PULSE Summit at UC Presents Info on Status of Women and Girls in Greater Cincinnati

Barbara Gault, Director of Research for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington, DC, presented the keynote address. Former Cincinnati Mayor Roxanne Qualls (now a visiting professor at Northern Kentucky University) was a panelist for the closing plenary session.

The goals of the study included learning about the status of women and girls, informing the community, engaging diversity and developing a long-term investment agenda.

Areas of focus such as economic security, health and personal safety were examined during the 28 forums held throughout the eight-county area.

So what is the PULSE study showing? Donna Jones Stanley, President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati, gave the audience a taste of the results. Stanley co-chairs the PULSE steering committee, along with University of Cincinnati President Nancy L. Zimpher.

Some of the results are disheartening. For example, women earn less than men in this region, compared to women nationally. African American women in the area earn less than do white women. Stanley called the inescapable effect of race on the status of women the “elephant in the room.”

The good news is that through employment or marriage, 85 percent of women in the area are covered by some form of health insurance. Also, given the proximity of major research institutions, other health-care options are also available to those without insurance. Women in every county also have access to some sort of organization that specializes in stopping violence, especially domestic and sexual violence.

UC President Nancy L. Zimpher.

UC President Nancy L. Zimpher.

More than 34,000 female-owned businesses are in the area and many of the major organizations are headed by women. “Including the largest university in the area,” added Stanley, with a nod to Zimpher.

Gault had high praise for the survey, which is being conducted by the University of Cincnnati Kunz Center for the Study of Work & Family.

“This is an incredible project,” said Gault.  She added that after reviewing the preliminary report, “I just want to say, ‘Wow!’ I recognize the importance of the PULSE study and the incredible resource you have on your hands.”

The bottom line of the study is that “the region lacks a unified strategic effort to mobilize resources to address the needs of women and children,” said Stanley.

What is PULSE?
PULSE is a comprehensive community-based research study on the status of women and girls in Greater Cincinnati.

What is the purpose of the study?
More than 30 local executives of non-profit organizations that serve women and girls expressed the need for good and relevant data on the status of women and girls in our area, and indicated how it would help them in many ways. Among the benefits will be increased awareness of issues affecting women and girls, more regional cooperation and more focused programs and services, and a stronger case for support of those programs and services.

Women’s funds in other cities have conducted similar studies to provide a roadmap for donors, corporate funders and organizations to improve the lives of women and girls. The Indianapolis Women’s Fund raised $5 million from 2,000 donors after the publication of its first study, On Shaky Ground, in 1996.

Who is involved?

Middle-school student Sneha Kolli visited UC for the Science & Engineering Expo.

Middle-school student Sneha Kolli visited UC for the Science & Engineering Expo.

PULSE involved women and girls in the eight-county Greater Cincinnati region: in Ohio — Hamilton, Warren, Butler, and Clermont counties; in Kentucky — Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties; and Dearborn County, Indiana.

Donna Jones Stanley and Nancy Zimpher are co-chairs of the PULSE Steering Committee, which includes sixty women leaders from around the region. Research was directed by David Maume, PhD, director of UC’s Kunz Center for the Study of Work and Family, and a team of professionals from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Northern Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati. Other institutions are represented in the work groups for each of the study focus areas — Education/Training, Health, Safety, Leadership, and Economic Security, which were professionally facilitated and led by volunteer chairs. In addition, the role of race and ethnicity in women’s experiences was examined by each team. A special team looked at the specific needs of girls ages 10–18.

When will the results be available?
The full PULSE report will be presented July 25, 2005, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. (Registration is free but reservations are required. To register, go to www.pulsecincinnati.com.) The final report will contain data on the current status of women and girls, and will outline indicators for measuring improvement and recommendations for future initiatives.   

For more information on the study, contact Kathy DeLaura, kathy@focusedstrategy.com, or (513) 369-1497 or go to http://www.greatercincinnatifdn.org/page497.cfm

PULSE is funded by The Women’s Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, SC Ministry Foundation, Leading Women of Cincinnati, Federated Department Stores Foundation, the LKC Foundation and the Harmony Project. Other generous sponsors include the University of Cincnnati Kunz Center for the Study of Work & Family, the UC Department of Sociology, the Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, the UC Women’s Initiative Network, the UC McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, the UC Women’s Center and the UC Department of Women’s Studies.

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