Women’s foundations have a long history of working to address women’s economic security and mobility within their own communities across the country.
In 2020, the Women’s Funding Network, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set out to establish a new initiative, known as the Women’s Economic Mobility Hub (WEMH) to invest in 9 different women’s funds and foundations across the country who were experimenting with place-based models to increase economic mobility for women and their families.
The goal of this initiative was to provide lasting advancements in economic mobility and workforce development and to provide research and data that supports gender equity funders for the next phase of change in community services, philanthropic practices, and policy development. With access to funding, capacity building support, and shared learning opportunities, WEMH cohort members leveraged their expertise to change the systems and policies in their communities. In addition, WFN was able to host events throughout the duration of the pilot initiative that shared insights and expertise from member funds on how to shift the narrative towards change, such as Cultural and Narrative Change Strategies for Advancing Women’s Economic Security.
Women’s Economic Mobility Hubs by the Numbers
- Participating Hubs generated over 610 strong, effective community connections and partnerships to support programming.
- Over 7,213 children gained access to culturally responsive and caring programing from housing and childcare to emergency financial aid.
- Over 9,225 women were able to advance their economic mobility through job training, financial literacy training, and mentorship.
- The Hubs were able to leverage over $9.5 million in additional funding through grants, corporate funding, and individual donations.
As a result of this initiative, WFN can share best-practices and model strategies for success throughout the global network to boost the larger movement with policies and practices informed by organizations on the ground leading groundbreaking initiatives that impact our communities’ most marginalized genders and populations.
Click below to learn more about each hub, their stories, and the lessons learned from data-driven investments.
Questions Driving the Regional Initiatives:
- What efforts are effective in poverty alleviation across regions and within specific regions for women and girls?
- What opportunities, by region, exist to accelerate poverty alleviation for women and girls?
- What will be needed to sustain poverty alleviation among women’s and girls’ efforts to achieve the outcome?
- How does the learning community support the work of regional hub leaders?
- What other inputs or conditions are needed for success in advancing women’s economic mobility at regional and state levels?
- How can philanthropic partners and donors further support women’s foundations to increase their impact and take their work to scale?
Women’s Economic Mobility Hub Video Series
Over the summer of 2021 we had the opportunity to sit down with the leaders of each of these Hubs to find out what the participation in this initiative has meant for them and how it has impacted their programs and organizations. We are honored to share our video series, one for each Hub, and tell the story of what we have learned about the power of women’s funds and the incredible way that they leverage funding as connectors, innovators, and strategic investors.