The pervasive racial wealth gap can be attributed to many factors, but one that’s universally known is the lack of access to wealth-building resources among most minority groups.
PayPal is honoring one Black woman who broke through those barriers and is aiming to help others do the same.
The e-payment giant recently announced the winners of its inaugural Maggie Lena Walker Award. Named in honor of the first Black woman to charter a bank and serve as its president in the U.S., the award seeks to celebrate the achievements of women from underrepresented groups in the U.S. who are economically empowering those in their community and creating a more inclusive world. The award was established and announced in March of this year.
“Maggie Lena Walker was a tireless advocate and pioneering entrepreneur who broke down barriers and expanded access for the Black community at a time when Black people were denied opportunity for wealth creation,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. “We are proud to honor her significant contributions and recognize these four women who are carrying Walker’s legacy forward in their work to economically empower underserved communities.”
The award winners were chosen by a Selection Committee whose members included senior leaders from PayPal and president and CEO Dan Schulman. External committee members included Liza Mickens, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter and co-founder of Vote Equality, Ellen McGirt, senior editor, Fortune Magazine and Rodney Adkins, PayPal board member and former IBM executive.
Award winners will receive a cash award of up to $50,000 and access to resources and mentorship from the PayPal community to further their impact and vision. They include Kathryn Finney, founder and CEO, Genius Guild; general partner, The Greenhouse Fund, Sheena Allen, founder and CEO, CapWay and Chloe B. McKenzie, founder, BlackFem among others.
“Maggie Lena Walker was a pioneer, a champion and an incredible Black founder,” said Finney, PayPal Maggie Lena Walker Achievement Award Winner. “Her story is one that Black entrepreneurs and all of society should know – one of perseverance, strength and unwavering determination to challenge the status quo. Thank you to PayPal for this honor, and thank you to all my fellow Black investors, founders and women entrepreneurs for working to build your damn thing, tear down obstacles and open doors for those who follow in our footsteps.”