The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and partners of Prosperity Together, a collective effort of public U.S. women’s foundations, committed $29,170,427 in 2016 to help women across America acquire living-wage jobs, educational training and support, and affordable and high-quality childcare. One year ago at the White House, Prosperity Together announced a $100 million commitment to women’s economic security over five years.
The first-year totals are 46% higher than projected. The $29 million supported 996 unique organizations in 23 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, over 4,016,725 women and girls were directly impacted by women’s foundations’ dedication to women’s economic security this year.
To achieve economic security, women must first have economic opportunity, including access to education, workforce development, employment, and childcare. Women are clustered in low-wage work, representing two-thirds of those in Minnesota earning at or below the minimum wage and continue to be the majority of those living below the poverty line. At the same time, affordable, quality childcare has grown increasingly out of reach — Minnesota has the 5th highest cost in the United States for quality childcare.
The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota is committed to this national partnership and to advancing this work in Minnesota. Our Pathways to Prosperity Fund was launched in 2015 to increase access to post-secondary education and training for high-paying employment for low-income women, women of color, and women from greater Minnesota who face unique challenges to economic opportunity. To achieve this, we partner with community/technical colleges and nonprofit organizations who provide critical resources for women seeking to achieve economic security and stability.
“As the founder and chief architect of Prosperity Together, the collective progress we’ve made is beyond what I imagined we could achieve together in the first year. It is proof-positive of the power, investment, and impact of women’s foundations and our leadership to drive gender equity in America. The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota remains committed to creating pathways to prosperity for women in Minnesota and beyond.” – Lee Roper-Batker, President and CEO, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.
“We’ve made a lot of progress over the last eight years for low-income women, women and girls of color, and women from marginalized communities, but so much more work remains. It’s an encouraging sign when communities work together and commit to increase opportunity and access for all women and girls in our country,” said Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President and Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls.