ADVANCING POLICY TO DRIVE CHANGE AND BUILD WEALTH EQUITY
While women make up nearly half of Ohio’s labor force, often serve as breadwinners within their families, and earn greater rates of educational attainment, they continue to face obstacles that hold them back from their full economic potential. It is imperative that we address systemic and structural barriers to wealth building to close the gender and racial wealth gap which remains a harsh reality for women – especially women of color.
Women across the country continue to experience a wage gap and a higher risk of poverty than men. For full-time, year-round workers the median wage gap is 76% for women in Ohio on average, compared to 80% nationally. This wage gap is larger for women of color in Ohio where for black women it is 65.9% and for Latinas it is 61.9%.
The wealth gap for single women is much higher than the wage gap alone: women on average own 40 cents on the dollar as compared to white men, with Latinas owning 8 cents to the dollar and Black women owning only 2 cents to the dollar.
Crafting and advancing policies that match the realities of working women and families is long overdue. Closing the gender and racial wealth gap is possible. There are many legislative fixes that lawmakers can enact to promote gender and racial equity and strengthen existing laws.
On October 9, 2019, U.S. Representative Joyce Beatty and a coalition of local, state and national groups hosted a legislative briefing on policy solutions to the close the gender and racial wealth gap for the Ohio’s lawmakers and statehouse policy staff. Attendees learned more about the findings of The Women’s Fund’s 2019 Assets for Equity: Building Wealth for Women in Central Ohio research report and heard from a panel of experts who discussed the policy solutions to address wealth inequality.
Coalition partners included: AFCPE, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, NAWBO Columbus. National Coalition of 100 Black Women – Central Ohio Chapter, The Ohio Women’s Public Policy Network, Policy Matters Ohio, PL+US, United Way of Central Ohio, WELD Columbus, The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, The Women’s Place – The Ohio State University, YWCA Columbus, and Ohio Council of YWCAs