In 2015, we began a series of conversations with Chicagoans from every walk of life—women and men, young and old, more than 500 in all.
We wanted to know two things:
“What are the big issues for women and girls right here, right now, every day?” And, “What should we all be doing about it, right now?”
The 100% Project is the result.
It’s an all-out, all-in, coordinated effort to increase women’s economic security and put an end to gender bias in metropolitan Chicago within a generation.
30 percent of local employers offer strong, stable, fair, and adaptable work environments for all their employees.
Metrics: Key performance indicators measured by Women Employed.
Chicago schools commit to incorporating life skills—such as sex education, positive peer interaction, healthy relationships, and financial literacy—at age-appropriate points in the K–12 curriculum.
Metric: Currently, only 40-60 Chicago-area schools offer these programs.
Chicago moves to first place in the national rankings of cities’ performance in the categories of employment & earnings, political participation, poverty & opportunity, reproductive rights, health & well-being, and work & family, becoming the best city in the nation for women and girls to thrive.
Metrics: Institute for Women’s Policy Research rankings.
All women in Chicago have equal pay and benefits in their workplace.
All local employers offer strong, stable, fair, and adaptable work environments for all their employees.
Women are equally represented in top-level leadership positions throughout metropolitan Chicago.
Metrics: Census data comparable to that provided by The Chicago Network.
The big idea at the heart of The 100% Project is multi- and cross-sector engagement. The project is not a to-do list; it’s an invitation for individuals and institutions to take responsibility for the goals, think creatively and collaboratively about how to achieve them, and get to work.
Below are just a few of the ideas that emerged from the first round of public discussions and research on The 100% Project. They fall into three broad strategic categories.
Increase awareness—We can’t eliminate what we don’t know is there.
Find common ground and collaborate—Sharing our strengths will maximize our resources and our reach.
Build, scale, and advance policies and programs that support gender equity—Our systems must support change.
Add your ideas
Contribute your ideas to The 100% Project. Share your thoughts about what we can do to increase women’s economic security and end gender bias by 2030.
CFW commits to leading, connecting, and supporting individuals and institutions working to achieve the goals of The 100% Project.
Chicago Foundation for Women will:
The 100% Project doesn’t “belong” exclusively to CFW. For this to work, it’s got to be an ongoing, expanding collaboration among partners in every sector of our community.
Collective effort leads to bigger impact on complex issues. And it helps develop strategies that address those issues from every angle—legislative, civic, professional, and personal— and every perspective.
There’s room—and work—for everyone. Contact email@example.com.
Interested in signing on as a Male Champion of Change?Contact Emily Dreke at firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel The Chicago Network Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health Women Employed EverThrive Illinois
Mujeres Latinas en Acción Rape Victim Advocates COFI Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law The Cara Program
You don’t have to set aside the issues you already care about—whether it’s school improvement or industrial development.
Just learn how gender bias intersects with those issues, and then do what you can to address both.
As work on the project gets underway, check here for resources you can use to get the job done.
100% Project–Executive Summary (PDF)
Read CFW's Report on the Status of Women and Girls (September 2017)
48 Things Women Hear in a Lifetime (That Men Just Don't)
Economic Policy Institute - "Women's Work and the Gender Pay Gap" (Report)
How Does Gender Affect the Workplace? InHerSight
Grantmaking with a Gender Lens
Grantmaking with a Racial Equity Lens
Learn about Gender Bias
Male Champions of Change
Mayor's Guide: Accelerating Gender EqualityMcKinsey Global Institute Report on Women's Equality
Economic security for women and girls and freedom from gender bias aren’t “women’s issues.” They’re issues of basic fairness, and fairness depends on everyone.
Boys and girls, women and men, individual companies and corporations, foundations, faith leaders, government: everyone has a way to step up and do their part.
Take the bias test.
Get a friend to do the same. Tweet the link (#100percentCHI) or post it on Facebook.
Become a Male Champion of Change
Do you have influence? Are you ready to use it to remove the gender barriers that stand between women and positions of leadership in the...
business or sector? Become a Male Champion of Change.
