Women’s Foundation’s Appointments Project™ Expands Across Kansas with New Initiative

Women’s Foundation teams up with  League of Kansas Municipalities, Kansas State University and the Kansas Health Foundation to appoint more women to city, county, and state boards and commissions

Wichita, KS -- Today the Women’s Foundation, League of Kansas Municipalities, Kansas State University Extension and the Kansas Health Foundation announced a new partnership focused on expanding the Appointments Project™, an initiative designed to increase the number of women serving on civic boards and commissions. 

The League of Kansas Municipalities and its participating member cities, including Wichita, will work with the Women’s Foundation to encourage and promote board and commission vacancies be filled with diverse and underrepresented members of their communities.

“We’re excited to work with the League of Kansas Municipalities and Kansas State University Extension to increase the number of women and women of color who are at the decision-making table of their communities. Many of our city, county, and state boards and commissions do not reflect the communities they serve,” ” said Women’s Foundation President & CEO Wendy Doyle. “More than a nicety, including women in the process strengthens communities and is a best practice for good governance.” 

Started in 2014, the Appointments Project is getting results with over 800 applicants with a total of 82 women appointed to Kansas and Missouri boards and commissions. In Kansas City, where the program was piloted, it has helped increase the percentage of women on city boards and commissions from 33-percent to 42-percent in just three years. Recently, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens acknowledged the importance of the Appointments Project and delivered on his commitment to appoint 30 women to statewide board and commission seats in 25 days in honor of Women’s Foundation’s 25th anniversary.

“The League works everyday to strengthen the cities of Kansas and our partnership with the Women’s Foundation and their Appointments Project not only makes our communities stronger, but it addresses the critical issue of diversity in the civic arena,” said League of Kansas Municipalities Executive Director Erik Sartorius. 

Kansas State University Extension will offer civic leadership trainings to appointees and public officials.

“We’re thrilled to be a supporter of this statewide partnership,” said Tara Markley, county extension director for Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. “We understand the need to have leaders who reflect the diversity of our communities. Our trainings will give local leaders the tools to better serve the state of Kansas. ”

Support from the Kansas Health Foundation helped make the expansion possible to promote civic health. 

“Diversity and inclusion are two hallmarks of democracy,” said Steve Coen, President and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation. “Ensuring representation of all genders, races, ethnicities and backgrounds is vital for new ideas, fresh perspectives and respectable governance now and in the future.”

The partnership with League of Kansas Municipalities and Kansas State University Extension is one of several Appointments Project expansion efforts. The Women’s Foundation has existing partnerships with the City of Olathe, Kansas; the City of Topeka, Kansas, the State of Missouri; the State of Kansas; and other jurisdictions to address the lack of women on boards and commissions. Learn more about the Appointments Project at http://www.womens-foundation.org/a-p/

The Women’s Foundation promotes equity and opportunity for women of all ages, using research, philanthropy and policy solutions to make meaningful change.  More information about the organization can be found at www.Womens-Foundation.org.

Established by municipal officials in 1910, the League of Kansas Municipalities is a voluntary, nonpartisan organization of over 500 Kansas cities. The League works for its member cities through advocacy, legal advice, education and other services.  Follow the League of Kansas Municipalities on Facebook or Twitter.

The national Cooperative Extension Service was created in 1914 to assure that research-based knowledge developed by the country’s land-grant universities got delivered to the people at the county level. Along with research and teaching, K-State Research and Extension “extends” its resources through non-formal, non-credit educational programs delivered by university faculty called agents that reside in all 105 counties in Kansas.