Seattle Proves It’s a Welcoming Destination for Women Who Lead

A Sponsored Message From Visit Seattle

Author: Jessica Poitevien       

Seattle Skyline with SPace Needle

Seattle offers the best of an innovative, world-class urban center, surrounded by natural beauty. (Andrew Jacob Media)

Earlier this year, Seattle earned a spot as one of the top 15 destinations for solo female travelers. In 2021, several Seattle-based companies were voted as some of the best employers for women in the U.S., while in 2020, the city ranked No. 1 for women business owners. Even Washington state as a whole boasts impressive stats with more than 40 percent of state legislature positions being held by women — one of the highest percentages in the country. Suffice it to say, Seattle is a welcoming destination for women to live, travel, work, and, of course, host meetings with other women leaders.

“Seattle’s ingrained culture is to be inclusive, courageous, and encouraging. We have been the birthplace of innovation for industry, boutique businesses, music, art and sciences. There’s a place for all people here,” said Tammy Canavan, president and CEO of Visit Seattle.



Recognizing its strength as a safe, supportive, and encouraging environment for women to lead, Visit Seattle launched the SEAforSHE initiative, highlighting the unique stories of prominent women who call Seattle home, like Melinda French Gates, Pramilla Jayapal, Megan Rapinoe, and Ijeoma Oluo.

What started as an activation at PCMA EduCon in 2019 is now a prominent pillar of Visit Seattle’s destination messaging. A dedicated web page now features stories of impressive women Seattleites, with new stories added every month. Inspired by Girl Scouts badges, the SEAforSHE initiative also includes Badges of Honor that women (and men) can wear to proudly show off their superpowers as Magic Makers, Encouragers, Givers of Good, Masterminds, and more.

“In general, there is a sense of appreciation [in Seattle] for what women leaders bring to the table, an understanding of our leadership styles and perspective that contributes to problem solving and leveraging opportunities,” said Beth Knox, president and CEO of the Seattle Sports Commission.

SEAforSHE pins

Badge of Honor pins allow recipients to celebrate and proudly display their superpowers — part of Visit Seattle’s SEAforSHE initiative.

The collaborative nature of the Seattle community, in addition to being a welcoming place for women leaders, makes it an ideal destination for meetings and events of all sizes. The city’s NFL team, the Seattle Seahawks, has a team DJ; chefs partner with musicians regularly; the tech community often works with local schools; and the entire city lit up when Seattle won the MLB All Star Game bid and the FIFA Men’s World Cup bid. There is an unspoken understanding that if one Seattleite wins, they all win, and this creates a space for everyone to bring their most authentic selves to the work that they do.

This spirit of collaboration and connectivity across Seattle’s wide variety of industries also means that meeting planners will have the best that the city has to offer at their disposal. And this strong sense of community is in addition to the city’s more tangible offerings.

“When I brag about Seattle, the music and entertainment, arts and culture, sporting events, iconic attractions, food, wine, coffee, and the great outdoors are at the top of the list,” said Keri Robinson, area vice president of the Western Mountain Pacific region for Marriott International.

Meeting planners can find it all in Seattle and rest assured that they’re sending attendees to a place that’s open and welcoming to everyone, but especially excels in celebrating women and giving them the well-deserved spotlight.