Jennifer Pope Baker

Jennifer Pope Baker is Executive Director of Women's Fund of Central Indiana and is responsible for all aspects of the multi-million dollar endowment: asset development, grants, research, board and volunteer management. Jennifer has a keen interest in introducing the concept of philanthropy to young girls and young women and has created two unique programs within Womenís Fund, GO: Give Back and OPTIONS, to reach these two audiences.

Jennifer is active in many volunteer activities, including: The Childrenís Museum Guild; International School of Indiana, Development Committee; 2011 Women's Final Four, Local Organizing Committee; and, United Way of Central Indiana, Executive Women's Leadership Series Moderator, 2011-2012.

Jennifer was named a 2010 Woman of Influence by the Indianapolis Business Journal; she is a 2007 Hoosier Fellow, a member of Class XXIV of the Stanley K. Lacy Executive Leadership Series, and a member of the FBIís Citizenís Academy in 2005. Jennifer was named by the Indianapolis Business Journal as a member of the 2002 class of 40 Under Forty, a distinction given to young adults who have made their mark on Indianapolis before the age of 40.

Share a personal story showing how Title IX has affected you

I am fortunate that Title IX was in place before I went to high school and therefore had opportunities to participate; however, the opportunities were not always equal. I remember my high school had a girls hockey team who had ice time which was late on Friday night and they had to wear the sweaty pads the boys just finished using. So, yes there were chances to participate but it was clear they were not equal opportunities. As a young girl who loved basketball, I always cheered on my favorite men's team and I don't even think it occurred to me that women were being denied the opportunity to be on prime time TV, it was so ingrained in our consciousness that men are the ones who played on TV. I have seen the evidence of how important Title IX is and how far we have come over the past 40 years with my young daughter who is quite athletic and participates in sports all three seasons of the school year and throughout the summer. She is fortunate to not think twice about whether or not she will be allowed to play basketball, run cross-country or track and she is amazed to learn about how girls before her did not have these same opportunities.

How has Title IX impacted your industry or career path?

I am aware that we cannot take Title IX for granted and we need to always stay attuned to making sure the opportunities remain fair and equal. And, I think it is important to celebrate the successes of Title IX so people understand this is empowering and not something that causes someone else to lose or miss an opportunity.

What would you like to say to Burch Bayh for authoring the Title IX Legislation

Thank you! Because of Senator Bayh's commitment to Title IX, my daughter and my son can play basketball in our driveway, at summer, and at school. And, my daughter can dream of an athletic scholarship and know anything is possible for her if she is determined, works hard, and applies her skills. Thank you Senator Bayh for believing my daughter is equally as important as my son.