Study is step in getting more women on Kansas City boards, commissions

The Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City will begin to step into the public policy arena with an effort to get more women on public boards and commissions.

The foundation planned to release results of a study on Monday evening that looked at barriers to women serving on public boards. The study, conducted by the University of Kansas, found that many women don’t believe they have the expertise needed, believe they won’t be asked to serve, and want support and training in order to effectively serve on public bodies.

Women’s Foundation CEO Wendy Doyle said the research is the first of its kind performed in the United States and could provide a template for research in other locations. The release of the research also will mark the beginning of an effort to work with Kansas City Mayor Sly James on identifying prospective board appointees and, ultimately, give women a stronger voice in policy decisions.

As part of an appointments project, the Women’s Foundation plans to accept applications from women interested in serving on Kansas City boards and commissions — and recruit candidates, Doyle said. The foundation then would forward slates of qualified candidates to the mayor to consider for appointments.

The Women’s Foundation raises money and makes grants to promote equity and opportunity for women and girls. The foundation, along with Central Exchange, is a partner in James’ Women’s Empowerment (WE) initiative.

Apr 21, 2014, 1:14pm CDT Kansas City Business Journal

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