Building Philanthropy to Build a Better Florida

Florida Women's Funding Alliance

NEW REPORT

 

New report reveals women's health in Florida has improved in some areas and worsen in others

Women have made progress over the past several decades; there are, however, significant areas for improvement for women in Florida. Since the publication of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s 2004 report The Status of Women in the States, Florida’s grade for women’s health and well-being has improved from a D+ to a C-. The Status of Women in Florida by County: Health & Well-Being examines data on women’s health, including chronic disease, physical health, sexual health, and mental health, including research and analysis necessary to make data-driven decisions. View the full report.

 

Transforming the lives of women and girls through collective voices and resources

The Florida Women’s Funding Alliance (FWFA) envisions a Florida where women and girls thrive. The Alliance’s mission is to transform the lives of women and girls through members’ collective voices and resources. FWFA offers FPN members an opportunity to interact and connect with other staff and board members of foundations and other grantmaking organizations working to transform the lives of women and girls in Florida.
 

Who Can Participate in Florida Women's Funding Alliance? 

As with all FPN affinity groups, ongoing participation in Florida Women's Funding Alliance is open to staff and board members of FPN member organizations only and includes women’s foundations, donor advised funds at community foundations and other philanthropic organizations focused on funding by and for women and girls in Florida. The group may decide, on occasion, to open up individual events to the broader community for learning opportunities and dialogues. 
 

What Are the Benefits of the Affinity Group?

  • Network with others in Florida who are working to transformthe lives of women and girls in Florida.
  • Participate in an ongoing forum for discussion issues and topics of importance to women and girls in Florida.
  • Share information.
  • Exchange new ideas.
  • Find inspiration in your work.
  • Explore opportunities to work together with other Florida funders.
  • Provide opportunities to hear and learn from experts.
  • Provide input for future FPN programming.

FWFA Steering Committee Members

Paula Liang
FWFA Co-Chair
Women’s Giving Alliance, an initiative of
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

 

Judith Selzer
FWFA Co-Chair
Women’s Foundation of Florida

Julie Fisher Cummings
FWFA Founding Chair
Lovelight Foundation
Brenda Tate
FWFA Founding Chair
Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida

Tami Baldinger
Jewish Women’s Foundation
of the Greater Palm Beaches

Linda Carter
Community Foundation of Broward

Joanne Cohen
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

Renee Constantino
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Eileen Connolly-Keesler
Community Foundation of Collier County

Phyllis Corkum
Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation

Bradley Hurlburt
Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties
Roxie Jerde
Community Foundation of Sarasota County
Amanda Kah
Community Foundation of Broward

Debbie Korge
The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade

Jennifer Kryshka
Jewish Women’s Foundation
of the Greater Palm Beaches

Donna Messer 
Southwest Florida Community Foundation

Sarah Owen 
Southwest Florida Community Foundation
Heidi Schaeffer
Community Foundation of Broward
Javier Soto
The Miami Foundation
Marlene Spalten
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Ellen Wiss
The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida
 

FWFA Members

Central Florida Foundation

Charlotte Community Foundation

Children's Board of Hillsborough County

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties

Community Foundation of Broward

Community Foundation of Collier County

Community Foundation of Sarasota County

Community Foundation of South Lake County

Community Foundation of Tampa Bay

Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation

Gobioff Foundation

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

Jewish Women's Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches

Joseph H. and Florence A. Roblee Foundation

JPMorgan Chase & Co. 

Lovelight Foundation

Manatee Community Foundation

Merrill G. & Emita E. Hastings Foundation

Northern Trust

Southwest Florida Community Foundation

The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida

The Miami Foundation

The Women's Fund Miami-Dade

United Way Suncoast

Women's Foundation of Collier County

Women's Foundation of Palm Beach County

Women's Foundation of Southwest Florida

Women's Giving Alliance

In response to Florida’s D+ rating on the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) 2015 report, Florida Philanthropic Network and Florida Women's Funding Alliance (FWFA) commissioned a groundbreaking study of women in Florida by county. The reports will look deeper into key areas to develop actionable policy recommendations to shift that D+ to an A for Florida women: 

 

Key Findings

 

 

In Florida and across the country, women are making great strides. More women are earning bachelor’s degrees and women’s entrepreneurship is growing rapidly. Yet, too many women and girls live in poverty with limited access to education, health care, and other important supports that would allow them to achieve economic stability. Wide disparities also persist among Florida’s women by geographic locations and across racial and ethnic groups. Improving the status of women from all backgrounds and walks of life is key to Florida’s future. 

The Status of Women in Florida by County: Poverty & Opportunity is the first in a series commissioned by Florida Women’s Funding Alliance, an affinity group of Florida Philanthropic Network. This research, conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy and Research, aims to provide critical data that can help to build economic security and overall well-being among the state’s women and girls.

The report provides policy recommendations for improving women’s status on indicators related to poverty and opportunity, including expanding health programs for low-income women, improving educational opportunities for women of color, investing in women’s entrepreneurship and additional steps to narrow the opportunity gap.

Policy Recommendations

Pass paid leave legislation 

Like the vast majority of states, Florida has not passed paid leave legislation. Work-life supports such as paid sick days and paid family leave are benefits few low-wage workers receive, but they are vitally important to help women — who are more likely than men to have unpaid caregiving responsibilities — remain in the workforce. Since over half of Florida families with children under 18 have a breadwinner mother (who is either a sole earner or earns 40 percent of more of the household income), policies that help women stay in their jobs and advance have the potential to increase earnings and reduce poverty for women and their families. 

