Wake Invests in Women

Mission: To close the gender wage gaps in Wake County, with an initial focus on women in STEM.

Wake Invests in Women (WIIW) is a public, private, and non-profit collaboration working to close the gender wage and occupation gaps in Wake County. We have brought together partners from the corporate world, academia, Wake County, the State government, and members of the non-profit community to focus strategically on closing the gender wage gap AND enabling more opportunities for women in fields that have been historically dominated by men. At its core, Wake Invests in Women is a workforce development initiative that prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion for women.  

Through extensive research on the Wake County labor force, WIIW has led us to our initial focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and STEM-related occupations. Our most recent study has revealed that Wake County is facing significant gender wage and representation gaps in STEM and STEM-related occupations. Women, especially Black or African American and Hispanic or Latina women, are significantly underrepresented in these high demand, high growth, and high earning fields. 

These findings have helped us to narrow our initial focus on increasing representation of Black or African American and Hispanic/Latina women into STEM as well as closing wage gaps for women already in STEM occupations. As our work continues, WIIW will apply lessons learned across occupations and industries in Wake County. Our data-driven strategic plan focuses on three key goals: Wage Parity, Career Advancement, and Representation, which we predict will move the needle by closing these gaps.