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Power Women Podcast

We are pleased to announce the Power Women Podcast! This podcast will engage, inform, and empower women to seek economic security.

The pandemic and national context of the “shecession” has negatively impacted women and girls who were already experiencing economic insecurity in Greater Springfield, MA. Women made up over half of the people looking for work in April 2020 with women of color, specifically Hispanic women, facing unemployment rates of over 20 percent.

Locally, the pre-existing evidence of women’s economic insecurity in the Greater Springfield area has been exacerbated within this national context. While recent U.S. Census statistics cite Hampden County at a poverty rate of 13.8%, the poverty rate in Springfield is 26.9% and Holyoke is experiencing a higher rate of poverty at 29.3%, well above the statewide rate of 9.4%. In addition, women are often the single head of household with rates of single-mother households being highest in Springfield and Holyoke at 88.3% and 88.2% respectively.

In this audio series, we will explore women’s economic security through casual conversations and interviews. Guests of the show will share their knowledge and experience with some aspect of the framework the Women’s Fund built out for our economic security hub project – from financial health and job preparation to unpaid caregiving and housing.

Tune in to learn more.

of Women in Greater Springfield are Single Head of Household

Percent of populations who lived below 250% of the federal poverty threshold (U.S. Census Bureau Statistics).


Almost 27% of Springfield Residents


Over 29% of Holyoke Residents


9% of Massachusetts Residents


If you, or someone you know, has expertise related to the economic security hub initiative, we want to meet you!
Contact us to be considered for a feature in a future episode.

Contact Us


Power Women Podcast was made possible with funding from the Institute for Generative Leadership.

Power Women Podcast Episodes

Episode 0: The Greater Springfield Economic Security Hub

In this first episode of the Power Women Podcast, host Monica Borgatti interviews Women’s Fund CEO Donna Haghighat about the Economic Security Hub work that their organization is doing in the Greater Springfield area.

Learn more about the project here:

Learn more about Donna here:

Learn more about the Institute for Generative Leadership here:

Episode 1: Financial Wellness

If you are considering buying your first home or are interested in learning about credit counseling, this is a must-listen! In this episode, we will hear from folks at Cambridge Credit and Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation to learn what they are doing to help women with their financial wellness.

Learn more about Cambridge Credit here:

Learn more about the Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation here:

Episode 2: Housing

Safe and affordable housing is critical to a woman’s economic security and when it is threatened to be taken away, we need to know our rights to fight for it. And in the worst-case scenario, if it gets taken away, we need to know where to go. Tune in to this week’s podcast to listen to Rose Webster-Smith from Springfield No One Leaves and Shannon Mumblo from Chistina’s House talk about everything housing for women.

Learn more about Springfield No One Leaves here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 413-342-1804

Learn more about Christina’s House here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 413-271-2105

Episode 3: Job Preparation

Finding a job can be hard, time-consuming, and overwhelming, but having a job is a fundamental step on the path to economic security. Tune in to today’s episode about job preparation which will give you all the information you need to get a first-day outfit, find the right employer, or sign up for a job preparation workshop. We hear from Margaret Tantillo from Dress for Success, Ramona Reno-Rivera from MassHire Holyoke, and Colleen Holmes from Viability.

Learn more about Dress for Success here:
Email: westernmassschusetts[at] | Phone: 413-732-8179

Learn more about MassHire Holyoke here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 413-532-4900

Learn more about Viability here:
Phone: 413-781-5359

Episode 4: Food & Nutrition

Access to high-quality, affordable food (or benefits providing this) and access to free education about nutrition for women and children is critical to a woman’s economic security. Olivia sits down with Laura Sylvester from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts to talk about all the amazing work that the Food Bank of Western MA does and how it can positively impact women in the area.

Learn more about the Food Bank of Western MA here:
Email: lauras[at] | Phone: 413-247-9738

Learn more about the Hunger Free Campus Legislation: 

Learn more about the Cliff Effect Legislation: 

Episode 5: Community Health

Understanding the needs of your community can be very helpful in creating a safe space for women who are struggling with economic security.

Olivia sits down with Annamarie Golden from Baystate Health to learn all about the process of creating the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). They dive into the different needs that come up on the CHNA and some resources that are available for anyone who is experiencing one of those needs.

