Women’s Foundation

Policy Areas

The Women’s Foundation funds the study through private donations.

About the Project

The Women’s Foundation is partnering with IPP as they expand their geographical reach across Missouri. The Foundation aims to increase its public policy outreach by undertaking a baseline study of the status of women in Missouri. The baseline study will center around six dimensions of women’s lives – age, diversity, earnings, education, marital status, and poverty. The Foundation’s previous work examined the state of women in the Greater Kansas City Area and determined that many barriers to success exist for women. For example, there are notable disadvantages for female-headed households compared to other households:

The poverty rate for female-headed households with children is 37.1 percent while male-headed households with children is just 10.4 percent.  Of all the SNAP households in the Greater Kansas City Area, 56 percent are female-headed households while 34 percent are married couples and nine percent are male-headed households.

Women age 65 years and older are more likely than men of the same age to be in poverty.  Because female-headed households typically have only one primary wage earner, these households often face more challenges meeting basic needs and organizing childcare. This disadvantage is compounded when one examines wages for not only females in the Kansas City region, but across the country. The median income for males in the Kansas City region is 1.4 times higher than females (approximately $42,072 versus $30,366). Nationally, on average, full-time working women earn $0.77 cents for every $1 a male earns. This wage gap persists, regardless of education or occupation, and unfortunately contributes to gender disparity.

To learn more about these and other issues facing women in the Greater Kansas City and across the State, IPP will conduct a baseline study to create an informed report for the Women’s Foundation. Four approaches will be used. First, IPP will convene a five-member faculty committee from the University of Missouri who will provide contextual expertise to guide the research. Academic areas of expertise include: Women in the labor market, Low-income households and material hardship, Women’s retirement and aging issues, Women’s health, and Women in politics. Second, IPP will use existing reports at the national and state-level as baselines for the research. Third, IPP will partner with the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems (CARES) to utilize the Community Commons platform for data collection, analysis, visualization, and reporting for the project. Finally, IPP, along with the Women’s Foundation and Sounding House Marketing Firm, will conduct stakeholder convenings through the state of Missouri. The results of the convening will inform the interpretation of the data and frame the issues in a way which account for the regional diversity of women in the state.

The end result will be a well-informed Status of Women in Missouri Report which has the ability to be routinely updated on the Community Commons platform. The report and its data visualization capabilities will empower the Women’s Foundation to increase their public policy outreach and to advocate for women’s issues at the state-level.

Data cited here is from the Women’s Foundation report titled Her Reality and uses information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2010.

Photo courtesy of the Association for Women in Science

Final Report: Status of Women in MO

Published On
August 2017

Emily Johnson