Women Thriving. Colorado Rising.

Research Pinpoints the Most Effective Solutions

Once We Have Our Answers, We Do Something About It

Research pinpoints the most effective solutions for creating long-term change. Not only does our WAGES research guide WFCO’s public policy priorities and grantmaking strategies, we share it to inform the strategies of communities working to create change alongside us – policymakers, nonprofits, businesses, coalitions, and more.

Recent research reports from WFCO and our partners have focused on gender equity in STEM industries, the impact of an increased minimum wage on Colorado women, and the affordability of child care in Colorado.

Once we have the answers, we take action through public policy advocacy, grantmaking, convenings, communications, and more.

 

Recent Research (2018 - Present) 

 

The Cost of Failing to Invest in Women 2020 - The Women's Foundation of ColoradoThe Cost if Failing to Invest in Women 2020: research thumbnail

This 2020 report aims to develop an initial understanding of the economic security of women in Colorado—what economic security means, why it is significant, what are the barriers deterring its achievement, and how to promote it. The objectives of this research study are to create a better understanding of women’s economic realities in Colorado—backed by relevant literature and current data—and to develop a research framework to answer questions in regard to women’s economic security.

 

The Future of Work: Education & Workforce Gaps Affecting Colorado Women - The Bell Policy CenterThe Future of Work: Education & Workforce Gaps Affecting Colorado Women

Women are critical to the future of work and the stability and growth of Colorado’s economy. In 2018, the Bell Policy Center looked at the changing world of work from a gender lens, including trends in automation and emerging technology, the growth in alternative work arrangements, and changing education and training needs. This brief builds on that work by taking a closer look at two aspects of Colorado’s learning and work environment for women: Attainment in two- and four-year degree programs and growth in women-dominated professions.

 
Self-Sufficiency Standard 2018Colorado Center on Law & Policy (CCLP)2018 Self-Sufficiency Standard

Understanding the TRUE costs of living in Colorado for diverse family formation is critical to our work. With the support of The Women's Foundation of Colorado, WAGES grantee Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) released the sixth edition of the Self-Sufficiency Standard and accompanying reports Overlook and Undercounted and Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Colorado, funded by The M&I Charitable Giving Fund, a donor-advised fund held at WFCO.

 

Overlooked & Undercounted 2018: Struggling to Make Ends Meet -  (CCLP)Overlooked & Undercounted 2018 Report

Understanding the TRUE costs of living in Colorado for diverse family formation is critical to our work. With the support of The Women's Foundation of Colorado, WAGES grantee Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) released the sixth edition of the Self-Sufficiency Standard and accompanying reports Overlook and Undercounted and Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Colorado, funded by The M&I Charitable Giving Fund, a donor-advised fund held at WFCO.

 

Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Colorado - Colorado Center on Law & Policy (CCLP)Economic Security Pathways in Colorado report

Understanding the TRUE costs of living in Colorado for diverse family formation is critical to our work. With the support of The Women's Foundation of Colorado, WAGES grantee Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP) released the sixth edition of the Self-Sufficiency Standard and accompanying reports Overlook and Undercounted and Exploring Economic Security Pathways in Colorado, funded by The M&I Charitable Giving Fund, a donor-advised fund held at WFCO.

 

The Future of Work: Implications for CO Women - The Bell Policy CenterThe Future of Work: Implications for Colorado Women

Colorado’s economy and Colorado families depend on working women. The future of work will depend on them, too, yet Colorado women cannot always depend on our current workplace policies, regulations, politics, and societal norms.

 

 

The Economic Status of Women in Colorado 2018 - Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR)Economic Status of Women in Colorado 2018

In March 2018, WFCO sponsored the release of “The Economic Status of Women in Colorado” fact sheet, researched and written by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). The report shows some signs of economic progress for women in Colorado, but unfortunately, substantial disparities remained or even worsened since IWPR’s research in 2015.

 

 

Earlier Research (2013-2018)    

 
This Is What STEM Looks Like! - The Women's Foundation of ColoradoThis Is What STEM Looks Like! Cover

The Women's Foundation of Colorado created This Is What STEM Looks Like! to introduce parents, caregivers, and educators to the many opportunities that STEM can provide for girls and women. In this guide, you’ll find resources to help girls explore those opportunities and tools to inspire, motivate, and prepare young women to thrive in STEM careers.

