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News / Clark County News

YWCA rolls out women’s leadership workshops

By Katie Gillespie, Columbian Education Reporter
Published: February 19, 2018, 6:03am

YWCA Clark County has unveiled a program it hopes will add to the wave of women challenging sexism in the workplace and running for political office.

The organization this week will launch its new Women’s Leadership Center program, an effort to propel women and girls into leadership positions.

In a series of paid workshops, instructors will cover topics such as asking for a raise, speaking in public and supporting women of color running for political office.

“It’s a space where you can really build your skills,” program director Stephanie Barr said.

The organization hopes providing local training opportunities will help ease the lack of women in top political and private positions.

YWCA Executive Director Sherri Bennett said there hasn’t been a place in the community providing this type of training specifically for women.

“How can we advance them into leadership positions and toward political careers?” Bennett said.

The YWCA received a $15,000 grant from Empower Women + Girls, a Clark County giving circle that awards grants to programs supporting women, and a $12,000 grant from the Women’s Funding Alliance, a Seattle-based nonprofit, to launch the leadership center.

The effort represents a pivot for the organization, whose programs have historically served low-income women, domestic violence victims and young people who have been victims of abuse or neglect.

These workshops will likely target women who are more established, whether in the middle of their careers, returning to the workforce after raising children or considering future bids for political office. Bennett, however, said the lessons learned will underscore the YWCA’s mission: “Eliminating racism, empowering women.”

“We want people to feel like the most empowered versions of themselves,” Bennett said.

For a list of workshops and to register, visit ywcaclarkcounty.org/what-we-do/our-programs/wlc/.

Columbian Education Reporter