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Women's Foundation of California and Partnership of Women's Foundations Pledge $100 Million to Economic Security for Women and Families

Friday, November 13, 2015

Today the Women's Foundation of California joined Prosperity Together, a nonpartisan partnership of 30 public U.S. women's foundations, to announce a collective five-year, $100 million funding commitment to help low-income women and their families achieve economic security in America. The partnership will fund innovative local leaders, programs and organizations that are providing women with higher education, skills and job training, accessible and flexible childcare and workplace protections, among other supports. Prosperity Together made the announcement at the White House Summit on Advancing Equity for Women and Girls of Color, which focused on a wide range of issues including the barriers and solutions to economic security confronting millions of low-income women living in America.

"About 3.4 million women and girls in California live in poverty," said Surina Khan, CEO of the Women's Foundation of California. "That's almost the entire female population of Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut—combined. As the only statewide foundation in California championing gender equity, we are stepping up to commit $10 million over the next five years. Our vision is a Golden State where every woman is not just surviving, but thriving." 

In California, women are half of the workforce, but the wage gap persists. Women earn 84 cents for every dollar a man earns. The gap is significantly larger for women of color. Black women in California make 64 cents to every dollar earned by white men, while Latinas make 44 cents, the biggest wage gap for Latinas in the nation. Further, six out of 10 minimum wage workers in California are women. Too often, they occupy part-time service jobs with unpredictable schedules, little to no employer-sponsored benefits and limited opportunity for growth and advancement.

Prosperity Together harnesses the collective power, leadership and experience of women's foundations to ensure women's economic security in America. It is also a call to policymakers, business leaders, the philanthropic community and the public to understand that economic prosperity for all must include low-income women and women of color. 

Since 1979, the Women's Foundation of California has awarded more than $37 million in grants to over 1,300 women's organizations that are strengthening women's economic wellbeing in California. In addition, the Foundation trains future women leaders through the Women's Policy Institute (WPI) fellowship program. Over the last 13 years, WPI graduates have helped pass 24 laws that strengthen women's economic security, including the groundbreaking California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights.

This press release from the Women's Foundation of California was published November 13, 2015.