• Through nearly 20 self-published research studies on topics including leadership, domestic violence, what women want at work and the economic conditions of women
  • By serving as a credible resource on issues facing women and girls in our community with a working collection of national and local research to inform our community.

These research findings guide our work as the Women’s Fund educates the public about issues facing Omaha women and girls and funds solutions. This might be proving grants for impactful initiatives other agencies offer or establishing our own programs to meet unaddressed needs.

Women’s Fund Research

Women In Leadership Report

It has been twenty years since the Women’s Fund of Omaha first published its groundbreaking study that explored Omaha’s corporate, political and community leadership, and ten years since our last update to that original report. The Women in Leadership reports from 1996 and 2006 provided Omaha’s professional community with baseline quantitative and qualitative data about the leadership landscape for women in our community. The voices of our city’s leaders gave us insight into how individuals become leaders, how those leaders drive change, and also how slowly change has come for women in the workplace.

Our 2016 report once again focuses on the voices of our communities’ leaders. Through 80 interviews with a wide array of Omaha’s leaders, we tapped into the influential minds in Omaha’s corporate, nonprofit, academic, governmental, and medical worlds. We spoke to business owners, CEOs, senior administrators, organizational leaders, executive directors, COOs, and many more. The leaders we interviewed were as diverse in their backgrounds as they were in their current roles. However, each shared a deep understanding of Omaha, its organizations, and the kinds of leaders it produces.

2016 Women In Leadership_Executive Summary_SCREEN FRIENDLY
2016 Women In Leadership_Executive Summary_PRINTER FRIENDLY
Women in Leadership_FULL REPORT


Human Trafficking Capacity and Needs Assessment

Human trafficking is the umbrella term that encompasses both the exploitation of individuals for labor as well as exploitation for commercial gain through sex. Acts of commercial sex with anyone under the age of 18 is de facto sex trafficking.

In 2015 we conducted a state-wide survey to determine the services landscape in Nebraska. We published our findings in the Human Trafficking in Nebraska Report, which was presented at the LR186 hearing.

Adolescent Health Project

The Adolescent Health Project is based on several research components:

  • Identification of best practices nationally to prevent STDs and teen pregnancy.
  • An environmental scan of services available in our community.
  • Interviews with teens.
  • Focus groups with youth to gauge their understanding of STDs.

Read more about the project and download report summaries.

Women in elected office chartWomen & Leadership in Omaha 2013 Update

Every two years, the Women’s Fund looks at the number of females in elected offices, on appointed boards and on nonprofit boards. The 2013 update found that fewer women are serving in elected office today than in 1996. Read More

How-are-Women-Doing-graphicHow Are Women Doing in Omaha?

Women are consistently more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, according to a 2013 study by the Women’s Fund of Omaha on “How Women Are Doing in Omaha.” The report reveals that 11% of the population reported income below the poverty level, and women accounted for 57% of this total.  The poverty rate for African Americans was nearly four times that of white respondents. Read More

Leadership Interviews.inddLeadership Conversations

To better understand paths to leadership and key elements contributing to the success of women who have made it to the top, the Women’s Fund interviewed nearly 50 female executives. Their candid answers to questions on personal choices made to reach a leadership position, how they manage their time, their greatest successes, challenges they’ve overcome, the value of mentors and sponsors, and more are included in “Leadership Conversations.” Read More

Community Survey

Employment was the most important issue facing Omaha-area women in the next year, according to a survey of nonprofit agency professionals conducted by the Women’s Fund of Omaha in 2012. Poverty rated second in importance, followed by financial literacy and domestic violence. Read More

Intimate Partner Violence graphicIntimate Partner Violence in Omaha

While the greater Omaha area has an extensive network of service providers addressing the needs of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) survivors and has made great strides to increase collaboration and outreach, opportunities exist to enhance service delivery, according to a report released Nov. 4, 2010. Read More

Research Archives

How Are Women Doing in Omaha?

