Mary Steele, Executive Director

When I first began climbing mountains, women were seldom invited on Himalayan expeditions. No American woman had yet climbed Everest. Annapurna: A Woman’s Place, is the story of the first American and first women’s expedition to climb Annapurna I, the tenth tallest peak on earth. The book first came out in 1980. When I read it the following year, it opened up a new world for me. Women? Climbing together?  Without men?

In the 20 years after reading Annapurna, I had a chance to climb on 3 continents, including in the Himalayas. On almost every summit, I thought of the women of Annapurna and the routes they had opened for me and other women. Two of them died on the mountain, but the trail they blazed remains alive and is more trodden every year by amazing women climbers from around the world.

Corinne McKisson, Program Manager Ronald Commons

As a woman and member of the Compass staff, I want to lift up my women colleagues and acknowledge the extraordinary efforts most of us go to just to show up daily.  

The Compass mission is closely aligned with my idea of what being a woman in our society is about. We are inclusive of others, we see possibility where others give up, we see value in little things that others overlook, and we celebrate each other genuinely and generously. We are often disregarded, and presumed to contribute extra without sufficient compensation. To all the women out there I see you, I value you, and I want you to remember to value yourself, you are one of a kind and we can’t do what we do without you.

Liza Jolley, HR Generalist

What does Women’s History Month mean to me?

Having a particular month to celebrate women’s accomplishments is a great reminder for me to acknowledge and appreciate the resilience, creativity, and care women continue to show every day.

Even though I grew up in a very female-empowered family, the books above are some of the ones that continue to show me the multitude that is “being a woman.” While a patriarchal society teaches us too often to be individual fighters, the month-long celebration brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes to see the sisterhood champion each other and our communities.  

Resources and Learnings

Seattle Women’s History Timeline – City of Seattle

The 30 Women Who Shaped Seattle – Seattle Met

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On

Ideas for teaching children about Women’s History Month

Meet some of the “Trailblazing Black Women of Washington State” – Seattle Times

Women’s Bars – Oral Histories – Out History

Inspirational Song: You’ll Never Walk Alone by Mahalia Jackson

Maya Angelou Interviewed By Oprah Winfrey From 2013

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