All women in Utah face an uphill battle according to a recent survey conducted by the Utah Women’s Giving Circle. The “grades” are not good:
• F in economic security for women – ranked 43rd in the country. Women make 70 cents for every dollar a man earns.
• F in women leadership – ranked 50th in the country. Women hold just 16.3% of the seats in our state legislature and Utah is 1 of only 5 states where there are no women representatives in Congress. In the private market, Utah has the worst representation of women in management in the nation.
• D in women’s health – ranked 34th in the country. 15% of our non-elderly women are uninsured.
However, Women of the World feels that refugee women are not only highly employable, but their differentiated products and services can be developed into home-businesses both of which improve local society and their place in it. Women of the World works with women to develop their resumes, interviewing, and job skills. Women of the World’s growth will ensure that local artisans and service workers are given a chance to develop their own business and gain pride from a job done well, done for themselves.
Women Refugee Employees
Local conditions in Salt Lake City support the need of developing a job skills program specifically for refugee women. With relatively low unemployment of 6.9 percent (April 2011) for the entire population 16 and older but only 60.9 percent of women employed, Utah has more demand for female workforce skills than male.
Women Refugee Entrepreneurs
Aside from child and homecare entrepreneurship, refugee women’s handcrafts and catering are a developing market in Salt Lake City – especially as the culture becomes more cosmopolitan and diverse. Etsy.com the largest online retailer of handcrafts in the American market reported a 73 percent increase in sales by its community in April 2011 as compared to the same month in 2010. Women of the World can partner with Global Artisans, a component of the Utah Refugee Coalition, while developing a broader market on websites such as etsy.com or ebay.com. Further opportunities will be developed in native language instruction (local and online), cosmetic and hairstyling, and tailoring.