Women's Groups, Organizations and Studies

50-50 in 2020
The mission of 50-50 in 2020 is to achieve political equity for Iowa women by recruiting, training, and mentoring women. Our hope is that by the 100th anniversary of Woman Suffrage (the year 2020), women will be equally represented in all Iowan political arenas.

Contact via email: 50-50 in 2020

American Association of University Women
AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

Contact via email: Ann Gale

American Business Women's Association
The mission of the American Business Women's Association is to bring together business women of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition.

Contact: ABWA

Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, Iowa State University
The Catt Center offers a variety of educational, outreach and research programs to promote civic engagement and participation in community leadership, politics and public service. Its programs blend the resources and scholarship of the academic environment with the experiences of individuals in the public and private sectors.


Change the Ratio
Rachel Sklar co-founded Change the Ratio to increase visibility, access for women and other underrepresented constituencies, across every field that needs it. This is for professional women from all industries who are accomplished and committed to helping each other rise. The premise is: "There is a lot of money to be made by taking women seriously and a rising tide raises all boats."

Chrysalis Foundation
Chrysalis is a public foundation established in 1989 and invests in the safety, security, education, and economic empowerment of girls and women in central Iowa. Chrysalis partners with agencies and services vital to girls' and women's success through grants, community education, and donor and volunteer support.

Contact: Chrysalis

Economic Dividends from Gender Equality (EDGE) is a global organization who uses the EDGE global certification system to engage corporations across the world in fostering equal career opportunities for women and men in the workplace. Using the EDGE Assessment tool, participating companies measure their progress, tracking key outcome indicators and key practices and policies that drive change. A company can achieve a clear picture of their commitment as measured in terms of equal pay for equivalent work, recruitment and promotion, leadership development, training and mentoring, flexible working conditions and the company culture.

Contact via email:

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa is an advocacy champion for girls in Iowa by educating state and local elected officials on the needs of girls. They partner with Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois to make this happen for the whole state. As an advocacy champion, they help advance the Girl Scout movement and improve girls' lives through legislative awareness and education to address issues that impact girls.

Contact: Girls Scouts of Greater Iowa

Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women
The Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women is a nonprofit, volunteer-led organization. The Friends mission is to assist and support the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women as it seeks to expand Iowa opportunities so every woman and girl can reach her full potential.

Contact: Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

Iowa Commission on the Status of Women
Through responsive advocacy, the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) champions the success and well-being of Iowa women and girls. The ICSW was created by the Iowa General Assembly in 1972 to serve as a central permanent agency to advocate for Iowa women and girls and is part of the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

Contact: Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

Iowa Center for Economic Success
Iowa Center for Economic Success empowers Iowans with the potential to succeed as they pursue opportunities to improve their financial futures. Its mission is accomplished through the provision of financial services such as free tax preparation for Iowa families; business loans to help Iowa women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities start or grow a small business; business education through the Women's Business Center; and leadership development.

Contact: Iowa Center for Economic Success

Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education
The Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education is part of the national network coordinated by the Inclusive Excellence Group of the American Council on Education (ACE). The ACE Women’s Network facilitates the networking of women interested in pursuing leadership opportunities in higher education.

Contact: Iowa Network for Women in Higher Education

Iowa Women's Foundation
The Iowa Women's Foundation (IWF) is committed to improving the lives of Iowa's women and girls through economic self- sufficiency. The IWF works to alleviate the causes and not just the symptoms of economic illiteracy with a diversified mix of action and funding.

Contact via email:

Iowa Women's Leadership Project
The Iowa Women's Leadership Project (IWLP) is a statewide consortium of Iowa women's organizations who collaborate via monthly meetings to increase awareness of key issues impacting Iowa women and girls. IWLP compiled She Matters: 2012 Status of Women and Girls in Iowa and followed up with their February 2015 release of SHE MATTERS: 2015 Issues and Actions.

Lift IOWA is an e-newsletter that reaches female leaders across Iowa, keeping readers informed on self-development opportunities and special events. Lift IOWA connects readers with Iowa women they should know, provides news and commentary on how Iowa is moving the needle to increase women business ownership and involvement in politics and government. It seeks to elevate the importance of empowering more women to become involved on boards and in leadership roles in companies and communities throughout Iowa.

Sign up for the e-newsletter

Maryville University Online
With more women today attending college and entering the workforce, Maryville University Online Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Programs Aimed at Women guide as a quick-reference for women who are currently in college or preparing to go back to school.

NEXUS Executive Women's Alliance
The NEXUS Executive Women's Alliance was founded as a breakfast club in 1977 by five Des Moines business women, aware of the need for mutual support. The purpose of NEXUS is to provide professional, business, and personal support of each other.

The NEXUS Index: 2004
The NEXUS Executive Women's Alliance produced the 2004 NEXUS Index to promote action assuring all daughters have choices that lead to financial security and leadership opportunities. By capturing 10 indicators, the 2004 NEXUS Index provided a snapshot of how area girls and women were doing, from high school through positions in commerce, education and public service.

The NEXUS Index: 2012
In 2012, a team of NEXUS Executive Alliance members updated the 10 indicators in the 2004 NEXUS Index. While there was there was no significant improvement from 2004 to 2012, with the sole exception of an increase in the number of female law firm partners. At this time NEXUS became a founding member the Iowa Women's Leadership Project (IWLP) and also formed their own internal task force teams, intent to create positive change in the areas of pay equity, political equality and home structure. The EPIC CHALLENGE, encouraging area business leaders to increase the number of females in the 'C' Suite and Board Room, evolved from the NEXUS task force work.

Office on the Status of Women, Iowa Department of Human Rights
The Office on the Status of Women is part of the Iowa Department of Human Rights and was established to serve as the state-supported office to advocate for women and girls. The roles of the Office on the Status of Women are to: (1) coordinate and cooperate with the efforts of state departments and agencies to serve the needs of women and girls in participating fully in the economic, social, and cultural life of the state, and provide direct assistance to individuals who request it; (2) serve as the clearinghouse on programs and agencies operating to assist women and girls; (3) develop, coordinate, and assist other public or private organizations that serve women and girls; and (4) support the work of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women.

Contact: Office on the Status of Women

The Path Forward
Accenture 2012 International Women's Day Study: THE PATH FORWARD. They studied 3,900 medium to large companies in 31 countries. The web page features video highlights of the study results, an info graphics and the study.

She Matters: 2015 Issues and Actions
SHE MATTERS: 2015 Issues and Actions is the third report in a series that began in 2002 with the first Status of Women in Iowa report, a collaboration of Des Moines based Chrysalis Foundation and the NEXUS Executive Women's Alliance. The. Iowa Women's Leadership Project (IWLP), a statewide collaboration of Iowa women's organizations working together to increase awareness of key issues impacting Iowa women and girls, was formed in 2012. IWLP released their most recent report in February 2015. The report expands on a 2012 survey of the status of Iowa women and girls and contains recommendations and strategies to ensure equity, education, safety, security and opportunity for Iowa's females. The report is a valuable tool for key stakeholders and decision makers when developing initiatives and policies impacting Iowa females.

The Way Up
The Way Up is an annual conference devoted to developing women leaders to enhance Iowa higher education and assists women in higher education institutions as they continue to develop their leadership and administrative skills and expertise. The conference has always been designed to provide value for presenters and participants as well as networking opportunities for all.

Contact via email: Doreen Hayek