Provides a statistical picture of women in Omaha. A companion study looks at What Works to Help Women and Children Escape Poverty. – 2013
How Are Women Doing in Omaha 2013 (PDF)
What Works to Help Women and Children Escape Poverty 2012-13 (PDF)

Leadership Conversations

Nearly 50 executive women were interviewed to better understand paths to leadership and keys to their success. – 2012
Leadership Conversations 2012 (PDF)

Women & Leadership in Omaha Update

Updates the statistical information on the number of women in elected and appointed positions and on boards in 2011 compared with 2009 and 2006. – 2011
2010-2011 Research (PDF)

Intimate Partner Violence in Omaha

Researchers conducted interviews with service providers, held focus groups with survivors and reviewed literature to gather information on survivor needs and available services in Omaha. – 2010
Intimate Partner Violence in Omaha 2010 (PDF)

Women & Leadership in Omaha Update

Updates the statistical information on the number of women in elected and appointed positions and on boards in 2009 compared with 2006. – 2009
2009 Leadership Update (PDF)

Women & Leadership in Omaha

This is a follow-up to the 1996 study that established a local benchmark for female corporate, political and community leadership. It offers a statistical update of that baseline research and adds a new dimension: interviews with 83 of Omaha’s top leaders in corporate, education, healthcare and not-for-profit organizations – 2006.
Women and Leadership in Omaha 2006 (PDF)

Girls in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) Report

The community’s first comprehensive assessment on the status of girls in the Omaha area was produced by six community agencies – Camp Fire USA, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts – Great Plains Council, Voices for Children in Nebraska, Women’s Fund of Omaha and YWCA – 2006.
Girls in Real Life Report 2006 (PDF)

How Women Are Doing in Omaha?

In 1990, the Women’s Fund released a comprehensive report on how women in Omaha were doing. This report is an update, comparing the 1990 data with 2000 census information. – 2004
How Are Women Doing in Omaha 2004 (PDF)

What Women Want at Work

A study of what employers can do to help the women of Omaha be more productive at work. – 2002.
What Women Want at Work 2002 (PDF)

What Women Want

Groundbreaking study of Omaha women’s views on family, work, society and the future. – 2001
What Women Want 2001 (PDF)

Women and Leadership

Community and employment leadership of Omaha women (an update of the 1996 report) – 2000
Women and Leadership 2000 (PDF)

There’s No Excuse for Domestic Violence

Public opinion survey on domestic violence – 1998

Women and Leadership

Community and employment leadership of Omaha women – 1996
Women and Leadership Report 1996 (PDF)

Out of the Shadows

A Handbook on Domestic Violence – Presented by the Women’s Fund Task Force on Domestic Violence – 1996
Out of the Shadows (PDF)

Can We Stop the Violence in Omaha?

A Status Report, second in a series of reports on The Condition of Women and Girls in Omaha – 1995
Can We Stop the Violence in Omaha (PDF)

How Are Women Doing in Omaha?

A Status Report on the Economic Condition of Women – 1994
How Are Women Doing in Omaha 1994 (PDF)

Websites for Women

Our research focus during the past couple of decades has enabled the Women’s Fund to build a reputation as a credible resource on issues facing women and girls in our community. In addition to our own work, we have assembled a working collection of national and local research to inform our community.

If you are looking for national or local resources on a variety of issues – from leadership and politics to media and girl-serving organizations – check out these resources.

Research by Other Organizations

The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink (January 2014) examines the rates of financial insecurity among American women and focuses the conversation on what working women need now to be successful in today’s economy. Learn More

The State of Women in America: A 50-State Analysis of How Women Are Faring Across the Nation (September 2013). Published by Center for American Progress. Learn More

Youth Risk Behavior Survey 2012: A snapshot of health-risk behaviors reported by high school students in Douglas County, Nebraska. Learn More

On Pay Gap, Millennial Women Near Parity – For Now: Pew Research Center survey findings were paired with an analysis of census data. Learn More

The Great Debate: Flexibility vs. Face Time—Busting the Myths Behind Flexible Work Arrangements: Published by Catalyst (July 2013). Learn More


Human Trafficking
National Human Trafficking Resource Center 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733)

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) is a national, toll-free hotline, available to answer calls and texts from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Learn More

Women and Leadership
Institute for Career Advancement Needs –
Institute for Women’s Leadership –
Institute for Women’s Leadership at Rutgers University –
Ms. Foundation for Women –
The Global Women’s Leadership Forum –
The Woodhull Institute –

