Funding and shaping change for women.

The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham is committed to achieving gender equity through core strategies: philanthropy, research, and advocacy.

  • Philanthropy: We target our grantmaking to create pathways to economic opportunity.
  • Research: We research the status of women and elevate solutions to address key barriers.
  • Advocacy: We advocate for public policy solutions to create gender equity.

Fueled by generous individuals and community partners, The Women’s Fund invested $626,264 in 2019 to create pathways to economic opportunity, identify data-informed solutions, and shape policies to remove systemic barriers—all for women. And by strengthening women, we strengthen all Alabama families and communities.

Scroll through the images below to see highlights from the impact of this investment and read our 2019 Annual Report to learn more about what your support helped us accomplish.

2019 Annual Report

Philanthropy in Action

Birmingham-area nonprofits co-locate, collaborate to better serve women and families

In August 2019, spurred by funding from The Women’s Fund, three Jefferson County nonprofits formally combined workforce development, access to safe housing, mentoring, child care assistance, and more all under one roof. East Lake Initiative, Hope Inspired Ministries, and Serving You continued their longtime partnership as Thrive Together Jefferson County at their new colocation with the goal of integrating and streamlining services to create a clear path to success for women and low-income families and disrupt the cycle of generational poverty.

“We knew there had to be a better way to impact families—a way to work smarter,” says Pam Bates, Executive Director of East Lake Initiative. “The Women’s Fund’s investment and supports gave us that opportunity. Being under one roof— and next to a bus stop—has made a huge difference for our families, which is what is most important. Imagine being a mom in need of services. You’re already struggling, and now you have to think about finding and paying for extra hours of child care and how many buses it will take to travel to a handful of different locations. That was the old way. Now when a mom arrives at Thrive Together, she just walks through one door, fills out one form, and speaks with one person who will connect her to everything she needs. We even have an area where her kids can play.”

Thrive Together Jefferson County is one of three Thrive Together collaboratives resulting from The Women’s Fund’s strategy-based two-generation funding model. Learn more.

Prescription for Success: Meet JeVonne

Research in Action

Convening community to catalyze change

After the formal release of the report, our Clearing the Path community event continued prior years’ conversations about women and the workforce by adding the voices of state leaders and building on our efforts to create scalable solutions that benefit all women.

The event centered on innovative ways Alabama is already addressing gender inclusivity in workforce development and the robust opportunities to build a more sustainable workforce. Featured speakers included cabinet members from Governor Kay Ivey’s administration, elected officials from across the state, and private sector leaders.

Driven by the report’s key findings, The Women’s Fund issued a clear and viable call to action for broader understanding of how Alabama’s workforce development system is working for women. By ensuring that women are a fundamental part of the state’s formal economy, The Women’s Fund reaffirms our commitment to building an Alabama where all women can reach their full potential. Learn more.

Clearing the path for women in Alabama's workforce

Advocacy in Action

Closing the gender wage gap

On June 11, 2019 Governor Kay Ivey signed into law the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act, a decisive victory for all women across the state.

Sponsored by Representative Adline Clarke (D-Mobile) and carried in the Senate by Senator Vivian Figures (D-Mobile), the Equal Pay Act prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than those paid to employees of another sex or race for equal work. Additionally, the law prohibits employers from retaliating against a job applicant for not providing their salary history and allows for a private right of action at the state level.

This was a necessary first step towards achieving pay equity for Alabama women who, on average, only earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man—the 8th worst pay gap in the U.S.

While the passage of the Equal Pay Act was a bold step for women and will certainly have tangible outcomes, the Alabama legislature’s acknowledgement of the existence of the gender wage gap is also an equally important win for the hundreds of advocates who spent years working tirelessly for fair pay. Learn more.

Women: Alabama's Greatest Resource

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