BY LAUREN Y. CASTEEL
PRESIDENT AND CEO
Lauren Casteel, president and CEO, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
As Coloradans, we are fiercely proud of our state and frequently heard boasting that like our majestic mountains, we have reached great heights with our employment rates, educational attainment rates and overall well-being rates.
Yet behind these impressive achievements is a troubling statistic that people also need to know. More than half a million women still live in or near poverty. In fact, 37 percent of single-mother-led households live in poverty, compared to 20 percent of households headed by single fathers and 7 percent of households headed by married couples.
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado was founded in 1987 to address the disproportionate number of women living in poverty. Our leaders came together from diverse backgrounds and identities in service of a shared vision: to support the economic advancement of all women across our state. Thirty years later, we remain the only statewide community foundation that is focused on creating a stronger Colorado by building more pathways to prosperity for women.
Our work is rooted in the knowledge that when women thrive, our society is healthier, and our economy is stronger. Research by our partner, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, showed that if Colorado women earned the same as comparable men, the state’s economy would grow by an additional $9.2 billion.
Fueled by nearly 70,000 gifts from generous donors since our inception, we use our statewide networks and gender-less expertise to increase access to education, job training, and career placement opportunities that lead to stable, livable wage jobs. We are building a future where the cost of childcare doesn’t devour a family’s earnings every month, and all women and men with the same educational levels working in the same positions have equal pay.
In 30 years, we’ve produced 30 research reports to identify the greatest opportunities for economic advancement. With our partners, we’ve helped pass more than 45 pieces of legislation, including six during the 2018 General Assembly that create statewide systems to foster economic growth for women and their families. And we’ve granted more than $17 million to nonprofit organizations throughout our state.
We invite you to learn more about The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and become a part of our community creating change. Tickets, tables, and sponsorships are available to our Annual Luncheon featuring sports icon and activist, Billie Jean King, Oct. 10. Visit wfco.org for more information.
2018 All Rights Reserved. Villager Publishing |