On November 13, at the White House Council on Women and Girls “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color” summit, Prosperity Together—a coalition of 28 women’s foundations—announced a commitment of $100 million toward advancing women’s economic security. Cynthia Nimmo, CEO of Women’s Funding Network, was there.
I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to see representatives of dozens of women’s foundations standing up together to make the joint commitment of $100 million toward women’s economic security over the next 5 years.
Our members have been working to improve women’s economic security for decades, making great strides. Now this joint effort has a name. “Prosperity Together” will create pathways to secure livelihoods for low-income women and their families by investing in results-oriented programs across the United States, including job training, financial literacy, and girls’ education.
Women’s foundations play a unique and important role as community investors, raising money from within their communities and funneling it back to the community with solutions that work.
This year’s White House Council on Women and Girls summit focused on the opportunity gaps faced by women and girls of color. Our research partner, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), published in their recent Status of Women in the States report series that women’s poverty is increasing. Women are now 30% more likely than men to live in poverty.
More disturbing is that Native American, Black, and Hispanic women are at least two times more likely to live in poverty than White women. Poverty is clearly an issue of gender and race, and the cultural barriers that come with both.
We also see this playing out in the pay gap. IWPR research reveals that when combining the effects of race and gender, the wage gap has significant economic consequences for women of color: Black women earn $14,000 less per year than White men and Hispanic women earn $20,000 less per year than White men.
The “Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color” summit included panel discussions on women’s health, violence against women, and women’s portrayal in the media. We heard from Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney General, and Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President. The diversity, experience, and passion of the women leaders in the room was awe-inspiring. To see Women’s Funding Network members inspiring others with their commitment to securing a safe and equal future for women and girls was incredibly rewarding.
Women’s foundations—large and small—understand that helping women connect to good jobs is a powerful catalyst for family and community change. This is clearly a priority for our members, it is certainly a priority for Women’s Funding Network, and it is essential to ensuring an equitable future for women and girls.
—Cynthia Nimmo, CEO, Women’s Funding Network
Read more about Prosperity Together here.