Empowering women through affordable homeownership
Home is the Key partner Chico’s FAS believes in empowering women — and understands the central role that having access to a decent, affordable place to live can play in changing lives.
Kristin Oliver serves as Chico’s FAS general counsel and executive vice president of human resources and field operations and is the chair of the company’s Corporate Giving Board. In this Q&A, she reflects on the importance of the Chico’s FAS-Habitat partnership.
Q: Why is female empowerment such a central focus for Chico’s FAS?
A: As a company that serves women, Chico’s FAS is deeply committed to their well-being, health and empowerment. We recognize and value the immense contributions that women make every day. With over 65 percent of female representation on our executive committee and 55 percent representation on our board, our commitment to women’s development is ongoing and indisputable. There is no greater force than women coming together to support each other.
Q: How does your support of Habitat for Humanity help to empower women?
A: Chico’s FAS shares Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a place to call home. Decent, affordable housing can create transformational change for women, their families and communities. Home is absolutely the key to unlocking stability. When women have a safe place to live with a consistent mortgage that’s well within their reach, they have a more solid foundation. They can reach for new opportunities.
Q: Is affordable housing a significant issue for women?
A: What we’ve learned through our partnership with Habitat is that, here in the U.S., decent and affordable housing is unreachable for far too many women and their families. Did you know that the majority of single mothers in the U.S. are paying 30 percent or more of their income toward rent or mortgage? Many pay at least 50 percent. We want to play a role in helping to change that reality for as many families as we possibly can.
Q: How, specifically, is Chico’s FAS helping Habitat?
A: We are a proud sponsor of this year’s Home is the Key campaign. From now through May, you can join Chico’s, White House Black Market and Soma to empower women by making a donation in our boutiques, outlets or online at ChicosFAS-Cares.com. We are also thrilled to support Habitat’s Women Build program, which is such a great way for women to proactively help other women and their communities while experiencing hands-on home building.