Learn more about Baystate Health here:

Read about the CHNA here:

Episode 6: Intimate Partner Violence

Survival during and after trauma including domestic and/or intimate partner abuse or child abuse comes from getting the proper support from friends, family, and organizations like Alianza.

Olivia sits down with Executive Director Carmen Nieves from Alianza to talk about the resources they have to offer and dive into some of the hard questions about what to do if you are experiencing intimate partner violence, witnessing it, or even partaking in it.

*If this topic is triggering for you, feel free to skip this episode and tune in to the next one!

Learn more about Alianza here:
Phone: 413-538-9717 | Facebook:

Alianza Hotline: 1-877-536-1628
10 to 10 Helpline: 1-877-898-3411

Episode 7: Paid Work

Earning a living wage or an increase in wages that will not create a significant drop in public benefits like the Cliff Effect is crucial for a woman’s economic security, but is sometimes hard to manage. Additionally, having the opportunity for a flexible schedule to meet other demands and access to career advancement is a huge part of economic security.

Olivia sits down with Anne Kandilis from SpringfieldWORKS to talk all about the Cliff Effect and the importance of paid work.

Learn more about SpringfieldWORKS here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 413-755-1365
Economic Pathways MA Coalition:

Episode 8: Child & Dependent Care

Affordable, accessible, and quality education and care for children are key factors in a woman’s economic security. We know that without access to reliable childcare, mothers can’t work.

Olivia sits down with Dawn DiStefano from SquareOne and LaTonia Monroe Naylor from Parent Villages to discuss everything you might need to know about childcare.

Learn more about SquareOne here:
Phone: 413-732-5183

Learn more about Parent Villages here:
Email: latonia[at] | Phone: 413-276-1770

Episode 9: Supportive Networks

Having a supportive network might be one of the most important determinants of a woman’s economic security. For example, access to and confidence in an informal community (e.g., individuals, family, groups, or institutions) for all manner of help including borrowing funds, transportation, childminding, connection, support, job networks, mentorship, or sponsorship.

Olivia sits down with Kat Allen and Keyedrya Jacobs from the Franklin Regional Council of Governments who coordinate the Communities that Care Coalition to dive into the importance of having a supportive network and all the programs the Coalition has to offer.

Learn more about Communities that Care Coalition here:
Email: Kat Allen – kallen[at]; Keyedrya Jacobs – KJacobs[at] | Phone: 413-774-3167

Episode 10: Mental Health

Access to equitably delivered healthcare including affordable medication and mental health services is so important to a woman’s economic security.

Olivia sits down with Tamera Crenshaw from Tools for Success Counseling and CEO Karin Jeffers from Clinical and Support Options to talk about the importance of mental health care and all of the services that these two organizations have to offer.

Learn more about Clinical and Support Options here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 413-773-1314

Learn more about Tools and Success Counseling here:
Email: info[at] | Phone: 860-461-7792
Instagram: @toolsforsuccesscounseling | Facebook:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-talk (8255)

Suicide Chat | (click to chat button)

CT Sexual Assault Crises Line | 1-888-999-5545

National Domestic Violence Hotline | 1-800-799 SAFE (7233)

CT Coalition Against Domestic Violence | 1-888-774-2900

CT/MA info line | 211 or 1-800-203-1234

MA Springfield Crisis Line | 413-733-6661

Women's Fund stock photo graphic
Power Women Hour

About Power Women Hour

You are invited to watch a virtual series hosted by the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts dedicated to bolstering women’s economic security.

Many organizations have been affected by the economic impact of the pandemic, but while many still survive, women-owned businesses are at the brink of devastation. Prior to the pandemic, 1/3 of Western Massachusetts businesses were owned by women with that fraction threatening to decrease by the week. Businesses owned by women of color face the greatest barriers and are most likely to be shut out of recovery funding.

In the nonprofit sector, the pandemic has been disruptive to women-focused organizations and many philanthropic dollars have been understandably redirected to immediate COVID response.

Economic security for women is paramount to the success of a family. To bolster and empower women to be the champions of their own lives, we introduce Power Women Hour.

Women-Owned Businesses in Western MA (Before COVID-19)


Power Women Hour was made possible with funding from our lead sponsor, The Jamrog Group, and additional funding from the Institute for Generative Leadership.

We would like to continue this work for and with the community. If you are able, please consider giving a gift to advance women, girls, and their families.