ST. JOSEPH – In the wake of a historic election for female candidates nationwide, the Women’s Foundation today joined St. Joseph Mayor Bill McMurray in announcing an innovative initiative to reduce barriers to civic engagement and appoint more women to city boards and commissions. The city is participating in the Appointments Project®, a program launched by the Women’s Foundation to increase gender diversity on civic boards and commissions.
A free webinar for prospective appointees will be held on November 27 from 12-12:30pm. Women interested in participating can sign up at: http://www.womens-foundation.org/new-events/.
“We’re thrilled to bring the Appointments Project to St. Joseph and encourage all women interested in serving their communities to apply,” said Wendy Doyle, Women’s Foundation President and CEO. “Increasing the number of women in leadership roles here in St. Joseph will boost civic engagement and create a pipeline of women leaders who will move this region forward in the future. We commend Mayor McMurray for his leadership and for working with us to encourage more women to get involved in public service.”
Started in 2014, the Appointments Project aims to remove barriers for women to serve in civic leadership positions and increase the number of women serving on boards and commissions so that they are more reflective of the populations they serve. Based on a first-of-its-kind study that identified numerous barriers causing women to be underrepresented on boards and commissions, the Appointments Project serves as a talent bank, advisor, and advocate for women seeking appointed positions in state and local government.
“Here in St. Joseph we’re always looking for ways to make local government more open, transparent, and accountable – and the Appointments Project fits right in with those goals,” said Mayor McMurray. “We are very proud to be working with the Women’s Foundation on this innovative initiative that will encourage more women to apply for positions on our boards and commissions, which play a critical role in moving our city forward.”
The Appointments Project is currently partnering with approximately two dozen state and local governments across Missouri and Kansas. It has received more than 1,000 applications and helped appoint more than 90 women 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.
Learn more about the Appointments Project here.
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.