When Women Reach for the Stars, We All Win

Women For One is proud to be donating a portion of our ticket proceeds for the Pacific Northwest Truthteller Tour to Washington Women in Need, an organization that believes a woman has the wisdom and freedom to make her own choices and design her own future. Given the opportunity, every woman can inspire positive change for herself, her family, and her community. WWIN makes financial grants to women in Washington State who are ready for transformational change in Education. 

VISION: Every woman has a clear path to achieve her full potential.

MISSION: Guided by the belief that women are worthy, Washington Women in Need (WWIN) empowers women in Washington State to achieve economic stability through higher education and living-wage careers.

There is a foundational well-being needed for women: fair economic opportunity, educational opportunities to get there, and voice in the civic community. WWIN is committed to empowering women to shape their own future, to believe in their abilities and dreams, and to improve life prospects for their children and successive generations.

THE PROBLEM: More women are in the workforce today than ever before. In Washington State, 59% of women are in the work force. Yet women in our state make up the majority of people trapped in poverty. Approximately 407,315 women in Washington State live at or below the Federal Poverty Level ($12,140 for a single woman and $25,100 for a family of four). When using the Self-Sufficiency Standard as a matrix to define low-income, the number of women who make just enough to subsist escalates significantly. Fifty-one percent of these women are female-headed households with children.

There are numerous conditions that stand in the way of women achieving economic stability. Nationally, women earn 82 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts. In Washington State, the gap is bigger, with an average of women making 75 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts. The gap is much higher for women of color. The economic burden of child rearing largely falls to women. Women are often the primary parent, which limits their choice of career/jobs. Gender discrimination, particularly for women with children, and pregnancy discrimination play a significant role in a woman’s ability to reach her financial and career goals.

Furthermore, social-service agencies often train women for the lowest-wage jobs vs. living-wage careers—keeping women in the cycle of poverty. Compounding this dilemma, women receiving Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) are prohibited from attending college while receiving benefits, unless they are working full time. Also, women commonly internalize sexism and racism and need help to imagine what is possible in their lives. This is particularly true of low-income women who may not have the mentors or role models to show them a different path.

For women to achieve a similar wage to that of her male counterparts, she must achieve one degree higher in education (i.e., where a man earns an Associate degree, a woman must earn a Bachelor’s degree) in order to attain the same economic value. Often, women struggle to complete their college degree program due to a host of challenges. In addition to the high cost of a college education, for mothers, the cost of childcare is a common barrier. Small financial setbacks like a flat tire or rent shortfall can derail her education. Many degree programs are offered during the day, which makes it difficult for women with young children to attend these programs. Additionally, evening programs are often not funded by state funds. Finally, even when a woman completes a degree, there are a host of systemic barriers she will face in her quest to achieving the economic stability she desires.

THE OPPORTUNITY: WWIN’s Pathway to Economic Stability

WWIN is committed to providing women with opportunities, inspiration, support, and advocacy as they work towards the achievement of their goals. We are so excited about our new program strategies, because they are designed around supporting a woman as she defines her own pathway and goals, to complete her education, to connect with a career that she is passionate about and that can sustain her financially, and to be able to advocate for herself and others. We also recognize that a woman does not succeed in a vacuum. Supportive public policies and work places foster the conditions for women to succeed. Therefore, WWIN will educate and engage the public around select issues related to the economic stability of women.

WWIN believes in the power of determined women to transform their lives and the course of their families’ lives for generations to come. We address a deep need in society, providing women a hand up to improve their futures. We want women to be able to not only reach for the stars, but to achieve her dreams. We will walk with a woman on her path to success, supporting her, advocating for her, and providing her with opportunities and inspiration along the way. We do this through a series of programs designed to help her make her dream of economic stability possible.

PATHWAY TO SUCCESS provides a woman with the opportunity to gain a sense of who she is, to feel free to make choices and informed decisions about her life, to set ambitious goals for herself, and to take action on those goals.

STAR SCHOLARS program removes a financial barrier to women seeking the higher education they need to attain a living-wage career.

RESILIENCY FUNDS are available to current Star Scholars facing emergency expenses that may impact their ability to continue with their education.

CAREER LAUNCH provides a graduating Star Scholar with the opportunity to access vital career-planning resources.

“It’s been my children and I against the world for about ten years now. WWIN is helping me to become a successful nurse so that I can not only give back to my community and my children, but to secure a real home for us again, so maybe, just maybe, we can finally exhale.” —Bryne

ADVOCACY: Women’s voices and dreams are worthy and powerful. WWIN is committed to ensuring that these are amplified and prioritized.

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About the Author | Washington Women In Need

There is a star in each of us. Washington Women in Need (WWIN) wants to let it shine. In 1992 Julia Love Pritt started a movement that has positively impacted the lives of over 6,300 women across the state of Washington, not to mention their families and communities. For so many, stories of struggle have been replaced by stories of hope, gratitude, courage, and dreams fulfilled.

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