Recognizing Women's History Month

March 7, 2022
Martine Singer

Dear CII Family,

Today is International Women’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political contributions women make to society. It’s also a call to action for people around to world to advocate for women’s equality. This year’s theme is #BreaktheBias, imagining a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination against women.

What a great theme for CII, which was created in 1906, before women had the right to vote. Our founder, Minnie Barton, wanted to provide shelter to women who had been disparaged by a society that looked down on single mothers, divorcees, sex workers, and the formerly incarcerated. Minnie’s work was funded by women’s groups who knew that it was up to them to care for those deemed unworthy of societal support.

CII’s support groups, whose members are all women, continue to play a very powerful role. These three loyal and longstanding groups—the Colleagues, Les Amies and The C.H.I.P.S –consist of 250 members who raise very significant funds and volunteer on behalf of our children. In addition, women make up 52 percent of CII’s Board of Trustees, with two-thirds being women of color. Women also represent 88 percent of our staff, 92 percent of whom are women of color.

In 2022, it is undeniable that bias and discrimination continue to play a role in the limited opportunities available to women and minority groups. According to McKinsey, “Women make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of overall job losses [due to the pandemic].” Immigrant women in the US were particularly hard hit during the pandemic, according to USC’s State of Immigrants in Los Angeles 2021 report.

Women disproportionately continue to be the child and elder caregivers in their families, which compromises their ability to work outside the home. As a result, underemployment among women often leads to lower incomes, higher poverty rates, and a reliance on government assistance.

Women overall make 80 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. However, the pay gap is even wider for racial, ethnic and gender minorities, with Black women earning 64 cents, trans women earning 60 cents, and Hispanic women earning just 57 cents for every dollar earned by their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts.

The good news? You.

Supporters of our organization continue to honor the legacy of Minnie Barton and her empathy for women pushed to the margins of society. Our programs offer high quality early education for children from birth to 5 years old; counseling for the intergenerational trauma caused by poverty, prejudice and violence; and pathways to economic stability through material support and employment resources.

Together, we will continue to advocate for women and their families.

With gratitude,

Martine Singer
President & CEO