The newly formed Women’s Leadership Collaborative (WLC) is a collection of professional women in the Milwaukee area. This collaborative, inclusive of the leading area professional women’s organizations, and focused on equity issues, represents the strongest collective of professional women ever formed in Milwaukee.
“We are very excited to announce this collaborative under one united front, I’m not only hopeful that WLC will be at the forefront of dialogue about all women’s equity issues in our region, but confident we are the right group of women to bring about real change.”
- JOHANNAH KARSTEDT ST. JOHN, PROFESSIONAL DIMENSIONS
To create a future in which professional women have equitable influence, impact and inspiration on the Greater Milwaukee community. The collaborative will aim to address all instances of disparity but will focus on pay equity as the first major issue.
WLC has been created in the spirit and definition of collaboration, and in alignment with the notion of one voice is stronger than multiple voices.
“It is critically important that we present a united front in addressing gender disparities. By forming this collaboration, our goal is to leverage the power of our collective memberships to address key issues through a defined process - including local research and solutions. Pay equity will be our first challenge, but not our last.”
- JEN DIRKS, TEMPO MILWAUKEE
The collaborative plans to leverage its networks of nearly 1,000 members using their existing resources and platforms to identify realistic short and long term goals. With a goal to explore other organizational partners focused on advancing professional women as well as be the advocacy group to help educate, train and provide resources for all professional women.
“This level of collaboration among these three groups and professional women in Wisconsin is unprecedented. First and foremost, creating more equality in the workplace is the right thing to do, but it is also a necessary step in addressing talent needs and creating more diverse, inclusive workplaces.”
- JACKIE MORTENSON, MILWAUKEE WOMEN INC
WHICH DISPARITY ISSUES WILL WLC ADDRESS?
The first issue WLC will focus on is equal pay for women. On average, Wisconsin women who are employed full time lose a combined total of nearly $14 billion every year due to the wage gap. The projected year when the gender pay gap will close in Wisconsin is 2067.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH ABOUT THE GENDER PAY GAP
American women lose out on a staggering $500 billion each year because of the gender pay gap. But the latest government data shows that progress towards narrowing that gap has stalled. Women working fulltime are still paid, on average, only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men - a figure that has changed by less than a nickel during the 21st century. AAUW has launched a multipronged initiative with the bold goal of closing that gap by 2030.
WHAT DOES APRIL 2 REPRESENT?
Launching WLC on April 2, National Equal Pay Day, is symbolic, as April 2 represents how far into the new year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
As both Professional Dimensions and TEMPO Milwaukee celebrate more than 40+ years of success, and Milwaukee Women inc celebrates 10 years of building awareness on several issues that impact women, our organizations are at a unique moment in history to reflect on our impact in the lives of women members, the organizations that we lead and support, and the community at large.