State of Women in the Inland Empire
This report provides an overview of the state of women in the Inland Empire region of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, a fast-growing area with 2.3 million women. As a historically marginalized group, women in the region, and especially women of color, have faced significant economic and societal challenges, as well as barriers to nonprofit leadership and political representation.
Overall, women in the Inland Empire earn just 68 cents for every dollar earned by men in the region. This gap widens when accounting for race or ethnicity. Native American and Latina women have the largest earnings gaps, making only 36 and 42 cents, respectively, on the dollar when compared to White men. The gender gap also persists within racial and ethnic groups, as women earn less than men of the same race or ethnicity. In addition, rising costs of childcare and other economic challenges make it difficult for women to remain in the workforce, limiting household incomes.
Ana Lee is the owner and CEO of Women in Tandem (WIT), an organization providing a workspace for women to connect and work in downtown Riverside. Ana notes that market research indicates a primary issue for women entrepreneurs is lack of community. WIT attempts to address these issues by providing a tailored space for women to interact and connect.
Anais Franco currently has a fellowship with IGNITE National, an organization that encourages young womxn to become the next generation of political leaders. As a nonpartisan nonprofit organization, IGNITE National focuses on building political ambition in high school and young college womxn. Anais believes one of the prominent issues facing womxn in the Inland Empire is lack of political representation.
Janet Bernabe is the Riverside Regional Coordinator for Mi Familia Vota, an organization focused on the civic engagement of the local Latinx community. Janet has been working with Mi Familia Vota for a year and half and primarily is involved in voter registration, worker rights, environmental issues, immigration, education, and healthcare. Janet believes that these issues especially affect women of color in the region.
Acquanetta Warren is the Mayor of Fontana, California, and champion of the Inland Empire Women in Manufacturing movement. Born in Los Angeles, Mayor Warren was one of the first African Americans to be integrated into the LA Unified School District. She began her career in banking, but has always been involved in politics. Mayor Warrens’ past service includes various council subcommittees, boards, and commissions.
Jacque Casillas is the Donor Relations Manager for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. The mission of Planned Parenthood is to ensure broad public access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, through education, advocacy, and direct service. The organization looks at what issues impact women locally. For this region that includes: transportation in the Coachella Valley, mobile service for women near the border, and translation services across western Riverside County. All of these issues are directly related to health outcomes.
Carole Beswick was the first woman mayor of Redlands, has served on various commissions and boards, is currently a Trustee for the University of Redlands and is the CEO of Inland Action. Inland Action is a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization that encourages and promotes the economic well-being of the Inland Empire.
While Inland Action does not specifically focus on gender, the organization looks to expand education access and opportunities for all groups. In addition, they have made efforts to bring women into their leadership.