Promoting greater gender equality across communities via opportunities and resources for women

March is Women's History Month which honors both the accomplishments and struggles of women throughout history. And this year’s theme — Providing Healing, Promoting Hope — honors the many ways in which women have provided healing and hope to humanity for countless generations.

At Vizient, we recognize the impact women have had and continue to make in today's world. And, as we enter our third year of the pandemic, we also recognize how COVID-19 has taken an even greater toll on gender equality and financial strains for women. In fact, the U.S. economy lost 140,000 jobs in December alone — every single one of them held by women — while men gained 16,000 jobs during the same month.

To put this in perspective, the pandemic has set back the advancement of women at least one generation. According to World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, another generation of women must wait for gender parity as an extra 36 years are added to the time remaining to close the gender gap.

Monica Davy“It’s not a surprise that women typically take on a disproportionate number of responsibilities at home – from caring for children and aging parents to providing meals and housework chores,” said Monica Davy, SVP, CCDIO. With the pandemic, we saw school closures, distancing protocols and other uncertainties further exacerbate the situation, which led to millions of women having no choice but to leave the workforce as they focused on keeping their families safe and healthy.”

Sharrell Alexander“Vizient supports trusted organizations that help promote gender equality by addressing structural, systemic and societal barriers, biases and inequalities that women continue to face,” said Sharrell Alexander, director, Excelerate and Gender Equality DNA lead. “Our Gender Equality Diversity Networking Association often works alongside community organizations to volunteer their passion, time and insight to help ensure women have access to the resources they need to succeed.”

Below are two nonprofits our organization recently worked with to help address access to affordable childcare.

ChildCareGroup

Vizient is proud to support ChildCareGroup (CCG) and their early education programs that are designed to provide a source of free, high-quality childcare for children from birth to age 5 so they can become kindergarten-ready while parents return to work or school.

ChildCareGroupIn 2021, we provided a grant of $7,500 in support of their research-based, two-generation approach to early childhood education is designed to help low-income families break the cycle of generational poverty. Additionally, our employees spend time volunteering for CCG during our annual Community Day event — our signature volunteer initiative in which Vizient gives all employees the day off to give back to communities nationwide.  

The Ascend Network at the Aspen Institute is a policy program that also leverages two-generation approaches with families and partners to forge pathways to educational success and economic mobility for both children and the adults in their lives. According to their recent report:

  • Investing in high-quality early education yields a 7-10 percent ROI per year based on enhanced school and career achievements as well as reduced social costs.
  • The physical and mental health of a family influences the family unit’s ability to thrive — affecting everything from a child's school attendance to a parent's earning ability.
  • An increase in household income (of $3,000 or more) when a child is young is associated with a 17 percent increase in the child’s future earnings.
  • Physical and mental health have a major impact on a family’s ability to thrive, which can also bolster the aspirations parents have for their children and help move families out of poverty.

CCG is based in Dallas and operates eight Early Childhood Centers, all of which provide health services, inclusion assessments and onsite therapeutic early intervention services for children from birth to age 5. Family advocates help parents access services on-site, which eliminates barriers and fosters greater self-sufficiency among families. CCG also manages a federal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant that provides family services, assessments and health services to local center-based and family childcare providers, as well as oversight and assistance to help these local providers meet the rigorous standards of Early Head Start.

Texas Women's Foundation

Texas Womens FoundationWhat’s the most challenging issue for women in lower-wage jobs whose economic security is at risk? Childcare. In fact, working mothers make up 20 percent of the Texas workforce and they spend a significant percentage of their income on childcare. In support of the Texas Women’s Foundation, Vizient recently provided a grant of $15,000 toward their comprehensive programs and local policy advocacy efforts in Texas.

The Child Care Access Fund collaborates with early childhood and after-school educational programs, seeking to increase access to quality, affordable and reliable childcare for women and families to sustain employment or continue their education. They work with systems to focus on ways that childcare impacts the economic security of both working and student mothers with infants and toddlers as well as those with school-aged children — factors including childcare, family childcare homes, afterschool programming and policy advocacy.

They also provide support for:

  • Women-owned small businesses and women who work in the childcare arena, including afterschool project staffing services that provide livable wages and benefits for women in the field along with opportunities for career ladders as they advance their education
  • Newly created projects addressing the impacts of COVID, including ways to increase overall quality of family childcare and provide virtual education materials

At Vizient, we’re committed to promoting greater gender equality across communities via opportunities and resources for women. See how we partner with non-profit organizations to do just that.

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It’s so critically important to address the systemic and societal barriers that hold women back – particularly when it comes to access to reliable childcare, flexible work schedules and pulling double duty at home. That’s why Vizient supports organizations that help women achieve greater economic stability through comprehensive programming, community resources and other opportunities.
Byron JobePresident and CEO, Vizient
Women such as Marie Curie, Katherine Johnson, Grace Murray Hopper, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Harriet Tubman and so many more played critical roles in America’s history and left an indelible mark on those around them. Each of us is the beneficiary of their work: innovation, exploration, technology, space travel, equal rights, and the list goes on. Personally, I am grateful to have examples of women in America whose strength and vulnerabilities shaped opportunities for all of us today and I look forward to our continued efforts at Vizient to strengthen gender equality at all levels of our organization.
Beth GraefeSenior Vice President, Excelerate
For much of my life, I sought to prove that I was equal to my male peers. I was determined to enjoy the same academic, athletic and professional success as the men around me. As I’ve matured, I have learned that I am, ‘different but equal.’ I am capable of achieving anything I desire and my path may look, feel and happen differently. This month I give thanks to the men and women who have shaped and developed my personal and professional growth.
Simrit SandhuExecutive Vice President, Strategic Transformation & Clinical Supply Solutions