The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce presented its Women in Business and Leadership Initiative (WIBLI) Awards on June 6, recognizing exemplary contributions businesses and women in our region have made to increase gender equity in the workplace.
“Employers have the power to help make our economy more inclusive,” said Marilyn Strickland, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “This year’s WIBLI Awards winners demonstrate how our region’s business community is living up to its commitment to improve gender equity and economic opportunity.”
The awards ceremony included remarks from keynote speaker Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands, and a monologue by local performing artist, Aviona Rodriguez Brown.
During the ceremony, the Chamber presented three awards:
- Davis Wright Tremaine received the WIBLI Business of the Year award, which honors a business that has significantly contributed to gender equity in the workplace. Davis Wright Tremaine’s leadership on gender equity issues has been driven most prominently through the firm’s Project W initiative: a multifaceted, nationwide effort to help women build successful businesses and achieve parity in the workplace. Project W’s work is undertaken through a network of investors, entrepreneurs, and business executives, via partnerships with innovative, like-minded organizations, and through created programming.
Finalists in this category also included Cortona Café and Perkins Coie.
- Graciela Gomez Cowger, CEO of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, received the WIBLI Female Leader of the Year Award, which honors a woman who demonstrates exemplary leadership traits and has made significant contributions to gender equity in our region. Graciela is the first woman to lead Schwabe as CEO and one of only a handful of Latinas to lead a U.S. law firm. Graciela is active in efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, as well as in the broader community, through her involvement in the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association, Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, and Oregon Patent Law Association. She also serves on the State of Washington Women’s Commission.
Finalists in this category also included Sue Anderson of CenturyLink and Janis Avery of Treehouse.
- Madeleine Winslow, a diversity and inclusion consultant with Mercer, received the WIBLI Rising Star Award, which honors a woman with 10 years or less of work experience who has exemplary leadership traits at an early point in her career and has worked to advance gender equity in our region. Madeleine serves as a leading diversity and inclusion consultant within her company’s When Women Thrive division. She has been a speaker for conferences across the country and is helping to boost a product launch of virtual reality software integration for sexual harassment training.
Finalists in this category also included Alison Driver with The Trust for the Public Land and Sage Ke’alohilani Quiamno with Future for Us.
About WIBLI: Empowering women to grow and succeed in business and leadership is necessary to sustain a healthy and vibrant community. Women in Business and Leadership Initiative (WIBLI) events and programs inspire, educate, and connect Seattle-area women at all levels of their careers.