Support a living wage 

The minimum wage in Florida in 2016 is $8.05 per hour, yet the Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST) Index — a measure of the wage an individual must earn to meet basic needs plus minimal savings — is $14.52 an hour for a single adult in Florida with work benefits, and $22.56 an hour for an adult with work benefits and a preschool child. Raising the minimum wage would increase women’s earnings and reduce poverty. An increased minimum wage would be especially beneficial to women of color, who are disproportionately represented among low-wage workers. In addition, to set a reasonable wage floor, Florida should consider tying its minimum wage to cost-of-living increases. 

Close the gender wage gap 

Closing the gender wage gap would not only increase women’s earnings but also significantly lower poverty rates among women. Florida can take steps to reduce the gender wage gap by barring employers from requiring potential employees to submit previous salary history (which can perpetuate wage inequality). In addition, the enforcement of pay transparency laws would allow women to determine if they are being underpaid relative to comparable men without fear of retaliation. 

Make assistance programs more accessible

Florida could also reduce women’s poverty by strengthening the basic safety net for those who earn very low wages or who cannot work. Efforts should be made to ensure that those who need Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) have access to the programs. In addition, benefit levels should be increased. 

In Florida, 15.4 percent of women aged 18 and older live in poverty, placing the state among the bottom third in the country. More than one in four women live in poverty in five Florida counties. 

Invest in education 

To address disparities in educational attainment, Florida can facilitate access to higher education by providing supports for those who face financial and other barriers to completing a degree. Philanthropists and state and local government should make educational opportunities for Hispanic, Black, and Native American women in Florida a particular focus of investment in scholarship and grant programs. 

More than one in four Florida women aged 25 and older has a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared with 28.1 percent of Florida men with the same level of education. Women’s lower educational attainment than men’s in Florida differs from the pattern nationally, where women aged 25 and older are slightly more likely than their male counterparts to hold at least a bachelor’s degree. 

Make government contracts accessible 

To capitalize on the recent growth in women’s business ownership and substantial increase in businesses owned by women of color, Florida can ensure that state and local government contracts are accessible to women-owned and minority-women-owned businesses. Women’s entrepreneurship can also be encouraged through public and private sector investments in loan and entrepreneurship programs, and through technical assistance to women entrepreneurs to help them to identify sound business and financing opportunities to start or grow their business. 

Increase access to financing options for business ownership 

Compared with businesses owned by men, businesses owned by women are far more likely to have no start-up or expansion capital and, among those that do, most use their own personal or family savings. Addressing the lack of access to financing options could mitigate some of the risk of business ownership and encourage women, especially low-income women and women of color, to pursue business ownership as a path to financial stability. 

Increase access to health care services 

Florida can increase women’s access to health care services by expanding public health programs to serve more low-income women. Given that 20 percent of the 2.9 million Americans who fall into the insurance coverage gap live in Florida, the state should reconsider its decision to not expand Medicaid. 

Health insurance coverage rates among women aged 18-64 vary widely across Florida, from a low of 60.7 percent in Glades County to a high of 86.3 percent in St. Johns County. 

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FWFA Resources

The Status of Women in Florida by County: Health & Well-Being

Florida Ranks 35th in the Nation for Women’s Health & Well-Being

New report shows wide disparities by race and ethnicity for chronic health issues such as diabetes and AIDS

A new county-level analysis of the health status of women in Florida, released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in partnership with the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance (FWFA), finds that women in Florida have higher rates of AIDS and diabetes, slightly more days per month of poor mental health, and lower access to health insurance coverage than women in the United States overall. The report recommends policies that could address health disparities for women of color, increase the supply of quality mental healthcare providers, and support those with health issues and their caregivers through paid family and medical leave and paid sick days.

Florida overall received a C- on IWPR’s Health & Well-Being Composite Index—composed of nine health indicators that provide a basis for ranking and grading each state in the nation—but the report finds wide disparities in women’s status by county and by race and ethnicity.

The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings

The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings examines data on women’s employment, earnings and occupations and trends over time, including research and analysis necessary to make data-driven decisions. Released by the Institute for Women's Policy Research in partnership with Florida Philanthropic Network and Florida Women’s Funding Alliance.

In this webcast, Julie Anderson, M.A., Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Women's Policy Research, and members of Florida Women's Funding Alliance discuss: 

  • New data on women's employment and earnings status in Florida
  • Findings on wide disparities in the employment and earnings of women of color
  • Updates on recommendations for policies and programs to reduce barriers and ensure equity in Florida women’s employment and earnings
The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings

Women have made progress over the past several decades; there are, however, significant areas for improvement for women in Florida. Since the publication of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s 2004 report The Status of Women in the States, Florida’s grade for women’s employment and earnings has worsened from a C- to a D+. The Status of Women in Florida by County: Employment & Earnings examines data on women’s employment, earnings and occupations and trends over time, including research and analysis necessary to make data-driven decisions.

Key Findings: Poverty & the Gender Wage Gap

This one-pager highlights key findings in poverty and the gender wage gap from the Status of Women by County: Poverty & Opportunity report commissioned by FPN's Florida Women's Funding Alliance. In Florida, 15.4 percent of women aged 18 and older live in poverty, placing the state among the bottom third in the country.

Key Findings: Business Ownership

This one-pager highlights key findings in business ownership from the Status of Women by County: Poverty & Opportunity report commissioned by FPN's Florida Women's Funding Alliance. Florida is among the states with the largest number of women-owned businesses and the greatest growth in women-owned businesses.

Founding Members

  • Jewish Women's Foundation of the Greater Palm Beaches
  • Lovelight Foundation
  • Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida
  • Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade
  • The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida's Women’s Giving Alliance
  • Community Foundation of Collier County's Women’s Foundation of Collier County
  • Community Foundation Ocala Marion County