KDV-SF hosts Google’s “Santa Claus” for PLUS Women’s Leadership Network, by Louie Castoria

Posted May 12, 2017

By: Louie Castoria, Co-Managing Partner – KDV SF

Santa Claus wishes he had Jacquelline Fuller’s job.

As president of Google’s charitable giving arm, Google.org, Ms. Fuller manages the sharing of one per cent of the internet giant’s annual net profits: a budget of $200 million a year, currently. But her message isn’t about money, it’s about culture change.

Ms. Fuller was the keynote speaker at the PLUS Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Networking event in San Francisco on May 10, 2017. Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck, a gold-level sponsor, also provided the moderator for the event, Co-Managing Partner Katherine Catlos, long a leader in women’s issues in the Golden State. KDV was ranked 28th out of the top 100 best law firms in the U.S. in 2016 for diversity and inclusiveness.

While addressing the “art and science of giving”–which at Google means aiding nonprofits with deep data analytics to aid in their missions, as well as money, Fuller emphasized the need for diversity in all organizations to meet the real-world needs. She encouraged each person to ask, “What an I uniquely qualified to do?” For some, it may be as simple as a donation made directly to a family in need via a smartphone, through GiveDirectly.org. (Fuller is its U.S. Director; 91 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to the family, usually in about 30 minutes.) For others, it may be promoting diverse working teams in organizations–Google’s internal studies have shown that its most effective programing teams include at least one woman.

Fuller’s presentation was riveting and inspiring, punctuated by Catlos’ incisive questioning and occasional witticisms. Questions also came from the audience. One attendee, after hearing how women are often discouraged from speaking up at business meetings by being interrupted by male colleagues, asked how that conduct can be countered without a strong mentor or discussion leader. Fuller replied that when leaders fail to be inclusive, peer networks are effective ways to learn how to be treated with respect through others’ experiences.

Peer networks, such as the PLUS Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Network. How apropos.

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KDV’s Louie Castoria (Co-Managing Partner SF, left) and Katherine Catlos (Co-Managing Partner SF, right) with Jacquelline Fuller (middle)

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KDV’s Katherine Catlos (left), Andrew Waxler (Co-Managing Partner LA, middle), and Louie Castoria (right)

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