Here’s a bold but true statement.
Women and their leadership forged Vista into the progressive and dynamic agency it is today. While it’s true women comprise 73% of the workforce in most nonprofits, only 21% are in leadership roles. Compare those numbers to Vista Del Mar where women in leadership positions represent eight out of our ten divisions. That is sixty percent more than the average agency according to Nonprofit HR’s research.
While these percentages may be surprising to some, those familiar with Vista’s history know that it is women who have powered this agency from one decade into another. From the very beginning with Sarah Newmark to Ruth Shuken Z”L, to Helene Feurstein, and Terry Bell Z”L women have innovated the agency to fit the changing needs of our Los Angeles Community. Each year we highlight the excellency of these women in our annual celebration, Women of Excellence. This year’s Honorees have decades of dedication that have made possible our mission to serve children and families in need at the highest level.
What is most important about this statistic is the impact it has on our female students and residents. For them to see women (and women of color) lead this agency, models a world where they too can achieve. This statistic gives the young women we serve an opportunity to see females in roles of leadership and aspire them to reach their same heights. With our fiercest advocate, Board Chair Laurie Konheim, we have someone who can rally community support; gaining the attention of politicians, organizers, and donors who can provide even more opportunity to the children of Vista.
Celebrating women is celebrating perseverance. For our students male and female the high bar they set for themselves to achieve is based on the exemplary standards set by the women of Vista past and present.