New $200,000 Child Care Grant under The Power of She Fund with Women’s Sports Foundation to address inequalities facing female athletes
Gap Inc. brand Athleta joins TIME’S UP Care Economy Business Council to advocate for ongoing caregiving support programs for women
Athleta and Allyson Felix, together with the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), announced today The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants, a first-of-its-kind grant program that commits $200,000 to help fund child care costs for professional mom-athletes traveling to competitions. The partners also unveiled the first cohort of grant recipients, six of whom are headed to Tokyo; each will receive $10,000 from the Fund, putting its goal — to provide resources that enable mom-athletes to compete without barriers — immediately into action, on the biggest stage in sports.
This year, a light has been shined on the inequalities between men and women’s sports, from visibility to resources and investment. As a purpose-driven company made by women, for women, Athleta champions inclusion and the empowerment of women and girls. This grant program is an important step toward supporting female athletes holistically and holding the industry accountable for closing the gaps.
“As a mom and an athlete, I know first-hand the obstacles women face in sports,” said Felix, six-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Champion. “It was important to me and to Athleta that our partnership reflects that I am more than just an athlete. In fact, part of my contract includes provisions for my daughter, Camryn, to join me whenever I am competing. But not everyone has access to this type of support from a partner or sponsor. These grants are about showing the industry that all mom-athletes need this same comprehensive support to be able to participate in their athletic endeavors.”
Inaugural Grant Recipients
With The Power of She Fund: Child Care Grants, Athleta and WSF continue their work to support individuals and communities of women to reach their limitless potential.
“Balancing training with being a full-time mom is not always a pretty picture,” said Lora Webster, Sitting Volleyball Player, mother of a 10- 8- and 5-year-old, and Power of She Fund: Child Care grant recipient. “We don't have family nearby to help with the child care, so much of my training happens in our home with my kids acting as trainers. There have been many instances where we simply can't justify the cost of a babysitter on top of the cost of the gym and training site, so my training falls by the wayside.”
Nine mom-athletes, including six headed to Tokyo, have been named Child Care Grant winners. These grants provide the resources and support that mom-athletes need to focus on excelling in their careers. In addition to the $10,000 to use toward child care, the recipients will also participate in roundtable discussions hosted by WSF — with two like-minded advocacy partners, &Mother and the National Women’s Law Center, to spark long-term, systemic change across the industry.
“This money has given us such a big breath of relief in the past few weeks,” Webster added.
Providing Continued Support & Advocacy
Starting today, July 8, 2021, Athleta and WSF welcome additional mom-athletes in need of support for their child care expenses to apply for the next round of Child Care grants at https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/wsf_programs/child-care-grant/. This is the third grant in Athleta and WSF’s Power of She Fund program, which was established in 2020 to financially support organizations keeping women and girls connected through movement.
“Our vision at the Women’s Sports Foundation is to unlock the possibilities in every girl and woman through the power of sport and movement,” said Deborah Antoine, Women’s Sports Foundation CEO. “The expense of child care is one of the biggest challenges facing mom-athletes who want to stay in the game while also raising a family. These grants will help provide financial relief so that these powerful and inspiring women can continue to compete at the highest levels in their sport.”
As part of the Gap Inc. portfolio, Athleta announces today that it has also become a Member of the TIME’S UP Care Economy Business Council, joining 300+ private sector businesses to advocate for public investment to build a comprehensive care economy. The Council seeks to reimagine our nation’s caregiving infrastructure to get people back to work and build a more robust, resilient economy.
“As a brand by women, for women, Athleta understands that caregiving is a key component in empowering women to reach their full potential,” explained Mary Beth Laughton, Athleta CEO and president. “I’m proud Athleta is able to launch our Child Care Grants for female athletes and to partner with organizations like TIME’S UP. These important initiatives will help drive awareness for the ongoing need, while supporting our community of women.”
A certified B Corporation, Athleta is a performance lifestyle brand with a mission of empowering a community of active women and girls. Athleta’s versatile premium performance lifestyle apparel is designed by women for women with inclusivity at its core. Founded in 1998, Athleta integrates performance and technical features across its collection to support women across their entire lifestyle – from yoga and training to travel and sleep. In 2016, the company launched Athleta Girl mirroring its signature performance in styles for the next generation. Based in San Francisco, CA and a Gap Inc. brand (NYSE: GPS), Athleta apparel is available at its over 200 retail stores across the United States, through its catalog, and at Athleta.com.
About Women’s Sports Foundation
The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life. We are an ally, an advocate and a catalyst. Founded by Billie Jean King in 1974, we strengthen and expand participation and leadership opportunities through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. The Women’s Sports Foundation has positively shaped the lives of millions of youth, high school and collegiate student-athletes, elite athletes and coaches. We’re building a future where every girl and woman can #KeepPlaying and unlock the lifelong benefits of sport participation. All girls. All women. All sports.® To learn more about the Women’s Sports Foundation, please visit www.WomensSportsFoundation.org
About Allyson Felix
Athlete, mother and entrepreneur Allyson Felix is the most decorated Track & Field Olympian in history -- a nine-time Olympic medalist, six-time Olympic Champion. She has won, a mind-blowing, twenty-five global medals at the Olympics and World Championships. Allyson is still honing her craft and seems to find passion and determination rivaled only by the greatest of the greats. At this stage of her career, Allyson has found passions off the track which she believes are her true calling. She loves children and serves as a member of the Right To Play board hoping to raise awareness for underserved children in developing regions. Her determination is now carrying over to the business sector where she is the Founder and President of Saysh, a community-centered lifestyle brand for and by women; an investor in a plant-based protein bar company; and serves as an advisor to a fitness technology startup. She has hosted a wrap-up series for an Emmy-winning prime-time show on NBC. Allyson has accomplished so much, but her greatest accomplishment and her greatest love is her daughter, Camryn, who reminds her everyday that she can never stop fighting for what is right in this world. She continues to strive for greatness in all areas reminding us that we all can achieve things we never dreamed of.