The Status of Women in New Hampshire

The New Hampshire Women’s Foundation has just published a new report on the Status of Women in New Hampshire.  Their report covers a wide range of data regarding how women are doing in the Granite State.  While there’s a lot to digest, some details in particular caught our attention.

Addressing The Gender Wage Gap

Did you know that women in New Hampshire earn less than men?  This is true of every state in the country, and New Hampshire is no exception.  Women earn 79 cents for each dollar that men earn in full-time, year-round positions.  To make matters worse, women with children are affected by the motherhood wage penalty.  As a result, women living with their children only earn 74 cents compared to each dollar earned by men living with their children.

These earnings gaps are part of why we at the Front Door Agency continue to work hard to help single mothers through our Transformational Housing Program.  First, we provide single mothers with a stable environment with access to safe and affordable housing.  Next, we work with them so they can transform their lives through access to higher education and life skills training.  Through this process, single mothers are able to better their lives in order to become more self-sufficient and productive.

When young women arrive at The Front Door in crisis, they often feel hopeless and without direction.  When Samantha first joined our Transformational Housing Program, she was trying to raise her three-year-old daughter by herself and had given up hope of finishing school or having a better life for her daughter.  She knew firsthand that raising a child alone is no easy task; It’s expensive and challenging.  New Hampshire families with children under 6 spend 27% of their income on child care.  Considering the gender wage gap, the motherhood wage penalty and the large financial commitment of raising a child, we believe that the work the we do is as important as ever.

Flourishing Forward

Today, Samantha has completed both a certificate and associate’s degree in accounting and is working toward a bachelor’s.  She’s been able to start working in the field and is even moving into her own place.  She told us that she knew she had made the right decision when her daughter told her she wants to be like her and go to school.

Because of their hard work, we’ve seen the graduates from our Transformational Housing Program increase their income and move into housing that they can pay for without further assistance.  One of our recent graduates has even become a homeowner!  Our current clients are busy learning new skills and continuing their education.  These single mothers are able to move forward in fields such as medicine and even micro-electronics!  We think you’ll agree these accomplishments are even more impressive when you consider where they started from and the gender disadvantages they faced.

If you want to dig into the details, you can view the full New Hampshire Women’s report here.  There are some interesting statistics that show there is still a lot of work to be done to improve the status of women in New Hampshire. We are proud to be part of that ongoing effort and thankful for your support that makes successes like Samantha’s possible.