Lighting a Path: The Fund for Women and Girls Launches the 2022 Blueprint Report

Blueprint crowdAttendees listen to Report findings and testimonials. (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PA — The Fund for Women and Girls launched its highly anticipated 2022 Blueprint Report: Lighting a Path on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville. Published every five years, the Blueprint Report is the first and only comprehensive needs assessment of women and girls in Chester County. This fourth edition of the Report highlights pressing issues facing women and girls at the local, state, and national levels, with a deep dive on conditions in Chester County.

Over 120 community members, grantee partners, and stakeholders gathered to dig into the Report data, understand the challenges facing women and girls today, and start reimagining solutions and collective action steps to address pressing needs in Chester County.

The event kicked off with a welcome from The Fund’s new Executive Director Kim Andrews, followed by remarks from Jennifer Lopez, Chair of the Chester County Women’s Commission, and Marian Moskowitz, Chair of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, who spoke about how the Blueprint Report has for many years informed policy decisions at the county level. Fund Board Member and Lincoln University professor Dr. Chasity Riddick also shared her personal connection to themes in the Blueprint Report as a woman of color who has experienced sexual violence, poverty, homelessness, and other struggles throughout her lifetime.

Next, Dr. Michelle Wade – researcher of the 2022 Blueprint Report and Associate Professor at West Chester University Center for Social and Economic Policy Research – invited attendees to take a deep dive into key data and findings from the Report. In particular, she highlighted the gender wage gap and median earnings of women in Chester County:

READ:  United Way of Chester County Announces Second Annual Golf Outing

“The gender wage gap… is present in every state, in nearly every occupation, at all ages, at all levels of educational background, and across all racial and ethnic groups. [It] is due to a combination of interrelated factors including sexism, racism, gender stereotypes, discrimination, and biases that are part of the workplace… the gender gap is actually worse in Chester County than it is in Pennsylvania or the United States. Women are less likely to be employed in management positions, which is how vertical segregation contributes to the gender wage gap.”

To bring context and lived experience to the data discussed in the Report, Fund Board Member and founder of Black Women of Chester County in Action (BWCCA) Cheryl Miles spoke about how The Fund’s 2016 Report spurred her to act on behalf of Black women in Chester County:

“The Blueprint Report illuminates the good, the bad and the ugly of women and girls’ status in Chester County. It takes a community to cares for its members. Chester County, rich in resources and wealth, has the responsibility and ability to work together with all public and government sectors in our community to ensure the wellbeing of our women and girls. It is my hope that everyone who hears the Blueprint Report will be moved to action to find an areas of interest to support, promote, or advocate for change.”

County Commissioner Michelle Kichline also shared with the crowd how previous Blueprint Reports helped inform the Chester County Women’s Commission in its #ChescoKnows initiative, a project focused on combatting workplace sexual harassment throughout Chester County.

READ:  Chester County Hospital's OBGYN Clinic Partners with Chester County Food Bank

Finally, The Fund’s Executive Director Kim Andrews encouraged attendees to take action in their own spheres of influence, from bringing the Report information back to their own family members, friends, and communities, to crafting or advocating for local and statewide policies addressing the disparities uncovered through the 2022 Blueprint Report:

“The Fund will work with all of you in boldness, connectivity, and creativity to use this Blueprint to light a path to a future where women and girls have equality and security and together we will make our communities stronger and more vibrant for everyone. Thank you so much for coming this evening. Let’s go make some change out there.”

Click here to read the 2022 Blueprint Report: Lighting a Path and one-pagers that cover particular Report topics; to sign up for a presentation at your place of business, organization, faith community, or club; or to sign up to be trained as a Blueprint Ambassador. Visit The Fund’s YouTube channel to watch the 2022 Blueprint Report video.

Support for this event was provided by Black Women of Chester County in Action, Chester County Women’s Commission, and West Chester University.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.

Thanks for visiting! Looking for some Chester County pride? We got you covered! Shop our MyChesCo store and show your love for Chester County, Pennsylvania. We got shirts, hats, and more – all with a unique ChesCo flair. Plus, proceeds from each purchase helps support our mission of bringing reliable information and resources to the people of Chester County.