In her keynote address at the Women + Girls Research Alliance’s 2014 Summit on April 11, former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe urged women to band together to create policy change that improves the lives of women.
To do so, said Snowe, a Republican from Maine, will require focusing on the facts and electing officials willing to reach out beyond political party lines.
The summit, titled “Convergence: Mapping Success, Well-Being + Empowerment,” drew more than 400 women to UNC Charlotte’s student union, where the Women + Girls organization presented current research on issues for women and girls in Mecklenburg County.
Every two years, the alliance underwrites grants to UNCC faculty for research that concerns the economic and social well-being of women and girls in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. The research – focused on education, employment and economic change; civic and political engagement; poverty and income security; health and safety; and work and family – is presented at the biannual summit.
Suzanne Leland, professor and director of public administration at UNCC, opened by discussing improvements women had made since last year’s summit. She said more women had graduated with bachelor’s degrees and that more were holding management positions.
Leland also said women had narrowed the gender wage gap by 1 percent since 2005. Women still lag far behind in median income, however, which is $51,068 per year for men and $38,823 for women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Current research and topics concerning success, well-being and empowerment of women and girls were presented in 25 small groups. Five of the sessions delved into research funded by UNCC in cooperation with the alliance. Among the data findings in those areas:Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship: Domestic Violence and the Workplace: Homelessness and Rapid Re-Housing:
To view the full reports from this year’s summit, visit http://bit.ly/1hSuTM1.
For more information about the Women + Girls Research Alliance, visit http://womengirlsalliance.uncc.edu.