Women’s Diversity Network (WDN) is committed to impacting the wage deficits and career opportunities for Black and Latina women and Black and Latinx gender-expansive people on Long Island. $26.5 billion dollars are lost on Long Island due to racial gaps in income. One of the causes of this is because Black women are paid the lowest, as are Latina women, particularly when compared to their white counterparts. Consequently, they are often forced to work more than 1 job to make ends meet. Black women are also often the heads of their households and tasked with footing most of the bills. Wealth inequities contribute to continued systemic racism and indicate a need to invest in communities of color.
To address this glaring issue WDN created a workforce development program called The Wealth Equity Fellowship, a 20-week-long program for Black and Latina women and Black and Latinx gender expansive people, designed to bridge the wealth gap by exposing fellows to different types of careers, helping them develop their soft skills, and connecting them to mentors while they get to their next career phase, with a focus on growing and in-demand industries that are hiring and paying more equitable wages. Fellows engage in coaching sessions with seasoned pros where they gain resume writing, interview, personal branding, salary negotiation, and networking skills. Unlike most workforce development programs, we connect our fellows to people who will open doors for them, because it's not always what you know, it's also who you know. Fellows will work with mentors for up to one-year post-program completion. The goal is that upon completion of the program, fellows will have obtained a new career with a higher salary, entered into a training program, and/or received a promotion or salary increase.