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September 21, 2009

Options and Opportunities

by Abigail Coleman

My grandmother graduated in 1949 with a Chemistry degree (pictured is the two of us in recent years). Her five hard-working daughters became a teacher, nurses, doctor, and a graphic designer/business owner. From a young age, my closest friends were education-focused, and they are now working in a variety of career fields. You might imagine one of the most important values to me is education, and I am fortunate this was modeled by many strong women in my life.

Still on Shaky Ground, Women’s Fund’s 2006 research document, shows, with equivalent education:

* The salary of a male high school graduate is 78% more than a female’s, and

* The salary of a male with a Bachelor's degree is 64% more than a female's.

This highlights clear economic disadvantages for women regardless of the education they have received, and, barriers to women achieving economic self-sufficiency without depending on the goodwill of others.

Concord Neighborhood Center is one of the many organizations Women’s Fund has funded in the area of insufficient income. Serving over 1,000 low-income women on the near south side of Indianapolis, Concord provides wide-ranging services, including affordable childcare, youth development, basic needs assistance (including GED classes), job coaching, and case management for senior women. Their services help women of all ages be economically self-sufficient and build a foundation for them, their families, and their neighborhood to achieve long-term success.

As a woman who has had many options and opportunities through education, I am proud Women’s Fund supports Concord and their efforts to help many women also have options and opportunities!

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