With Alabama facing a critically low labor force participation rate, coupled with a startling 80,000 women missing from the workforce, the Watershed Campaign seeks to unlock women’s economic opportunity and unleash the full potential of the state’s workforce – a move that could increase Alabama’s economy by $12 billion with total employment rising by almost 33,000.
Alabama’s prosperity of tomorrow depends on removing the barriers that hold women back from fully participating in the economy today, where women can make the most of their skills, talents, and hard work, and the state can fully benefit from their important role. Women’s Foundation of Alabama is calling on state leaders and the community to join this unprecedented push for removing these barriers, closing these gaps, and ensuring women can fully participate in the economy for the betterment of our entire state.
The Watershed Campaign’s goal of introducing 10,000 women into the workforce and on the path to economic mobility by 2027 is necessarily aggressive. Women’s Foundation of Alabama’s unique strategy relies on transformative grantmaking, eye-opening research, and strategic advocacy fluidly working in conjunction with government, philanthropy, and community leaders.
The future of Alabama’s economic growth hinges on a groundbreaking initiative of the Watershed Campaign – The Essential Plan. This comprehensive advocacy strategy aims to permanently change the economic game for women through data-driven policy reforms and grassroots community building because women are essential to our state’s success. Central to this plan is an unprecedented call on state leaders to invest $250 million over the next four years to enhance women’s economic outlook, access to opportunities, and retention in quality jobs.
By advancing and investing in women-led solutions and pushing for sweeping policy change through the Essential Plan, the Alabama Legislature has the opportunity to not only clear the path for 10,000 women to enter the workforce but to create sustainable economic conditions for every Alabama woman to thrive.
Until the policy priorities are realized, we will align our grantmaking with these efforts and broaden our portfolio of catalytic initiatives, collaboratives, and targeted grants that streamline the ability of women to reach their full potential and contribute to a growing economy. Through this campaign, the foundation seeks to triple our investments to community organizations and projects across the state addressing crippling economic barriers like child care, healthcare, and paid leave. This new capital will strengthen and increase funding to key partners including community colleges and other training providers uniquely positioned to place and accelerate Alabama women into quality jobs.
With continued support from the philanthropic community, elected officials, volunteers, and donors, Women’s Foundation of Alabama has tested and scaled our findings and impact across the entire state. The learnings from nearly three decades of work in this space are now ready for further expansion. The Watershed Campaign represents a turning point for women and Alabama’s economy.
This is a watershed moment. We need your help.