Shattering the glass floor for women in global health.

The Thrive Fellowship supports emerging women leaders with a strong professional foundation, so they can shape the global health sector. 


The challenge

Currently, there is limited career opportunity for women in the global workforce. Compounding this challenge is the limited pipeline of diverse women who are being prepared for the next steps in their careers.

According to the Global Health 50/50 report, privileged older men from elite institutions call the shots in global health. Authors of the report conclude that the current system is “neither fair nor fit-for-purpose.” Batson, Gupta, and Barry also conclude in their article on Women Leaders in Global Health that:

“Greater diversity in global health leadership, particularly greater representation of women, is essential to ensure that diverse perspectives and ideas inform policies and priorities.”

Batson, Gupta, and Barry 
Women Leaders in Global Health Report


What we heard from women

I’ve had to take several unpaid internships
to meet my graduation requirements.
I was told early on in my career that, ‘It's not what you earn, it's what you learn’.
But looking back, that comes from a very privileged position.
Unsupportive men are a barrier.
They don't get it - they live in a different world and they protect each other.
My master's degree came from an African university
- no one would take it seriously.

The work to be done

To remove the barriers that hinder progress in global health, we must cultivate an intentional ecosystem that expands female representation and diversity. 

This means creating inclusive work environments where young professionals can thrive.

Introducing the

Thrive Fellowship

We believe that women from under-represented groups have power, and this power can be leveraged and grown.

To improve global health systems and practices, it will take a network of diverse and emerging women leaders who can change the world. They’ll need stronger connections, genuine mentorship, coaching, hard skills, and applied experience.

We’ve created The Thrive Fellowship to support emerging leaders with a strong professional foundation, so they can shape the global health sector.

Our Mission

Thrive’s mission is to provide a pathway for young women to flourish in the field of global health and have meaningful impact on the health and lives of others.

Our core values





How The Thrive Fellowship will work

Our vision is a world where women from under-represented groups have a clear pathway to leadership in global health.

Selected Fellows will work at Databoom in Washington DC. The residential Fellowship will leverage Databoom’s core organizational competencies in global health 

Research and evaluation



Introducing the

Thrive Fellowship

Thrive is based on a theoretical framework informed by best practice in leadership development. 

We believe that there are three nested pathways by which Thrive will expand female representation and diversity in global health leadership: through the individual, institutions, and society. 

Our Theory of Change

Individual: Strong professional brand, career roadmap, strong professional network, sponsorship.

Institutional: More inclusive leadership pool, well-developed global workforce, ecosystem mindset. 

Societal: A model program for developing professional pathways and conscious inclusion.

Institutional: Improve the sector and avoid pitfalls.
Fellows will lead teams and institutions, lift up others and improve South-South and North-South partnerships.

Individual: Develop vertically and develop others.
Fellows will model leadership and authenticity, building resilience, agility, and courage in themselves and others. 

Societal: Create a new norm for professional pathways and conscious inclusion.
The Thrive Fellowship will expand opportunities and greater visibility for women leaders, creating political will for systemic change.

We believe in a holistic approach that fosters a number of different learning and leadership styles.

Listen to our Founder Kim Longfield

Our Measurement Framework

The Thrive Fellowship will include a robust measurement framework. We will leverage Databoom’s expertise in strategic measurement to monitor and evaluate key outcomes at the individual, institutional, and societal level.

During the fellowship, we will monitor:

  • The profile of fellows enrolled in the program
  • Milestones met for professional experience
  • Completion of formal learning activities

We will also evaluate improvements in:

  • Technical skills
  • Confidence & courage
  • Resilience
  • A leadership mindset
  • Influence over teams & institutions
  • Finding the power in other women
  • The ability to develop others

Over time, we will track:

  • The career trajectory of Thrivers 
  • Improvements Thrivers make in the sector
  • The influence of Thrive on other organizations for creating professional pathways for young women

An opportunity to invest

We are looking for and welcome donors and partners to invest in women by supporting the Thrive Fellowship over the next five years. 

Project planning & startup (2023)

Cohort 1 - Masters-level fellows (2024-2025)

Cohort 2 - Bachelors-level fellows (2026-2027)

Join us in creating opportunities for women to thrive in global health


Dizikes, P. (2022, September 15). The Power of Weak Ties in Gaining New Employment. MIT News. 

Frankiewicz, B. (2020, January 30). 5 Ways We Lack Gender Balance in the Workplace. World Economic Forum. 

Global Health 50/50, ‘The Global Health 50/50 Report 2020: Power, Privilege and Priorities’, London, UK, 2020. 

Gonzales, M. (2022, March 1). The Glass Ceiling: Women and Barriers to Leadership. SHRM.

Granovetter, M. S. (1973). The Strength of Weak Ties. American Journal of Sociology. 

Harris, C., & Grant, A. (2023, January 10). Re-Thinking: Finding and Becoming Great Mentors and Sponsors. Apple Podcasts.

Hudson, D., Bellmer Krembs, A., Tauber Marcus, L., Lacey, K., Short, M., & Nicholson, C. (2022). You Should Smile More. The Band of Sisters. City Point Press.

Kimou, S. (2019, May 27). My Profession is Deeply Personal. Eyala blog. 

McKinsey & Company. (2022). Women in the Workplace.

Pai, M. (2020, March 9). Global Health Needs to Be Global & Diverse. Forbes. 

Rajkumar, K., Saint-Jacques, G., Bojinov, I., Brynjolfsson, E., & Y Aral, S. (2022, September 11). A Causal Test of the Strength of Weak Ties. Science. 

Sheikh K., Bennett S.C., El Jardali F., & Gotsadze G. (2017).  Privilege and Inclusivity in Shaping Global Health Agendas. Health Policy and Planning.

Support emerging leaders with a strong professional foundation, so they can shape the global health sector.