The Women Effect Fund began in 2015 when a group of individual donors, foundations and public charities came together with a common goal of advancing a new women’s agenda. Recognizing that progress towards true economic equality for women had largely stalled over the past few decades, these separate entities came together to establish the Women Effect Fund. In doing so, they set out to substantively and permanently change the position of women in our economy.
To frame the vision and mission of the Women Effect Fund, a diverse group of prominent scholars, including Theda Skocpol, Heather McGhee, Heather Boushey and Shawna Shames, wrote a series of papers on the most significant impediments to women’s true equality. Their work focused on the political, economic and social barriers, and posed a series of both policy and organizing goals, which ultimately became the guiding framework for the Women Effect Fund’s work.
Since 2015, the Women Effect Fund has focused on catalyzing grassroots energy to advance economic policy solutions that work for women and families. We have focused on bolstering policies including paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and affordable childcare and eldercare at the local, state and national levels due to the disproportionately positive impact passage of these policies has been proven to have on the economic lives of women.
Our work has helped achieve critical wins for women and families. In partnership with other organizations, we’ve helped ensure that more than 15 million people have gained access to earned paid sick days over the past decade. Additionally, nine states and Washington, D.C. now have statewide paid family and medical leave policies.
Of course, our work is far from over. We see an unprecedented moment of opportunity, right now. The heightened and passionate interest of women in advocacy gives us a chance to engage women and help them become permanent, active members of civil society. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed how desperately we need to invest in family friendly care policies like paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and affordable, reliable childcare and eldercare. Simply put, we have a once in a generation opportunity to achieve true and lasting economic equity for women.