Supporting Women in Financial Transition
In the spring of 2015, a small group of women began meeting in Falmouth because we were concerned about the economic security of older women living on Cape Cod. Our initial meetings have resulted in the formation of the organization now known as “Falmouth SWIFT: Falmouth Supporting Women in Financial Transition”.
Vision: SWIFT is working to raise awareness of the needs of women aged 45 and older for information, educational opportunity, workforce training, housing and human services in order to make their lives now and in retirement more comfortable and economically secure.
• Raise awareness of economic challenges faced by older women through topic-based community forums;
• Improve access to available resource materials.
• Spark and support coordination of efforts by regional agencies and town government through topic-focused roundtables and follow-up.
• Advocate for and support legislation to improve older women’s economic security at the local, state and national levels.
Women, on average, earn less than men over the course of their working lives because they typically have been paid less for full-time work and are more likely to have worked part- time or to have left the workforce to care for children or family members. Therefore, when women reach retirement age, their social security, pension and savings are lower than those of their male counterparts. The National Women’s Law Center reported in 2015 that the average woman’s Social Security per year was $13.500 compared to $17,600 for the average man. Women must stretch fewer dollars over more years than men. This reality leaves women 80 per cent more likely than men to wind up in poverty at age 65 and older, according to Market Watch, on March 1, 2016. We want to act as catalysts to increase older women’s earnings, promote their financial security and expand their access to decent housing. With the support of an informed public, we can improve the lives of the current and succeeding generations of retirees.
With an eye to the future, we will promote women’s long-term economic security by the following means:
• Advocating for legislation: Equal Rights Amendment ratification, Paid Family Medical Leave, Parental Leave and Pay Check Fairness Legislation that will ensure that younger workers will have greater opportunities for economic security. Supporting Social Security, Refundable Tax Credits for Caregivers, Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credits and Pension Reform programs will help older workers.
• Bringing together the community and stakeholders for community forums and facilitating discussion of older women’s employment challenges and resources;
• Producing a survey of Falmouth employers concerning the types of skills needed to obtain year-round employment in our town;
• Collaborating with Cape Cod Community College, as well as Cape Technical and Vocational schools to improve women’s employment opportunities.
• Collaborating with county, community and women’s groups across Cape Cod to share new solutions to housing access for women.
Planning Committee: Penelope Duby, Chair
Meghan Hanawalt, Elaine Hickey, Christine Lynch, Helena McDonough
Kirstin Moritz, Sylvia Szulkin, Olivia White, and Mary Ellen Williams
Contact: Penelope Duby, 508-540-9170 – firstname.lastname@example.org