King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a proclamation in honor of International Women’s Day, honoring the monumental contributions women have made to our county’s history.
King County Executive Dow Constantine issued a proclamation in honor of International Women's Day, honoring the monumental contributions women have made to our county's history.
"I encourage all residents to support the goals of International Women's Day, and to reaffirm our commitment to end gender-based discrimination," said Constantine. "Women have come a long way in the struggle for equal rights and opportunities, and it is up to all of us to continue consciously creating positive change for women worldwide."
King County has a strong history of providing leadership and management opportunities to the women in its workforce. Women comprise 50% of the Executive's leadership team, including Assistant Deputy County Executive Rhonda Berry, County Administrative Officer Caroline Whalen, Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Carrie Cihak, Director of Customer Service Natasha Jones, and Director of Labor Relations, Patti Cole-Tindall.
"In the span of my career, I have seen great expansion in the roles that women play," said King County Administrative Officer (CAO) Caroline Whalen. "It is an honor to be the first woman CAO in King County, and to continue to watch women make progress in the workplace."
Women currently comprise 40.85% of the King County workforce. That number is up from 37.9% during Women's History Month in March 2009, just 9 months before Executive Constantine took office.
To celebrate Women's History Month, in addition to the proclamation, King County government has devoted several glass display cases located in the underground walkway that links the Courthouse and the Administration Building to celebrate the pioneering women who broke gender and color barriers to serve the residents of King County. Members of the public can view the display during the month of March by entering both buildings, and passing through security.
"When women thrive, communities thrive," said King County Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives Carrie Cihak. "I am proud to work with so many talented women - and men - in King County who are dedicated to creating the foundations to foster success for all."
According to 2009 Census Bureau data, 92% of women in King County (ages 25 and older) have a high school degree or higher education, versus an average of 86% in the entire United States. In King County, 44% of women (ages 25 and older) have a college degree, graduate or professional degree, versus 27% in the entire United States.
"In my local government career I have seen the benefit of having women in leadership roles in cities and now in King County," said Assistant Deputy County Executive Rhonda Berry. "I encourage community leaders to continue to seek well qualified women as standard bearers for progress in the region."
King County government ensures that hiring practices and opportunities for career growth create a level playing field, and allow the same access to opportunities for all employees. In addition to not discriminating based on gender, the county also does not discriminate in hiring or employment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation (including gender identity), or any other protected status.