Access the toolkit here, and contact email@example.com.
Talk It Out
Invite a group of friends or colleagues to talk about the issues and brainstorm solutions. Then submit your results firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve got some questions to get the conversation started. Access the 2017 toolkit here.
Get the word out
Share The 100% Project and CFW's report on the status of women and girls in Chicago with everyone you know, and ask them to share it with everyone they know.
Add your name to our list of supporters
There’s strength in numbers. The more people who express their support for The 100% Project, the closer we are to achieving the goal.
Sponsor a training session on bias in the workplace
Contact email@example.com to find out how.
Rethink your giving
Whether you’re an individual donor or part of a philanthropic foundation, take a look through the gender lens and find out how your good work...
specifically impacts women and girls.
Access the toolkit here.
Ask and tell
We’re developing a database of key employment policy metrics for Chicago-area employers. If you’re an employee, take a minute to get the...
answers to three simple questions.
Submit the answers, along with the name of the company and its website address, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stand up for what’s fair
When you run into gender bias, say something. Just because a policy, practice, or attitude is common doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
Have the conversation at work, at school, with your elected representatives, with the companies whose products and services you buy.
Lead the change
Everybody occupies at least one position of influence—whether on a committee, in a club, or in a pulpit. Think about where you have...
influence, and then use it to raise the issues and lead the change. Start by getting the facts on gender bias and sharing them.
You’ll find a few here to get you started.
The goals of the 100% Project are big, we know. But “big” doesn’t mean impossible.
And tackling big goals has one big advantage.
When we succeed, it won’t just be a win for 51.5 percent of the people who live and work in Chicago.
It will be a win for us all.
For starters, about $320,000 to $850,000 more in lifetime earnings for the average working woman—and her family.
What happens when you decide to take a cherished ideal—fairness—and make it real? When access to opportunity in Chicago is linked—from birth onward—to talent, ability, aptitude, and energy, not genes?
We think that it will change everything, from our private conversations to our children’s aspirations to our public institutions. And it will certainly change the world of work.
For men and women both, hiring, pay, and promotion will be related to skills, job duties, and performance—and you’ll be able to verify that it is, because a company’s hiring practices, compensation plans, and appraisal criteria will be available for anyone to see.
There’ll be more competition, but it will be on a level playing field.
If you’re a woman, getting equal pay for the job you’ve already got will mean an extra $320,000 to $850,000 over the course of your working life.
That’s a nicer place to live. A reliable car (or two). Higher education for your children, if you have them, or for yourself or your partner. Short-term savings and a nice-sized nest egg. Greater financial independence, and with it, the ability to shape your life circumstances instead of having to accept them.
And when you retire, those higher lifetime earnings will mean higher retirement benefits, too—up to 70 percent higher.
No matter what your gender, if you’re part of the local economy—that is, if you earn, invest, shop, sell, trade, or rely on public goods or services like roads, libraries, or parks—the effects will be just as big.
Paid employment rates will go up, and so will GDP—by as much as 2.9 to 4 percent.
Spending on subsidized housing, medical care, nutritional assistance, and other “safety net” programs that serve roughly half of Chicago’s working poor—who make up a whopping 31.2 percent of all employees aged 18 to 64 in Chicago—will go down.
Government will collect more income and sales tax—roughly $15,000,000 more from working women in metropolitan Chicago alone —and businesses will sell more goods and services, so there will be more money to improve everything from schools to public transportation and more reasons to create more jobs.
So, what’s in The 100% Project for you?
A better life, and not just for you but for your whole family, right now and for the future.
When everyone is in, everyone wins.
Let me know how I can help
Keep me updated, I want to know how we’re doing
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Chicago Foundation for Women is a leading convener of women in Chicago. Check out our upcoming events below. All of our events, including those hosted by our Giving Councils, are open to the public unless otherwise specified.
To read about meetings and events we've held, visit our entire Events Schedule. Questions? Email email@example.com.