WYWF Child Care and Workforce Initiatives
Wyoming is paying greatly for the lack of quality child care and early childhood education systems More>
Did you know that Wyoming's lack of childcare costs money for the state and local communities, not
The Wyoming Women's Foundation is excited to announce the launch of its first advocacy campaign after its absorption in March of Equality Initiatives, a statewide campaign raising awareness about women's issues in Wyoming.
Equality Initiatives (EI), the advocacy project of the Wyoming Women's Foundation (WYWF), is pleased to announce the receipt of a $25,000 grant from the Rockefeller Family Fund to launch an educational campaign and grassroots movement around improving Wyoming's workforce, economy and women's economic self-sufficiency with greater access to childcare. According to Sarah Mikesell Growney, Program Director for the Wyoming Women's Foundation and Equality Initiatives, "Receiving the Rockefeller grant is recognition that this is a major issue in Wyoming. Business recruitment and retention would increase with stronger access to quality childcare, and families would be better equipped to work and earn a livable wage. We will use these funds to demonstrate that expanding quality childcare in Wyoming would improve the entire economy."
Citing research compiled by Dr. Cathy Connolly with UW graduate students in her Gender and Public Policy class, Growney continues, "We know that employers across the state report that the lack of childcare hinders their ability to recruit and retain employees. Expanding childcare to meet anticipated need would not only increase business retention and recruitment, but would also generate $107 million in revenue and create at least 1,866 jobs by the year 2016. More childcare enables families and women to work and increase their chances of obtaining economic self-sufficiency." In 2007 there were only 17,564 licensed childcare slots available for the more than 40,000 children who needed childcare in Wyoming.
The lack of childcare causes a domino effect in Wyoming. The absence of affordable, quality childcare forces mothers to accept lower paying part-time jobs or to leave the workforce entirely. Inadequate childcare not only impacts women, but also impacts Wyoming's businesses since it leads to increased employee turnover and reduced productivity. Challenged by childcare, mothers are more likely to be late, absent or distracted at work than they would be if they were confident about their childcare arrangements.
The data suggests that childcare negatively impacts the gender wage gap in Wyoming- the largest gender wage gap in the nation (women earn 63 cents for every dollar earned by men). When women accept lower paying jobs, part-time positions or exit the workforce entirely due to inadequate childcare, their wage growth throughout their career is then impacted, along with their pension benefits and their advancement opportunities. Contributing to the gender wage gap in Wyoming is the number of hours that women work, and with inadequate childcare, women are working fewer hours.
With the receipt of the Rockefeller grant and other local grant-matching funds, Equality Initiatives, the advocacy project of the Wyoming Women's Foundation, will work with other local and state organizations and businesses to advocate for improving Wyoming's workforce with stronger access to affordable, quality childcare, with the understanding that such a move will benefit women, families, communities and the state.
We look forward to this opportunity to shift community norms to accommodate a greater understanding of the issues facing Wyoming’s women and girls. Our belief is that “what is good for Wyoming’s women and children is good for Wyoming's communities.” Indeed, this belief has the center of this campaign. But we need your input and support as we build these bridges: please bookmark our page and check back often!
Read why improving Wyoming's childcare makes dollars and sense here.
Click here to read an article from the Wyoming Business Report about Wyoming leading the gender wage gap in nation. Then watch our short video on the Wyoming wage gap.
And if after reading that you need a little inspiration, watch this wonderful presentation: The Girl Effect
More news on the wage gap
Economic Status of Wyoming's Working Women More>
Fighting Pay Inequality One Woman at a Time More>
Equal Pay Day 2009 More>
Wage Disparity Workshops More>
Wage Inequality Hurts All, Not Just Women More>