In 1926, Bertha Knight Landes became the first female mayor of a major American city, serving in the office in Seattle. Ever since, the city has continuously embraced the contributions of women, empowering them to shape the city’s culture along the way. Today, the city is once again led by another strong woman—Mayor Jenny Durkan—furthering the city’s environment of inclusion.
In Seattle, women mean business.
According to recent analysis done by MagnifyMoney, Seattle is ranked the #2 best U.S. city for working women. Similarly, TechRepublic reported Seattle as a top-10 best city in the U.S. for women entrepreneurs in 2019. And sure enough, Seattle has the highest share of women-owned businesses in the country, with 40% of businesses being woman owned. That’s more than 70,000 private women-held firms throughout the city.
Beyond just numbers, many of these women-led brands define the rich and diverse texture of the city, from local favorites that include Seattle Chocolate and Cupcake Royale, to nationally recognized brands like DRY Soda and Sub Pop Records.
Women’s impact beyond the boardroom.
Megan Rapinoe of Reign FC vs Sky Blue FC at Cheney Stadium, September 2019. Jane Gershovich
Outside of traditional business boardrooms, Seattle’s community and culture are shaped by the contributions of women. Seattle is one of the top cities for women in legislation, with over 40% of state legislative positions being held by women, and with female city council members outnumbering their male counterparts two to one. Seattle is home to three-time WNBA champions the Seattle Storm (notably owned by an all-female leadership group), as well as Seattle Reign FC legend, USWNT captain and LGBTQ advocate, Megan Rapinoe. James Beard nominees such as Rachel Yang, Renee Erickson and Zoi Antonitsas continue to define the city’s culinary scene. Cultural organizations including the Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, the Pike Place Market Foundation and FareStart are all helmed by women. And of course, Seattle is also the proud home of Melinda Gates, who Forbes recognized as the third-most powerful woman on the planet.
It takes a village.
As a community, Seattle is a city that thrives on collaboration, and many of the women entrepreneurs in the city would tell you that sense of community has been key to helping them thrive. From groups like Lady Bosses or Women Business Owners, women actively look for opportunities to help others succeed in Seattle. It’s one of many reasons The Riveter, an inclusive co-working space designed by women, was born here and continues to thrive here. It’s also why Seattle was rated one of the Best Places for Women to Travel Solo by Travel + Leisure in 2018.
Whether you’re planning an all-women meeting, have a strong attendee base of women or just want to underscore the impact of women in your industry, Seattle creates a powerful backdrop for your meeting.