April 2, 2021

YWCA Spokane and local experts chart Pathways Forward from the 2020 Shecession

Thank you to everyone who joined us for YWCA Spokane’s inaugural Pathways Forward roundtable event.

This past Wednesday, on March 31st, we launched a new virtual education series focused on providing progress-minded conversation about issues facing our community. The first discussion addressed the Shecession taking place in Spokane and across the nation.  Shecession is a term used to refer to the current COVID-19 recession which has shown to predominately affects women. Moderated by YWCA Spokane CEO, Jeanette Hauck,  our panelists offered possible solutions for women, employers, and community members to consider as we explore what our post-pandemic lives will look like.

If you joined us for our first Pathways Forward discussion, please consider completing this short survey to help us prepare for future events. Thank you!

Key Quotes from Panelists

Stacy Wenzl on practical ways for employers to support women at work, especially women with children at home:

“I think this is an opportunity for workplaces to really look at how they’re using human centered practices in their organization. Think about what has life been like for a working professional. I mean think about your own schedule or the the women or professionals you know that are working around the clock because they’re stretched thin. It’s the norm if you want to get ahead to work yourself to the bone and that’s not good for human beings and our practices together. So I think culturally this is an opportunity for organizations to really be thinking about what they have learned through this and what their intentional strategy is for supporting their workforce moving forward in a humane fashion. I think a very tangible thing that that employers can do for employees is increasing the flexible work policies. Does somebody really need to be in front of their Zoom for solid eight hours? It’s not healthy physically, mentally, or emotionally, so can you extend the working hours so people can accommodate the kids popping into the background?”

Sherri Lynch on ways individuals can help women take a step forward in their workplace:

“I think one thing that you could do is mentor somebody … I think that that’s one area where when women have a community and a support system around them they tend to do better and not just professionally but personally too. We all need mentors. If you could even take it one step further, I would say sponsorship is even better. If you see a woman in your organization who you see potential in, talk about that person when they’re not in the room, advocate for them, help them along without them actually knowing that you’re doing it. I think we all have the opportunity to do that because that’s how we really help out those people who we know are the shining stars. I think we all have an opportunity to really help people be the best self that they can be”

Kim Choat on Spokane’s resources for women looking to find work:

“I just want to say that I think Spokane’s workforce development is really impressive. If somebody wants to get a job there are so many organizations that are working on this from Worksource to Career Path Services to Community Colleges. We need to help people connect to some of those programs sometimes, but right now at Workforce Development they’re having a re-engage the workforce program that’s going to get women re-skilled. We also have partners like Transitions that have New Leaf Bakery and the coffee shop downstairs [at the YWCA building on Monroe.] Goodwill does amazing technical training as well as employment training too, so there are resources in Spokane to help people get back into the workforce. I think that people just don’t necessarily you know about them sometimes, but I am impressed with what Spokane has to offer and we all work together closely.”

Thank you, Panelists!

Thank you to Stacy, Sherri, and Kim for sharing their wisdom with us throughout the roundtable. Your expertise was invaluable as we kick off this educational series.

Thank you, Sponsors and Mission Partners!

This educational series would not be possible without the support of our valued 2021 Key Partners: Kalispel Tribe of Indians, MultiCare, Numerica Credit Union, Providence Health Care, and Hamilton Studio.

If your organization would like to make an incredible impact in Spokane this year, consider joining YWCA Spokane as a 2021 Corporate Partner.

Join us for the next Pathways Forward roundtable on July 26th

The next discussion will focus on promoting and protecting the health and safety of children, youth, and families in our community from awareness to action.


What’s Next

Stand Against Racism 2021


Every April, YWCA agencies across the nation host public events that engage in open and honest dialogue that confront stereotypes and bias as a community. The goal of the annual event is to unite our community in a bold demonstration that delivers a clear message: we are on a mission to eliminate racism. Each courageous conversation provides an opportunity to broaden perspectives, learn new tools, and connect with a diverse community of citizens passionate about eliminating racism in our community.

RSVP Today

Stand Against Racism 2021 will be held on Thursday, April 22nd, from 5:30pm – 7:00pm. Register today for this free, virtual courageous conversation through the link below.

SAR 2021

Celebrate Her with a Gift Today

All individuals who give a donation of any amount between March 31st and Mother’s Day, May 9th, 2021 will be entered to win a spa and stay package at Northern Quest Resort and Casino as part of our Celebrate Her fundraising campaign this spring!

Including a one night stay and 60-minute companion massage, this package is worth $510 and was generously donated by one of our deeply valued Mission Partners, Kalispel Tribe and Northern Quest Resort and Casino.

Please join us in celebrating an impactful woman in your life by donating in her honor. Consider including her name and a little bit about her in the comment section with your gift so that we can honor her alongside you. Tributes will be collected and shared as part of this campaign.


By: Andrew Goodwin

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