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YWI MN Solutions & Goals

Transforming Systems & Improving Outcomes

As Minnesotans, we take great pride in our state. We are often ranked #1 or #2 in terms of quality-of-life, educational attainment, and workforce participation. However, this success rate is not true for all Minnesotans. In fact, Minnesota is ranked second worst in the nation for racial disparities.

YWI MN member

The Reality

Young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and young women with disabilities, all between the ages of 12 and 24, face great inequities in economic opportunity, safety, and leadership. For Minnesota’s young women of color and American Indian young women, it means higher rates of poverty, homelessness, teen pregnancy, foster care, incarceration, and sex trafficking.

How much do we lose when we don’t see how much more we can be?

Our state’s future prosperity is interwoven, and Minnesota will benefit when young women pushed to the margins get exactly what they need to thrive.

What the data shows…

Build Pathways to Economic Opportunity

Unequal wages start early. In Minnesota, young women from the African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Asian American Pacific Islander, Latina, and Greater Minnesota communities (ages 23-25) experience an earnings shortfall between $5,300 to $10,000 annually compared to white men of the same age.

Young women are nearly absent from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Occupations. Young women (ages 23-25) comprise less than 20% of the workforce in high-wage STEM occupations. Less than 1% of STEM workers represent young women in African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Latina, and disabilities communities.

Our Goal

The Young Women’s Initiative will increase young women on the pathway to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs, and middle- and high-wage occupations by 20%.

Our STEM Opportunity: Young Women

One win that showcases the power of women’s foundations to advance gender and racial equity is the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s (WFMN) partnership with Best Buy.

Improve Safety & Well-Being

Sexual assault begins in childhood. According to the CDC, most female rape victims – an estimated 477,000 in Minnesota – were raped by age 25, 30.5% between 11 and 17 years old, and 12.7% when they were less than 10 years old.

Our Goal

The Young Women’s Initiative will improve safety by increasing young people’s awareness and access to live healthy lives by 50%.

Cabinet Reflections: Hope Hoffman

Hope Hoffman has been a member of the Governor-appointed Young Women’s Cabinet since its inception in 2017. She shared the following remarks at the Young Women’s Cabinet Celebration, concluding the group’s third session as a cohort.

Hope Hoffman

Promote Young Women’s Leadership

Only 38% of companies set targets for gender representation, even though setting goals is the first step toward achieving any business priority. Only 12% share a majority of gender diversity metrics with their employees, even though transparency is a helpful way to signal a company’s commitment to change. Only 42% hold senior leaders accountable for making progress toward gender parity, and even fewer hold managers and directors accountable.

Source: McKinsey Women in the Workplace 2018 Report

A 2014 study found that of over 42,000 elected officials nationwide, from President to the county level, 90% are white, in a country that is 37% people of color. Additionally, 71% of elected officials are male, even though men comprise only 49% of the population of the U.S.

Source: Reflective Democracy Campaign

Our Goal

The Young Women’s Initiative will promote leadership of young women by increasing their agency, social capital, and civic engagement by 80%.

She the People, She the Movement

For me, attending the She the People Summit solely for my personal development and leadership meant taking a chance to do something I rarely do.

She the People Event

Together, we are building a powerful, cross-sector movement led with and by young women driving solutions and change now, community by community, across Minnesota.

You can make a difference for young women in Minnesota with a gift today.