KSHB 41: Study finds Missouri falling behind in accredited early childhood education

A study by the Women’s Foundation and the University of Missouri shows that 27 percent of counties in the state have no accredited child care centers. The women surveyed said their biggest complaints were a lack of quality and accessibility.


KCPT: Luncheon honoring Madeleine Albright delves into status of Missouri women

The full study, which will be released in January, will inform the foundation’s plan to improve the status of women in the state.

“Understanding the unique challenges faced by women is the first step toward addressing these problems with real, actionable solutions,” said Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation.

“The Women’s Foundation will be using the results of this project to work towards policy solutions that help raise up women and their families,” she continued.

KSMU: Springfield Part of Statewide Study Identifying Issues for Missouri’s Women

Wendy Doyle is the president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation.

“What we’ve learned from Springfield clearly—number one—regardless of income level was child care.  Child care continues to be an issue from accessibility for low income to quality on the mid to upper income,” says Doyle.

Columbia Daily Tribune: Partnership releases preliminary results of women's issue study

The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy started a partnership this spring with the goal of creating a political and philanthropic platform to address the needs of Missouri women based on research that identifies those needs. Some of the preliminary results were unveiled Friday during the Women’s Foundation annual luncheon in Kansas City.

Initial findings from research on status of Missouri women indicate areas for solutions

Findings Highlight Areas of Gender Inequity, Other Issues Holding Back Missouri Women and Their Families 

Kansas city, MO – Today the Women’s Foundation previewed findings from a statewide research project which show there is much work to be done to improve the lives of Missouri’s women and their families.  The extensive project has included focus groups, a research study conducted by academic experts from the University of Missouri, and will include an interactive database.

Partnership compiles data on Missouri women for public policy project

By ASHLEY JOST, Columbia Daily Tribune

A University of Missouri institute and the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City are partnering on a project that eventually will lead to a political platform addressing the needs of Missouri women.

Wendy Doyle, president and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, said her group in July partnered with MU’s Institute of Public Policy “to commission a research study on the status of women in Missouri.”

The two organizations are working together to understand what struggles women face on a range of issues from health care to child care, and then they plan to use that information to create a policy platform to address those issues with the Missouri General Assembly.

Doyle said her foundation wants to do more research and use the results to guide other parts of its work, including public-policy efforts.


MU partners with Women’s Foundation to research status of women in Missouri

Studying the status of women involves more than the ladies of Missouri, it impacts her children, entire family and her community.

By Anna Sutterer


MU researchers recently started a partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City to investigate the status of women in Missouri.

The goal of the research is to collect data from counties and communities across the state and provide a website with information to help develop policies that improve the lives of Missouri women and families.

“A woman’s abilities and needs change throughout her life cycle,” said Jacqueline Schumacher, policy analyst at the Truman School of Public Policy. “Understanding this dynamic creates an opportunity to develop effective policies which are informed by sound data and research. I like to call this process ‘examining data with a soul’ because it can create an effective narrative, which can inform policy initiatives.”

The foundation had already begun the inquiry and conducted focus groups around the state in July, but recently decided to commission MU’s Institute of Public Policy to take advantage of its academic resources and support.

Schumacher and IPP Director Brian Dabson led a team of graduate students in the institute to gather the data. Five faculty advisors from various MU colleges were also chosen to help narrow the foundation’s broad goal and find key indicators of the status of women across the state.

So far, Schumacher said, the research is counting employment and income, education and childcare, social and economics, health and leadership and public engagement as five key areas to be considered.

Schumacher said as the data continues to develop, varying by community, the foundation plans to act toward changes.

The researchers hope to use the data to craft an easy-to-access online portal under the direction of the Center for Applied Research and Environmental Systems on MU’s campus. The site would provide real-time information accessible to individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations for their use.

Schumacher said the Women’s Foundation is also known for its “action items,” a variety of policies and initiatives that help develop communities. She said an example of an action item might be seeking a federal grant for skill training connected to a specific growth goal feasible for a particular county or area.

According to an MU news release, action items for this research will be identified and publicly released on Dec. 5 in Kansas City.

Although the plan of action for the partnership remain somewhat ambiguous, the researchers regard this system as innovative and useful.

“It is exciting to be a part of a project that may lead to measurable impacts on the lives of Missouri women,” said Joan Hermsen, associate professor and chairwoman of women’s and gender studies and a faculty contributor to the research. “The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City is innovative and forward-looking.”

Studying women’s status is not new. In fact, this research project draws from several national and statewide studies, including a study in 2011 called the “Missouri Women’s Report”.

Hermsen said the platform of this partnership is unique in its accessibility and movement.

“I am a strong believer that when we improve the lives of women, we also improve the circumstances of families and communities,” she said. “If we want stronger families and stronger communities, we can start by caring about the circumstances that women face and in the strategies we can take to reduce gender inequalities.”

Women’s Foundation President Wendy Doyle said the cooperation between the foundation and MU toward the best possible policies is exceptional.

“The Women’s Foundation really values the partnership with the University of Missouri,” she said. “We look forward to continuing the relationship past the completion of this study.”

KBIA: New partnership focuses on Missouri women

Excerpt of story by Hope Kirwan:

In partnership with the Institute of Public Policy at MU, the Women’s Foundation of Kansas City is collecting information about Missouri women for a public database, including things like income and employment, education, childcare and health.  I spoke with Wendy Doyle, President and CEO of the Women’s Foundation, about how the project could have an impact on women’s issues in Missouri…


How did you identify issues important to Missouri women?

We first began to gather information to help us really narrow the research study by hosting listening posts around the state of Missouri and we profiled low-income women, as well as mid- to upper-income women to really hear firsthand what the issues are that women are challenged with.

Read and listen to the whole piece here: