With 40 percent of its businesses owned by women — the highest share of female-owned businesses in the United States, according to Visit Seattle — Seattle is a destination where women can find success. Which is exactly why Visit Seattle’s activation at PCMA Convening Leaders 2019 in Pittsburgh was all about celebrating powerful women who hail from Seattle.
One chalkboard in the space featured the faces of 29 notable Seattle women, such as Pike Place Market Foundation Executive Director Lillian Sherman and singer Brandi Carlile, sketched in chalk by a local Pittsburgh artist.
The other chalkboard invited women attending Convening Leaders to share their own thoughts on becoming an empowered woman by answering two questions: “What advice would you give your former self?” and “What is your superpower?” Responses participants jotted down to the first question included “Do not limit yourself,” “It’s okay to say no,” and, as several shared with a laugh when I stopped by the space, “Don’t marry him!”
“Being the founding partner of Ascent, it was important for us to have the dialogue of diversity and inclusion on a hundred different levels,” said Kelly Saling, vice president of convention sales, Visit Seattle. “But we have [also] talked about ways to be super transparent about what Seattle excels at and where we have a lot of work to do.”
One of the ways in which the destination feels it shines and wanted to highlight was in this sphere of women’s leadership, Saling said. Several products donated by women-owned Seattle companies, such as indi chocolate and DRY Soda Company, were offered as proof that female ingenuity is alive and well in The Emerald City.