WEST HARTFORD, CT -- Today the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation in Greater Hartford will convene the region’s leading voices for women and girls to discuss its most recent findings related to economic security and education through a gender lens from 8:30 a.m. to noon at the University of St. Joseph, Bruyette Atheneum, 2nd Floor. Women and girls champions from the education, private and non-profit sector will attend the event.
“In this ‘Year of the Woman,’ the occasion to highlight advancements and continued challenges for women and girls in Hartford County is critically important,” said Jennifer Steadman, Ph.D., Executive Director for the Aurora Foundation. “We know that closing the gender wage gap would cut poverty in half for working women and families. With single female headed households in the region struggling with lower incomes and the ability to complete college, we recognize that there is a great deal of work to do. Aurora is committed to leading that charge.”
As the state’s only stand-alone women and girls fund, Aurora will highlight details that more than 55,000 women and girls from Hartford County live at or below the poverty line and the median earnings for single female-headed households in the region hover at $39,000. Given that the living wage calculation for Hartford County for a single adult with two children is $70.079, Aurora leaders plan to talk through policies and activities to make these circumstances better. The wage gap still exists as a critical challenge with white women continuing to earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a white man in Hartford County. That number drops significantly for women of color with black women earning 58 cents and Latina women earning 49 cents. This challenge, coupled with the fact that Connecticut is one of 33 states where average childcare costs are more than in-state college tuition, offers families impediments than can and should be addressed.
“As the region’s thought leader for women and girls in greater Hartford, Aurora is deeply concerned about the notable deficits that continue to confront females in the area around lower incomes, educational attainment, childcare and parental leave,” said Karen Jarmoc, chair of the Aurora Foundation. “It is enormously important to talk about these facts and understand what more can we collectively learn in order to foster tangible change.”
Snapshots highlight that learning proficiency and pre-school enrollment are also key challenges for women and girls in the region, according to Aurora’s data Snapshots which will be released at the event. Only 68% of Hartford students attended preschool compared with 83% across Connecticut recently. Hartford students struggle to meet reading and math proficiency with only 16% of students in Grades 3 to 8 meeting or exceeding state standards in math and 22% in English.
Participants at the forum with discuss the data and determine what other information is needed to improve outcomes for women and girls in Greater Harford.
The Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, formed in 2000, is the only foundation exclusively focused on the needs of women and girls in Greater Hartford. Aurora conducts research, implements targeted grant making, educates and engages women and men in the power of philanthropy and convenes the community around gender issues all to promote understanding, collaboration and effective solutions addressing key issues that significantly impact women and girls in the Greater Hartford region. To date, the Aurora Foundation has granted a total of $650,000 impacting more than 4,200 women and girls in the area.
Aurora Women and Girls Foundation