Champion of Change: Beverly Cooper

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Beverly Cooper Neufeld is an activist and businesswoman with a passion for empowering girls and women. After raising her family, she began to work for a congresswoman and soon became heavily involved in politics and advocacy for women’s rights. As executive director of the White House Project, she oversaw research on women’s leadership, and helped develop SheSource and VoteRunLead. Frustrated by the rate of progress, in 2004 she founded PowHer New York, a network of over 100 organizations working together to advance women’s equality. These groups support campaigns that help move women’s issues forward, with a special focus on equal pay for women. 

Neufeld leads a decade long campaign for equal pay, which is now a signature project of PowHer New York. She fostered a robust dialogue and understanding about pay equity, which influenced the passage of the 2012 NYS Women’s Workforce Bill and the 2015 NYS Equal Pay Act and the Women’s Equality Act. In 2016, working with 2020 Women on Boards and Catalyst, she rallied for passage of a NYC Board Diversity Law for contractors and is pursuing similar state legislation. Most recently, PowHer New York celebrated the NYC Salary History Ban Law which went into effect on October 31, 2017. She is a member of the NYC Commission on Gender Equity and also the New York State Council on Women and Girls. Beverly notes that during times when the fight for gender equality is moving slowly, she thinks of the suffragettes who fought for 75 years to get the vote. She remembers that we “can’t be impatient, but we can’t be too patient either.” Now, her greatest inspiration to shape a just and equitable world is her four grandchildren.

Beverly is one of the many inspiring people selected as part of our Champions of Change campaign, which honors individuals who have made a difference in the lives of women and girls in the Metro New York area and globally.

Mary Luke