Appointed empowering women to seek a seat at the table

Thirty-two percent of civic boards in the Cincinnati region have no female representation. The Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation is seeking to change that with its newly launched initiative “Appointed.” In order to serve on a civic board, one must be appointed by a governmental official, typically an elected one.

“It is so important that we create balance on these boards and create the diversity that looks like this county on these boards,” says Holly Hankinson, who serves as The Women’s Fund’s Advocacy Director.

There are currently 329 civic boards in eight of the largest cities within eight counties occupying our region, so there are lots of opportunities to serve. More than 2,000 individuals are represented among these boards, but according to The Women’s Fund, that number needs more diversity and representation from all women.

Health care professionals could join a health care-oriented board; mothers who take their children to the park to play could join a park board; women who ride the bus could join a SORTA board.

To facilitate that process, The Women’s Fund is calling on women and then connecting them to the appropriate elected officials so their unique voices may be heard.

“We’re working to empower women to seek a seat at the table while providing support and training around serving on boards and commissions,” Hankinson says. “It’s a resource to women and also elected officials.”

Since Appointed’s end-of-May launch, 175 women have already signed up. Research indicates that the primary reason women don’t serve is simply because they are not asked, but now, the opportunity to be asked should increase significantly.

“We know based on our research that women add value and they improve outcomes,” Hankinson says. Voices are missing from the table, particularly from “people of color, people living in poverty, individuals with disabilities — people who have real experiences and assets.”

The goal of Appointed is to increase the pool of candidates for civic boards, so if you’re passionate and interested in serving your community, learn more and sign up today.  Here's how to connect: 

Visit The Women's Fund Appointed site here

Follow The Women's Fund community @cincywomensfund

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Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a college educator, freelance writer, and the event producer for Ohio Civics Essential. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.