IWLC awarded grant from Walmart Foundation to support statewide EPIC Corporate Challenge

Aug 30, 2016

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Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC) has secured an important infusion of financial and community support in the amount of $25,000 from the Walmart Foundation.

The grant will assist in funding The EPIC Corporate Challenge, a public-private statewide partnership in support of women in leadership. Specifically, the Walmart Foundation grant will help launch the Women on the Rise assessment, a proprietary tool created by IWLC to chart the measurable goals that EPIC member companies pledge to track with regard to women in leadership in their organizations.

IWLC is thankful for the generosity of the Walmart Foundation and its mission to increase the number of women leaders in various sectors across Iowa, as well as for the community individuals who helped to steward the gift.

“We are humbled by the support of the Walmart Foundation,” says Diane Ramsey, CEO of IWLC. “Their vision will enable many of the state’s largest and most influential employers, as well as organizations ranging from 10-500 employees, who have signed on to The EPIC Corporate Challenge to send a clear message that they are serious about advancing women in their workforce. We are pleased that the Walmart Foundation has recognized the critical nature of this effort for Iowa’s economic stability and growth.”

“I was pleased to support IWLC in applying for the Walmart Foundation grant and make certain that the non-profit's work will uplift the importance of leadership for women in Iowa," said State Senator Liz Mathis.

The EPIC Corporate Challenge was launched on March 31, 2016. Lead Partners for The EPIC Corporate Challenge include: Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC), Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Department of Workforce Development. Partnering organizations include Drake University and Nexus. Presenting Sponsor companies include Delta Dental of Iowa, Hy-Vee, Inc. and Rockwell Collins.

“Walmart recognizes the importance of supporting organizations that provide the tools and resources necessary for more women to thrive in leadership positions throughout local communities,” said Kyla Luckie, Walmart regional general manager. “Iowa Women Lead Change has exemplified a dedicated commitment to improving the lives of individuals across the state and we look forward to the impact they will continue to make moving forward.”

Companies that sign on to be The EPIC Corporate Challenge partners will commit to set voluntary measurable goals in at least one of the following areas:

  • Actively recruit women to fill open positions at all levels of the organization, in order to increase the percentage of women in the company’s workforce, including women in non-traditional roles
  • Increase the retention rate of women at all levels of the organization
  • Increase the percentage of women among the top 10% of the company’s senior positions
  • Increase the number of women on the board of directors
  • Monitor pay by gender and address such gaps as are discovered

“Research shows that when women ascend to leadership positions in business, companies report increased profits, return on investment and equity (ROI and ROE), more equitable environments and greater company retention,” said Ms. Ramsey. “The EPIC Corporate Challenge and the pioneering companies that have signed on to ‘take the challenge’ are taking the first step to ensuring that Iowa companies are growing and retaining women in leadership positions.”

More information is available at www.IWLCLeads.org/EPIC.



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