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Economic Opportunity

We work to ensure a Minnesota where doors to opportunity are abundant and open to all girls and women, and pathways to prosperity are assured.

WFMN investments target the root conditions of economic challenges through education, workforce development and job training, employment opportunities, and access to support services.

Women in tech

What the Data Shows

Wage Gap Reduces Women’s Lifetime Earnings

Our 2020 Status of Women & Girls in Minnesota research shows that the wage gap continues to shortchange all women and affects Latina, Black, and Indigenous women the most. That’s why we center communities at the margins who have the least access to economic opportunity.

On average, Minnesota women make $0.79 for every dollar that men make, with significant differences among women depending on race or ethnicity. Closing the pay gap for Latina, Indigenous, and Somali women who make the least is our finish line.

Average wage salary income for women relative to white men:

Analysis of American Community Survey, 2013-2017 by the Center on Women, Gender, & Public Policy, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota (CWGPP). The average earnings of full-time, year-round MN workers age 16+.

Women in the STEM Workforce

STEM occupations are among the highest paid in today’s economy, but women remain underrepresented in STEM degree programs. All groups of women (except non-Hmong Asians) are underrepresented in STEM occupations with Black and Indigenous women facing the greatest underrepresentation.

Women make up 47% of the workforce (25+), but only 26% of the STEM workforce (25+)

Percentage of Minnesota Graduates in Select STEM Fields

CWGPP analysis of IPEDS 2016-2017 Provisional Data Release. First majors only. Includes only U.S. citizens and permanent residents and excludes multiple races and unknown race/ethnicity.

Grantee-Partners Make an Impact

Project DIVA International

As a WFMN grantee-partner since 2016, Project DIVA International ensures Black girls
have a space to flourish. They exist to guide Black girls to self-discover without limits – to think, find alignment with their truth, and be financially successful.

Related Funds & Research

We invest in and amplify young women-led solutions to build leadership, increase life skills, boost academic success, and ensure post-secondary enrollment and pathways to economic opportunity.

“There is a need for change and equal opportunities.”

Silver Moran-Stuart
Cabinet Alumna, Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota

Latest Updates in Economic Opportunity

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Your support fuels the innovative community-based, community-led work happening across the state. Explore our funding opportunities.