Utah Women & Leadership Project studies the wellbeing of local Asian women
The Utah Women & Leadership Project released a new research snapshot on May 4th centering around the status of Asian women in Utah.
Susan Madsen, founder and director of the Utah Women & Leadership Project, said there is a typical gap in research regarding the intersection of race and gender. She said it’s essential to conduct research studying the wellbeing of women of all ethnicities, especially as Utah becomes a more diverse state.
“I’m learning how impactful race and ethnicity is," Madsen said. "And oftentimes we acknowledge women of color, but the more research we’re doing and the more I meet more women of color and more ethnic and race groups, everyone’s life experience is so impacted by their color and their experience of their culture.”
This study is the second of five total snapshots. The first study revolved around Pacific Islander women in Utah. After this study, Madsen said the researchers will release snapshots revolving around Black women, Latina women and Native American women in Utah.
“We’ve also had community gatherings where we bring out women of different ethnicities and have two hour conversations about their experiences, challenges and opportunities moving forward,” Madsen said.
Findings of this study conclude that Utah Asian women are more likely to be married and less likely to divorce, compared to all other Utah women. Significant findings also conclude that Utah Asian women fare better in physical health measures, are more likely to attain a college degree, but tend to have higher poverty rates in Utah.
Madsen said it is important to note that the Asian population in Utah represents 20 different ethnicities representing many different countries that span across the Asian continent. She said learning to appreciate others, their cultural background and how they are doing in the state of Utah opens doors for more inclusivity.
“I just think it’s important for more people to understand that the demographics of our state are changing; and just lumping experiences into just the assumption that everyone struggles the same or has the same opportunities.... I'm just learning more and more throughout the years that is just not true, " Madsen said. "We need to listen, we need to learn, we need to gather data.”