Englewood Women’s Initiative

When women rise, they bring entire communities with them.

Two-thirds of Englewood families are headed by single mothers. Nearly half of these mothers struggle to make ends meet. For our region to thrive, we can’t leave anyone behind. When women and girls in Englewood are safe, healthy and have access to opportunity, Chicago – and all of us – thrive.


The Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI) removes barriers and connects women with resources to support safe, healthy and thriving families. Job training and education are important pieces of the puzzle, but to complete the picture, women need wraparound support. EWI provides the additional support to ensure women can succeed: affordable housing, family support, mentorship, financial coaching and credit clean-up. When women rise, they bring families and whole communities with them. Chicago Foundation for Women raises funds to support the Englewood Women’s Initiative and serves as a convener for the partner agencies working collaboratively in the network. 


In 2017, Chicago Foundation for Women launched the Englewood Women’s Initiative (EWI), a strategic alliance of nonprofit partners, each addressing a critical need of women in the community.

The EWI is creating a net designed to catch women from falling into poverty, no matter what obstacles arise on their path.

This is the story of Iesha Trotter, a participant in the EWI.

The Chicago Foundation for Women started the Englewood Women’s Initiative in 2017, with a goal to increase the salary of the female head of households in that community from an average of below $10,000 per year to $40,000 per year. The Englewood Women’s Initiative provides a system of wraparound supports through a coalition of community partners that share resources and knowledge to give women support and opportunities to break cycles of poverty.

In 2020, the Chicago Foundation for Women was selected to participate in WFN’s Women’s Economic Mobility Hub initiative. This participation has given the Foundation greater access and opportunities for partnership in the community, and grown awareness of its programs. As the Englewood Women’s Initiative heads into its sixth year, the Foundation is expanding the program with new services and focusing on new career fields for women in technology that will allow women to work remotely and move towards a more sustaining wage while still being able to manage their families.