Research on Women and Girls
Catalyst –
Institute for Women’s Policy Research –
Kids Count Data Center –
Re: Gender –
United States Department of Labor Women’s Bureau –

Women and Politics
Bernard Center for Women, Politics & Public Policy –
Center for American Women and Politics (Rutgers) –
Elect Women –
League of Women Voters –
League of Women Voters Nebraska –
National Foundation for Women Legislators –
National Women’s Political Caucus –
Ready to Run National Network –
She Should Run –
Women and Politics Institute (American University) –
Women and Public Polity Program (Harvard Kennedy School) –
Women Count –
Women’s Campaign Fund –

General Political Information
PolitiFact –
Politics One –
DC’s Political Report –
Vote 411 –

Nebraska Politics
Nebraska Legislature’s Unicameral Update –
Nebraska Legislature –

Center for Women Policy Studies –
NCJW Action Center –

Women and Media
Lifetime TV –
Media Report to Women –
Miss Representation –
Name It. Change It. –
Oxygen Media –
Women’s Media Center –

Women and Finances
Citi Education Series on Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center –
The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) –
Worth for Women –
Guide to Financial Independence for Women –

Women and Business
9 to 5 –
Advancing Women –
National Women’s Business Council –
Small Business Association Office of Women’s Business Ownership –
Women Owned –
Women’s Leadership Exchange –
Women’s Business Enterprise National Council –

Women’s History
National Women’s History Museum –
National Women’s History Project –
WomensHistory.Answers –
Women’s History Month –

For Girls from New Moon –
Girl Scouts –
Girl Talk –
Girls for a Change –
Girls Inc. –
Hardy Girls Healthy Women –
New Moon Girls –
She Heroes –
TV by Girls –

Educational Resources
Scholarships for Women –

BlogHer –
Blogs by Women –
Huffpost Women –
The Glass Hammer –
Women on Business –

Quick Facts

Economic Self-Sufficiency

1 in 8 Nebraska households don’t know where their next meal is coming from. 2013 Kids Count in Nebraska Report

More than 90,000 citizens in the Omaha area have incomes below the federal poverty line. How Are Women Doing in Omaha?

Of those living in poverty, more than a third (36%) are children. More than half (63%) of families living in poverty are headed by a single female. How Are Women Doing in Omaha?

Triggers for poverty include employment and income, housing access, lack of social support, domestic violence and health. What Works to Help Women and Children Escape Poverty 2012-13 (PDF)

Violence Against Women

Although prevalence rates vary, a 2005 estimate found that 22% of women and 11% of men in Nebraska have experienced partner violence at some point in their lifetime. Intimate Partner Violence in Omaha

In 2011, there were 17,046 domestic violence-related calls to Douglas County law enforcement through 911. Community Update 2010- 2012, Domestic Violence Council.

The total number of domestic violence-related arrests in 2011 in Douglas County was 1,667. Community Update 2010- 2012, Domestic Violence Council.

One in four girls experience teen dating violence. (Statistics from Miss Representation)

Women’s Leadership

Women hold 38% of the board positions on larger nonprofit organizations in the Omaha area. Women are most represented on boards of human services agencies at 42%, and least represented on boards of foundations at 28%. Women and Leadership in Omaha 2013 Update

25% of the elected positions in Douglas and Sarpy counties were held by females in 2013, down from 34% in 1996. Women and Leadership in Omaha 2013 Update

Women hold 32% of the positions on appointed boards in Douglas County. Women and Leadership in Omaha 2013 Update

26% of businesses in the Omaha area are owned by women. How Are Women Doing in Omaha?

Women currently hold 4.8 percent, or 24, of the Fortune 500 CEO positions. Catalyst, Women CEOs of the Fortune 1000

Adolescent Health

The percent of births to mothers ages 17 and under in Douglas County was 1.7% in 2012, down from 2.9% in 2008. 2013 Kids Count in Nebraska Report

From 2003-2012, Douglas County reported 13,436 sexually transmitted infections among youth 19 and under. This compared with 13,132 from 1999-2008. 2013 Kids Count in Nebraska Report