your superpowers? How do you use your superpowers to help other women?

Right now, there’s currently a Sister Circle in Pakistan, and on March 8, they’re launching circles in Jamaica, Haiti and Costa Rica.

“It’s a conversation. So you get into these spaces, and you start with asking prompts, we ask every one of the women in the circle, whatever circle may be, as we start them off with something that opens them up to sharing, and then we ask questions, and we take notes, everybody has like a journal, they’re taking notes, and when they raise their hand, they share,” said Elfenbein. “And so what happens is they’re getting the confidence of speaking, they’re opening up in front of, you know, 10,15, 20 other people, which, which kind of holds them accountable in a different kind of way. And then they’re taking the notes, and they take it with them. And we give them tips and tools as they lead this session. And then we pick up on it a week later. And we say, ‘Well, how’d your week go? How did that go? Did you address that? In that scenario? You were stuck with that in school? Are you less focused on that? Are you more focused?’ You know, so we really try and give them strategies, and all centered around wellness, again, self-acceptance, self-love, you know, when you’re well, you’re better able to show up.”

Elfenbein said they also started a non-profit arm called Sistergood. This part of the organization aims to not only fund ongoing wellness programming and mentorship for women and girls in developing countries, but also allows for a way people can donate Sister Circles to women in other nations, as well.

“One of the things we’re doing is we’re doing these corporate Sister Circles where if a corporation or company and organization buys a Sister Circle, we will donate a Sister Circle in their choice of a developing country,” said Elfenbein. “Then they say we want to do a Sister Circle in Egypt or we’d rather do it in you know, Abu Dhabi, we can set that up and through them donate that and we will align with people there to bring 10 to 25 women together and do a 12-week journey.”

Elfenbein said building this community, helping women realize their potential and giving them a voice is beyond anything she could have imagined.

“My cup is overflowing every single day. I’m talking to women from around the world and they are magnificent. I am meeting such incredible women and like, I never would have met these women. And interestingly, I’ve traveled the world through my children. I’ve met all kinds of people, but the experience I’m having with utter strangers has been more connected on a soul level,” said Elfenbein. “And so when you touch women’s lives, people’s lives so directly, and feel like you’re making an impact and making a difference, that feeling? I don’t know, it doesn’t get much better than that.”

About the Author:

Tara Evans is an executive producer and has been with News 6 since January 2013. She currently spearheads News 6 at Nine and specializes in stories with messages of inspiration, hope and that make a difference for people -- with a few hard-hitting investigations thrown in from time to time.