FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 31, 2017

CONTACT:

Jen Euell, Program Director, Women’s Foundation of Montana (406) 461-7695, jeneuell@mtcf.org

Women’s Foundation Announces New Grant Opportunities to Close the Gender Wage Gap

Nonprofits working on women’s entrepreneurship, financial education

and STEAM Programs for girls encouraged to apply

HELENA, MONT. — The Women’s Foundation of Montana (WFM), a project of the Montana Community Foundation, announced they will invest more than $50,000 in projects that work to close the gender wage gap for Montana women in the next year.

“We mark Equal Pay Day on April 4, the day of the year on which women will finally make as much as men made last year,” said Women’s Foundation Program Director, Jen Euell. “We are disappointed at the slow pace of progress toward equity, but galvanized in our commitment to invest our funds strategically to shorten the timeline to parity.”

The new grant funding will focus on best practices that give girls the tools to be financially successful, and programs that improve women’s economic security. Funds will be awarded by the foundation’s board of advisors to nonprofit organizations that work to directly grow economic independence for Montana women and girls through advocacy and programs such as job training, financial education, leadership and entrepreneurship programs, wage negotiation training and innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming for girls. Preference is given to programs that show innovation, collaboration, and tangible, measurable results.

Current grantee, the GRIT (Girls Representing In Trades) Program of the YWCA Missoula used their grant over the last year to launch a new program that introduces girls to traditionally male-dominated high-income jobs such as welding and mechanics. GRIT Program Manager, Roe Erin said, “This program is about girls getting their hands dirty, feeling confident, and recognizing that they have more options.”

Letters of Intent will be accepted through April 30, 2017. Application materials will be available beginning April 1 at www.wfmontana.org.

The end result of the WFM grants statewide will be new opportunities for hundreds of Montana women and girls in financial education, leadership, entrepreneurship, wage-negotiation training and STEAM programming, and measurable progress toward pay equity for Montana women.

About the Women’s Foundation of Montana

Established in 1999, the Women’s Foundation of Montana is a component fund of the Montana Community Foundation working to grow the economic security of women and create a brighter future for girls in Montana. With a permanent endowment of more than $1 million, the foundation has awarded more than $750,000 to organizations improving the lives of women and girls in Montana. Find us at www.wfmontana.org and on Facebook. Learn more about the Montana Community Foundation at www.mtcf.org.

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