Women & Girls’ Study of Greater Fort Wayne

Women and girls graphic

The Impact of Doing Nothing

The last study conducted for the Fort Wayne community specific to women’s and girls’ issues was 45 years ago by a commission assembled by the Mayor in 1974. Since that time, Indiana has continued to rank at the bottom in the country on women’s and girls’ specific issues.

Grandmother, mother, and daughter smiling

The Women and Girls’ Study of Greater Fort Wayne is a redefining moment to recognize the power of women and the future of girls in our community. Statistically, when women thrive in a community, their families and in turn the whole community, thrives. This study is a first step in creating a baseline of metrics in which to define focus areas for a potential Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. Through the commission of a study, the Community Foundation aims to work in alignment with others to support regional goals, to empower a currently underserved demographic in the community and to be a leader in the state of Indiana in narrowing the opportunity gap for women.

 “We at the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne believe that we need a clear understanding of where Fort Wayne and Allen County are on key issues affecting the women and girls in our community. With women making up 51% of Indiana’s population, we know that women’s issues are community issues – that when women succeed, a whole community succeeds.” Alison Gerardot, Vice President of Philanthropic Services

Five Priority Areas of the Study

  5. GIRLS

Current Status:

Listen to Alison Gerardot and Rachel Blakeman talk about the scope of the study, time frame, and the impact it will have on our community.

Girls having fun and smiling

Over the last 18 months the Community Foundation has been on a listening tour meeting with over 125 organizations, community groups, and individuals to explore and test the level of interest for a women’s study and fund. There has been unanimous agreement that a new study is necessary in order to set priorities for the future of our community. Since that time, a group of over 60 diverse women have been convened to help set direction for the study with a smaller working group determining the specific focus areas.

Simultaneously, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has enlisted the Purdue University Fort Wayne Community Research Institute to lead this trailblazing study. At CRI’s recommendation, the Community Foundation has funded and spent the last several months in the Discovery Phase of this multi-phase approach and as of June 2019 is launching the public Phase 2 .


The goal of the Women’s and Girl’s Study of Greater Fort Wayne is to understand the landscape of women’s issues in Allen County through best practice research techniques. Root problems will be identified and functional next steps determined in order to maximize the impact and effectiveness of a potential Women’s Fund of Greater Fort Wayne.

© 2020 Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne