March 25, 2024

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Empowering Through FCI’s Impact

Announcement

Celebrating Women’s History Month: Empowering Through FCI’s Impact

The beginning of  Women’s History Month is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of empowering women in Wisconsin and beyond. FCI’s dedication to community development, social equity, and economic empowerment aligns with the spirit of Women’s History Month, symbolizing progress in the journey towards gender equality.

Women’s History Month originated from a local celebration in Santa Rosa, California. The Education Task Force of the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women organized the first Women’s History Week in 1978. This movement gained national recognition, receiving a presidential proclamation from President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Congressional designation as Women’s History Month in 1987.

Women like Catherine Bauer (1905-1964) played a pivotal role in shaping American housing policy. Bauer was the primary author of the Housing Act of 1937 (also known as the Wagner-Steagall Act), landmark legislation that established the first federal program for subsidized housing for low-income families.

According to recent data

  • 62% of all realtors are female.
  • 61.9% of property managers are female.
  • Only 9.9% of professionals in the construction industry are female.
  • 24% of architects are female.
  • A significant majority – 83.9% – of interior designers are female.
  • 19% of single homebuyers are female.

FCI’s commitment to social justice and racial equity intersects with its efforts to uplift women, particularly those from marginalized communities. By addressing systemic barriers and amplifying the voices of women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and women with disabilities, FCI contributes to a more inclusive and equitable society where all women can thrive.

However, we still have work to do, specifically in the field of mortgage lending. According to a 2023 study by mortgage startup Own Up, women pay more for their mortgages in 49 of the 50 U.S. states, excluding Alaska. Although FCI does not provide mortgage lending, we support organizations throughout Wisconsin by providing lending opportunities and grants for potential projects that seek to decrease the gender gap in homeownership.

As we navigate the present and strive for a more equitable future, let’s draw inspiration from the women who paved the way. Together, with organizations like FCI leading the charge, we can create a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

 

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Read more about how to become an FCI borrower and how we work to direct our funds so as to help eradicate socioeconomic and racial inequities across the state.
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