By Kris Richey Curtis

I went to the Women’s Funding Alliance “Art of Dining” on April 4th. The WFA’s mission is to improve the lives of women and girls in Washington State by bringing attention to pressing issues, and working to bring “actionable solutions to philanthropy, community-based organizations, business and government.” Mayor Murray spoke at the event, and he expressed his intent to support the gender pay gap here in the City of Seattle. He discussed how he has overcome challenges based on his sexual orientation, and he wants to make sure all people in our region have equal opportunities in their careers.

At Kinzer Partners, we are exploring what we can do to support 100% Talent, the gender equity initiative for King County.

I would also note that we are so excited to see Amazon speak out on this issue as they formally pledged to support the Seattle Chamber’s work to improve gender equity in the Puget Sound Region.

From the WFA:

Women’s Funding Alliance believes that, far from being the problem, women and girls are the solution to many of the challenges currently facing families, communities and our economy in Washington State. In our state and around the world, we know that when women are supported and given the tools they need to succeed, their individual triumphs become victories for the entire community and have ripple effects for generations to come. When the contributions of women are fully invited and acknowledged, businesses and economies are strengthened. When we teach our girls how to lead with loud, clear voices, they become a formidable force for change through their own leadership.

While we have made great progress for women and girls, there is still more work to do:

  • Just 32% of the Washington State Legislature is female.
  • Just 20% of corporations in Washington State have more than three women on their boards.
  • For girls, leadership aspirations peak at age eight and just one in five believes she has the qualities required to become a good leader.
  • Among full-time workers in Washington State, women still earn an average of just 78 cents for every dollar men earn.
  • Women who work full-time earn less than men at every educational level, and in some cases earn less than men with lower qualifications.
  • Among the largest racial and ethnic groups, Native American women have the highest poverty rates at 27.1% followed by Hispanic women at 26.4%.
  • 39% of single moms and those with young children have incomes below the poverty level.