Sara Sanford is co-founder of Gender Smart—data-driven approaches for companies that aspire to excel by harnessing the full potential of all their employees.

Before starting Gender Smart, Sara worked in the financial services industry, spearheading John Hancock’s first broker-dealer initiative focused on women and wealth. Bringing together key stakeholders, business leaders and academic experts, she identified opportunities to address gender disparities as a force multiplier for growth. She authored articles focused on gender disparities in finance, the impact of millennials on the advising practice and socially responsible investing.

In her role with the Edgar Martinez Foundation, Sara collaborated with the foundation’s director and the Seattle School District to create best practices for developing culturally competent K-12 schools.

As a Masters graduate of the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy, Sara focused on private-public partnerships and impact evaluation in the international development sector, contributing to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s report, Millennium Development Goals: Targets and Indicators. She developed monitoring and evaluation processes for several NGOs focused on sustainability and global health.

In Carleton College, Sara had the opportunity to intern in a macadamia farm in a village in Costa Rica. She collaborated with the owner to transition the farm to a sustainable ecotourism business. Back in the States, she followed by launching an international nonprofit to support education in Colonia Libertad.