News from the Office on the Status of Women - Now accepting nominations for the 2019 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame and Cristine Wilson award!

iowa department of human rights

News from the Office on the Status of Women

January 2019

Upcoming Meetings and Reminders

Mark your calendar!

The State of Iowa's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration | January 19, 2019 | Des Moines

Capitol Girls | February 7, 2019 | Des Moines

Iowa Department of Human Rights Day on the Hill | February 28, 2019 | Des Moines

Iowa Commission on the Status of Women meeting | February 28, 2019 | Des Moines

2019 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame and Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice nominations due | April 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Looking for a way to celebrate? You're in luck! Celebrate the start of 2019 by helping to elevate the accomplishments of Iowa women.

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women is now taking nominations for the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame and Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice.

2019 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame announcement
Learn more

Celebrating Last Year's Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Honorees

Did you miss the 2018 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame induction ceremony? Listen to the stories of our 2018 honorees and learn more about these 5 incredible women by watching their video interviews.

Hall of Fame video
Watch the video button

Commissioner's Blog:
"Iowa Women and the Economy"

By: Commissioner Tom Carnahan

I have been a Commissioner on the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) since 2006. Since I was appointed, we have discussed many issues that affect women – such as the gender pay gap and the overall economic state of women in Iowa. I thought it appropriate to present some facts concerning the gender pay gap with the hope that this will launch future discussion on the these issues.  

In a 2016 report from Iowa Workforce Development, the median income for Iowa women was $39,427 and for men $50,679, which equals an overall gap in the median wages between men and women of 77%. When it comes to the gender pay gap, Iowa's ranking in the U.S. is 41st. We are also lowest among our neighboring states (Minnesota = 12th, Illinois = 28th, Missouri = 30th, Wisconsin = 33rd & Nebraska = 36th).

Women of color in Iowa fare much worse than the average with African American women being paid 61 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Latinas are paid 57 cents and Asian women are paid 69 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Further, this gap is persistent across all types of occupations...

Read the blog post

Community and Statewide Announcements

Free Screening of No Small Matter

There are almost 243,000 children under the age of six in Iowa today. Do you know how many of them have to be taken care of all day, every day by an adult? ALL of them. Who provides that care—how they do it—is the most overlooked, underestimated and potentially game-changing issue in our state.

The Iowa Association For The Education Of Young Children and Save The Children Action Network are hosting a free screening of No Small Matter, a feature documentary that explores the importance of early childhood education in the U.S. and its importance in closing the education gap early on.

Join them on Tuesday, January 8th from 6-8 pm at Drake University’s Sussman Theater in the Olmsted Building for No Small Matter. The film will break down complicated scientific details into layman’s terms about how a child’s mind develops and the critical nature of the first five years which has an enormous impact on the opportunity to thrive for the rest of his/her life – from academic achievement to health to future earnings as an adult.

Seating is limited. Register to reserve your spot.

No small matter flyer

2019 Iowa N.E.W. Leadership Applications Now Open

Iowa N.E.W. Leadership (a program of the Women's Resource & Action Center at the University of Iowa) is a FREE, intensive, non-partisan, 5-day residential institute designed to empower women across the political spectrum and increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the public sector. This is a statewide program that brings in speakers from across the state, including elected officials, non-profit executives and more. Application deadline is February 11, 2019.

Read more

Iowa Women Lead Change changes name to
Women Lead Change to reflect expansion

Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC) recently announced that the 501(c)3 non-profit organization has changed its name to Women Lead Change, signaling expansion outside the state and region.  

“This transition began organically as our regional reach already extends into Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota,” Tiffany O’Donnell, Women Lead Change CEO said. “This rebrand allows us to continue to offer world-class programming throughout the state of Iowa, but also to reach beyond the borders as we continue to work to advance, develop and promote women, their organizations and to impact the regional economy.”

For more information, contact Tiffany O’Donnell at

Read more

American Association of University Women (AAUW) introduces Work Smart Online:
A free salary negotiation course

AAUW is introducing Work Smart Online, a free salary negotiation course to help women better their financial future!  This easy, engaging e-tool will teach you to:

  • Learn the market value of your skills and experience
  • Determine an equitable “target salary”
  • Ask for—and get—the pay you deserve

Training 10 million women in salary negotiation is central to AAUW’s goal of closing the gender pay gap by 2030.  By changing laws, improving employer practices, and empowering women to negotiate their own futures —through Work Smart Online and other efforts—we can make it happen. Please urge your family, friends and followers to take Work Smart Online course and, if they like it, to share it with their networks as well. 

Read more

Join us on January 19th for
"I Have a Dream"

2019 MLK event
Learn more

In the News: Women and girls in Iowa, the nation & the world

Upcoming Events/Seminars/Conferences

Note: If you have an event taking place for women in Iowa that you would like to see added to our next newsletter, please send it to