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Opinion: Missouri women want to excel in the workplace — let’s tackle the barriers standing in their way


When women are empowered to join and fully participate in the workforce, good things happen for everyone. A 2018 Harvard Business Review article pointed out that the increase of women in the paid workforce was arguably the most significant change in the economy in the past century. That same article also revealed that in cities with higher female labor force participation, productivity increased and those areas experienced higher wage growth than in other areas — for both women and men. On average, a 10 percent increase in women working results in a 5 percent increase in wages.

Becky Willard

Further, the article points out when women are incorporated into the economy fairly, the effect they have on cities is even larger. The McKinsey Global Institute found that Missouri could grow its economy by 10-15 percent by 2025 if women’s participation in the workforce increased.

That’s a pretty compelling reason to make sure we all work to identify and remove barriers that might stand in women’s way to being able to participate, advance, and succeed at work. 

Thankfully, there is a process taking place now to make that happen. Led by United Women’s Empowerment (United WE) and its Missouri Women’s Economic Development Task Force, a series of town halls is taking place across Missouri — the final, a statewide virtual event. The town halls give women a platform to share their stories, experience, and priorities. 

The statewide town hall will take place from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 28. If women are unable to participate in the live event, they can also submit input and feedback online at this link. 

It is crucial that Missouri women and their supporters participate so that the insights and input accurately represent the real-world experiences and challenges women face and incorporate the ideas and solutions that will better empower them. Please join us!

Register to attend at