25 Years of Changing Women’s Lives – A Word from our CEO

2014 marks Women’s Bean Project’s 25th anniversary. A lot has changed since 1989 when Jossy Eyre first imagined a safe and accepting work environment for women, bought $500 of beans and put two women to work making Toni’s 10 Bean Soup.

Much has changed since the Bean Project was founded:

  • The work world has changed. In 1989 only 40 percent of all female workers used computers at work. Today computer skills are essential to employment, not just on the job, but to get a job in the first place.
  • Welfare has changed. In 1996 the Welfare Reform Act  was enacted to break the cycle of dependency unlimited welfare benefits were believed to provide. The act created a workforce development component for assistance and millions of people moved off of welfare and into the workforce.
  • Female incarceration has changed. During the 90’s, because of drug sentencing laws, the number of women in prison doubled, adding a felony conviction to the barriers to employment for huge numbers of women.

Twenty-five years is a long time, so it’s not surprising that Women’s Bean Project has witnessed a lot of change. I am grateful that so many of our supporters have been with us on this journey.

The Bean Project’s work is not finished, but the seeds of hope planted with each woman who has walked through our doors over the last 25 years have extended to their families, friends and our community as a whole.

Thank you for your help on this journey. We look forward to continuing to work together to change women’s lives by helping them help themselves.

Tamra Ryan
CEO, Women’s Bean Project

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