Mayor promises commitment to women’s empowerment

mayor-women's-planKansas City is now the first city in the United States to have a blueprint for women’s empowerment.

Mayor Sly James unveiled the plan today, saying he relished the opportunity to use his bully pulpit to address the issue of women’s leadership.

James says since he took over as mayor, he’s been at meetings where there weren’t many women in the room.

Being mayor, he said, gave him the chance to tell the group, “I’m not coming back until you change that.”

“Women ought to be represented in all rooms where serious business is being discussed,” James said.

The new blueprint for women’s empowerment was developed as a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, Central Exchange, Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and UMKC’s Women’s Center.

The overall goals are to ensure the City of Kansas City, Missouri is an inclusive, diverse organization and supports women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.

The blueprint was developed using an anonymous online survey and five in-person focus groups.

“On a national level, women-owned business account for 30% of all privately held firms and generated $1.3 trillion dollars in sales last year,” said Cici Rojas, President and CEO of Central Exchange. “It is imperative that we continue to promote and support women-owned businesses in the greater Kansas City area in order to sustain and grow a healthy and vibrant local economy.”

The study also got input from current and past female members of city boards and commissions.
Mayor James pointed out that both he and city manager Troy Schulte were at the Central Exchange this morning, symbolizing how important the city sees the blueprint as being. He promised the report will not just sit on a shelf.

“This is something we can build on,” he said. “It can change our community.”

Leave a Comment