WENATCHEE — About 7 percent of Congress members are women of color, according to the nonprofit Catalyst.
Women of color also held less than 4 percent of Fortune 500 board seats in 2016, and they constitute 5 percent of executive or senior-level officials and managers.
In light of such statistics, YWCA North Central Washington will host a panel discussion and luncheon titled “Standing in All Shades” at noon Thursday at 212 First St., Wenatchee.
“Now, perhaps more than ever, our country, our government, business sectors and communities need the visible leadership of women of color,” Community Relations Manager Alyssa Martinez said in an email.
“It is also crucial that we build bridges in our community with one another. Despite outpacing other groups in college education, leading social progress since the very beginning, and often being the primary breadwinner in their households, women of color are consistently underrepresented in positions of leadership.”
Here are the panelists:
- Mariah Bowen-Picard, crime victims advocate, Together! For Youth.
- Jessie Ka’ahumanu Ray Coen, electronic health record trainer, Confluence Health.
- Jessica Esparza, registered nurse, Confluence Health.
- Luz Estrada, tutor, Pioneer Middle School.
- Yuritzi Lozano, camp director, Wenatchee Valley College.
Martinez said the panelists were chosen based on factors including their backgrounds and life experiences, occupations and leadership roles in the community.
The discussion will focus on topics such as racism, feminism, systemic change and the glass ceiling, Martinez said. The public will also be able to ask questions.
“We hope that those who attend leave this event having had the life-changing experience of walking in someone else’s shoes,” Martinez said.
“We hope that through our collective efforts we are able to empower and inspire local women and girls of color to break through barriers and aspire to achieve and grow. We want the community to know that it is possible and important, now more than ever, to build bridges with one another in our community, even if our viewpoints, skin color, language or experiences are different.”
Tickets are $15 and available at ywcancw.org/get-involved/events. For more information, call 662-3531.
Reach Bridget Mire at 509-665-1179 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Bridget on Twitter at @bridget_mire.