 

 

Gender Equity in STEMThe Women's Foundation of ColoradoGender Equity in Colorado's STEM Industries Cover

Research over the past decade has demonstrated consistently that companies that hire and retain a more inclusive workforce benefit in many ways, including improved operational and financial performance and increased innovation. Yet, while women make up 46 percent of the total Colorado workforce, they comprise less than a third of STEM workers. And, not only do women enter STEM less often than men, they leave STEM careers more often.

 

The Impact Of a $12.00 Minimum Wage on Women in ColoradoUniversity of Denver & WFCOThe Impact of a $12.00 Minimum Wage on Colorado Women Cover

The report examines how increases to the minimum wage impact earnings, poverty, and gender and racial equality. This research also investigates the potential impact on child care affordability and families’ eligibility for public support programs and highlights policy considerations for Colorado lawmakers on how to best support Colorado women and families in achieving economic self-sufficiency.

 

Leading Colorado’s Early Care And Education WorkforceQualistar ColoradoLeading Colorado's Early Care and Education Workforce Cover

Leading Colorado's Child Care and Education Workforce, executed by Qualistar Colorado with support from The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, identifies primary characteristics of professionals who lead early care and education centers and preschools. Included with research results are recommendations that aim to support leaders as they manage change and lead improvements to the quality, access, and affordability of their critical services for families, young children, and their communities.

 

The Economic Status of Women in Colorado 2015 - Institute for Women's Policy ResearchEconomic Status of Women in Colorado 2018

Women in Colorado, as in the nation overall, have made substantial progress toward economic equality over the last several decades, but still lag behind men in important ways. Women earn less than their male counterparts, are more likely to live in poverty, and are less likely to own businesses. Even in areas where women’s status has advanced, there is room for improvement. 

 

The Status of Women in the States 2015Institute for Women's Policy ResearchStatus of Women in the States 2015 Report

The Women’s Foundation of Colorado sponsored the the 2015 release of The Status of Women in the States research report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR).The report presents hundreds of data points for each state across seven areas that affect women’s lives: employment and earnings; political participation; poverty and opportunity; reproductive rights; health and well-being; work and family; and violence and safety. Read the full report.

 

Self-Sufficiency Standard 2015Colorado Center on Law and PolicyThe Self-Sufficiency Standard 2015

The Women's Foundation of Colorado sponsored The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado 2015 and Overlooked & Undercounted 2015: Struggling to Make Ends Meet prepared by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which defines the income needed to realistically support a family, without public or private assistance. For most workers throughout Colorado the Self-Sufficiency Standard shows that earnings well above the official Federal Poverty Level are still far below what is needed to meet families' basic needs.

 

Overlooked and Undercounted 2015: Struggling to Make Ends MeetColorado Center on Law and PolicyOverlooked & Undercounted Report

The Women's Foundation of Colorado sponsored The Self-Sufficiency Standard for Colorado 2015 and Overlooked & Undercounted 2015: Struggling to Make Ends Meet prepared by the Colorado Center on Law and Policy, which defines the income needed to realistically support a family, without public or private assistance. For most workers throughout Colorado the Self-Sufficiency Standard shows that earnings well above the official Federal Poverty Level are still far below what is needed to meet families' basic needs.

  

Child Care Affordability 2014Qualistar Colorado & Colorado Children’s CampaignChild Care Affordability in Colorado Report

In 2013, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado produced a comprehensive research report titled The Status of Women & Girls in Colorado. Throughout the research phase for that report, many questions and concerns about child care access and affordability were raised. In particular, single mothers were found to be struggling with the price of child care. As a direct result, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado provided a grant to Qualistar Colorado, in partnership with the Colorado Children's Campaign to investigate and address the barriers to affordable child care. 

 

The Status of Women & Girls 2013Institute for Women's Policy ResearchStatus of Women & Girls in 2013 Report

This research informs our work finding innovative and meaningful ways to advance women in all facets of life across our state. In preparation for this project, we conducted a listening tour and worked with research organizations throughout the state of Colorado to assess the extent to which current research initiatives were using a gender lens and covering key issue areas of concern to Colorado’s women and girls.

 

 

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