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The Importance of Issues Facing Utah Women and the Economy in the Legislative Process

Kaitlyn ClarkeNews

The Women in the Economy Subcommittee (WIES), within the Unified Economic Opportunity Commission (UEOC), works to increase public and government understanding of the current and future impact and needs of women in Utah’s economy and how those needs can be met to enhance the quality of life for all. Each year, WIES hosts a legislative meeting and invites members of the Legislature to present upcoming bills related to their mission. 

“The important work WIES does has far-reaching implications for Utah women,” said Kori Ann Edwards, managing director of Strategic Initiatives at the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. “It does a great job promoting women and education and supporting families.” 

WIES advances the most pressing issues for Utah’s women under the UEOC by aligning their work to statewide economic development strategies. They are one of three subcommittees under the UEOC working alongside the Subcommittees on Housing Affordability and Talent, Education, and Industry Alignment.   

“This subcommittee continues our six-year history of accomplishing amazing things for Utah women, now under the Unified Economic Opportunity Commission,” said Sen. Luz Escamilla, co-chair of WIES. “From increasing domestic violence awareness to the wage gap, parental leave, and childcare, we advance the issues most pressing to women and families in the state and are active in the legislative process.”

WIES promotes women’s role in Utah’s economy and seeks to improve conditions for women to participate in the workforce. It also identifies and recommends implementing specific policies, procedures, and programs to respond to women’s needs in the economy and facilitates coordination of the functions of public and private entities concerned with women in the economy.

“This year’s legislative meeting was a huge success,” said Melissa Freigang, executive director of the Weber Prosperity Center of Excellence and WIES co-chair. “Meeting participants expressed their appreciation for the WIES bringing this work together, looking strategically at the issues through the lens of what is best for Utah’s economy, and maximizing the impact on our families and communities now and in the future.”