United WE Launches Missouri Women’s Economic Development Task Force to Boost Economy, Unlock Missouri Women’s Economic Potential

First women-led task force of its kind includes statewide civic and business leaders and will study barriers to women’s economic participation in MO; make policy recommendations to elected officials

KANSAS CITY, MO – June 21, 2021 – Today, United Women’s Empowerment (United WE), formerly Women’s Foundation, is launching  a new Women’s Economic Development Task Force to study issues related to women’s participation and advancement in the workforce and make policy recommendations to improve women’s economic wellbeing in Missouri. 

The McKinsey Global Institute found that Missouri could grow its economy by 10-15% by 2025 if women’s participation in the workforce increased. Areas of focus for the task force are expected to include access to healthcare, paid family and medical leave, workforce policies, gender pay equity, and affordable, high quality childcare, among others. 

“The strength of Missouri’s economy and democracy depends upon women’s full participation,” said Wendy Doyle, United WE President & CEO. “Too many women with the passion, talent and skills to lead remain on the sidelines because they face unnecessary obstacles such as occupational licensing, limited family leave, entrepreneurship restrictions and childcare. We aim to change that.”

The task force includes 19 civic and business leaders and elected officials from across the state:

  • Alexis Bundy, Cox Health
  • Lt. Colonel Tara Bradley, University of Missouri, Army ROTC
  • Kim Wallace Carlson, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
  • Carolyn Chrisman, Kirksville Regional Economic Development, Inc.
  • Susan Coatar, Centene Corporation
  • Kellie Ann Coats, Missouri Women’s Council
  • Kara Corches, Missouri Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Lupita Fabregas, University of Missouri Extension & 4-H
  • Cora Faith Walker, Office of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page
  • Sarah Hough, Bass Pro
  • Alice Mangan, Small Business Owner, Veteran & Registered Nurse
  • Zora Mulligan, Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
  • Rosie Privitera Biondo, Mark One Electric
  • Malorie Raulerson, Attorney
  • Ally Siegler, Missouri Foundation for Health
  • Katie Steele Danner, Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation
  • Mayor Carrie Tergin, Mayor of Jefferson City
  • State Senator Barbara Washington (District 9)
  • Kathy Wunderlich, Hawthorn Foundation

The task force launched mid-June with a virtual meeting which will be followed by seven town hall discussions from July to October 2021. During these meetings, the task force will collect qualitative data from Missouri women firsthand. 

The task force will also draw on existing research commissioned by United WE, including the Status of Women in Missouri and The Coronavirus Impact on Missouri Women reports. Their work will culminate in a series of policy recommendations for state leaders and lawmakers at the end of 2021. 

To learn more about United WE and The Economic Task Force, visit united-we.org