Advocate Stories

New WAGE Group

by Brandi Ellison on Dec 20, 2017

As someone born and raised in South Carolina, I am proud of our commitment to bringing jobs into our state and find myself dreaming about how this could help accelerate the economic mobility of our communities, especially for women and girls.

As South Carolina faces a future labor shortage, we must examine the hidden potential of those who currently live in our state. WREN is taking on this challenge by addressing SC’s workforce shortage by recognizing the tremendous potential of women and girls in living in the palmetto state.

A recent study shows that increased female workforce participation by the year 2025 could lead to $5.2 billion in new annual statewide economic activity and could lead to an 8% reduction in the male and female pay gap.[1]

It is important now, more than ever, for us to start thinking about solutions to this problem and how companies in SC can be a part of the solution. Our workforce shortage will create competition among employers to attract and recruit skilled talent. Like me, more and more women and men are searching for jobs that offer a healthy work-life balance that includes things like flexible work schedules, paid parental leave, paid sick leave and other similar benefits.  I continue to hear my friends and family talk about finding a job that supports both their career goals and their family commitments and I anticipate that these benefits, among other considerations, will continue to grow for potential employees for years to come.

WREN has added to its nest, the Workforce Advisory Group for Equity (WAGE), whose members include leaders from diverse industries and backgrounds, who are committed to WREN’s efforts to support women in the workforce. Advisors provide input on strategies to increase women’s participation and advancement in South Carolina’s workforce, including: hiring and recruiting practices, training and educational opportunities, shaping workplace and public policies, among other issues.

WAGE members are leaning into the conversation, uncovering the real challenges and opportunities women face in finding, maintaining and advancing in the labor force.  Do you or someone you know what to be a part of the discussion? Contact  Brandi Ellison, Director of Policy and Government Relations at


[1] Solving the South Carolina Labor Shortage: The Economic Impact of Increasing Women’s Participation in the Workforce, Joseph Von Nessen, Ph.D. Darla Moore School of Business, April 2017.




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