Kansas City Mayor and Women’s Foundation Reveal New Long-term Partnership and Groundbreaking Research

MISSION, KS, (April 16, 2014)

Our goal is to identify the needs of women in Kansas City and provide solutions for lasting systemic change. – Wendy Doyle, CEO, Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City

In support of this goal, the Women’s Foundation commissioned a research study, the first of its kind in the country, as a result of becoming a partner with Mayor Sly James’ Women’s Empowerment (WE) Initiative.  The Mayor’s WE Initiative was recently launched to 1. increase the number of women in civic jobs  2. increase the number of women in high-ranking municipal government positions and 3.encourage women to join boards and commissions that affect everyday city life.

The commissioned research study was led by Dr. Barbara Kerr, a researcher and professor at the University of Kansas, with the following objectives 1.gain descriptive information about women’s attitudes towards civic engagement 2.compare responses at three levels of civic engagement and 3.draw themes from small groups. After three months of online surveys, focus groups, and analysis, the results highlight there are significant barriers that keep women from becoming involved in Kansas City boards and commissions.

The study’s results state that women are simply unaware that the opportunity exists to participate on Kansas City boards and commissions. The summary suggests that to encourage women to participate, the removal of small barriers like time and location of meetings, meeting management and the use of technology would encourage their participation.

We also found barriers for working moms,” Doyle said. “Does the time of the day conflict with child care or school? What about the safety of the location?

Complete research results and the announcement of a new long-term partnership between the Women’s Foundation and Mayor Sly James will be released Monday, April 21st at an invitation only reception and press conference held at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

We are proud of the research and the actionable information that has already come from it. There’s been nothing like this done before in the country,” Doyle said.

Contact: Wendy Doyle, CEO 913-831-0711 x. 24 or wendy@wfgkc.org


Press conference information: Monday, April 21, 2014 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. *The venue is open to the press at 4:30 p.m.

About the Women’s Foundation of Kansas City

The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City is the result of the vision and hard work of two organizations: the Metropolitan Women’s Roundtable, a consortium of more than 20 local women’s organizations; and the Central Exchange, a professional women’s organization. Representatives of these two organizations began discussions in May 1989. The dream was a new foundation for women of all ages, created, supported and managed by women in Kansas City. The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City’s Mission is to bring together money, ideas and action to create lasting change for women and girls, their families and our community.