Saundra Pelletier and WomanCare Global Featured in VOGUE Magazine

  • Posted on Feb 11, 2013 at 9:38

FAMILY MATTERS: Saundra Pelletier tackles the tremendous task of bringing modern contraception to women around the world
By Katherine Bernard

For much of her working life, Saundra Pelletier spoke with eloquent intensity in a sort of Wall Street business vernacular, all commodities and portfolios and supply chains. Three years ago thought, Pelletier made the trade of her life, leaving the corporate world behind to become the founding CEO of WomanCare Global, a now-thriving nonprofit enterprise. The particular commodity Pelletier is focused on these days: affordable, quality contraception, which WCG aims to make accessible to women across the developing world. “Every woman wants to provide the highest quality of life for her children,” Pelletier says, “and women should have the choice to have smaller and healthier families—even if it means going against their religion, their husbands, or the law.”

Since Pelletier stepped in, WCG has expanded its offerings of birth control eightfold and now works with both clinics and healthcare providers in 100 countries to offer choices about growing their families. “It’s the Robin Hood approach,” as she explained in a speech at the inaugural Women of Style and Substance fundraiser in San Francisco, held to connect American women with WCG’s mission. “We make a profit in markets like Turkey and Mexico and use that profit to subsidize places like Ghana and Kenya.”

California-based designers including Jenni Kayne, Tom Binns, Juan Carlos Obando, and Gregory Parkinson all attended, donating merchandise that grossed $70,000 for the organization. (For some perspective: $1,000 can buy 100 women in the developing world one year’s worth of contraceptives). But to ensure success, of course, WCG has to do much more than sign a check. “You have to hold hands with women from the moment they first hear of us all the way down to the clinic,” says Pelletier. “That’s what excites me—because that’s what makes the difference.”