The Pulse on Gender Equity in Seattle & Beyond


Join EqualiSea founder for a free panel on strategically increasing diversity in business

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Join EqualiSea founder Martha Burwell at a free panel for Seattle Startup Week with 6 Seattleites who are experts on diversity, and learn how to make your startup or workplace welcoming and inclusive for all types of people.

When: Tuesday, October 27 3-4pm
Where: Seattle Impact Hub 220 2nd Ave South 98104 (main event space)
Cost: Free! But you must register in advance via Seattle Startup Week.

Good for Business and the World: Building Diversity into your startup

Data shows that having a diverse* team is good for both business and social equity.  Yet, it’s something that very rarely just happens.  Our unintentional default, in fact, tends to be to surround ourselves with people just like us—to stick to our social circles. 

Entrepreneurs have the unique opportunity to intentionally design their business foundation and culture to be welcoming and attractive to many types of people. This panel will discuss strategic ways to build inclusion into your new venture, from defining core values to hiring staff.  Join us – and let’s think outside of the circle. 

*our definition of diversity is broad, covering such areas as ethnicity, gender, LGBTQ, age, background, socioeconomic status, and more.

Moderator: Martha Burwell

Martha Burwell is an independent consultant who specializes in sustainable project design and gender-balanced teams. She is based in Seattle and works with nonprofits and small businesses. She also blogs about intersectional gender equity in Seattle at www.EqualiSea.org. An avid traveler, she’s visited over 30 countries and lived and volunteered in 4. See www.marthaburwell.com for more details.



Elayne Wylie

Elayne Wylie is an event producer, educator, and filmmaker who trains business professionals in workplace equality. Elayne has also served as the chair of the Seattle Regional Affiliate with Out & Equal, Workplace Equality Associates, and is the current Board Chair of Gender Justice League. She is also a professional filmmaker, trained at the UW in journalism and documentary film. She has a passion for volunteerism and community service, and enjoys roadtripping the Pacific Northwest.



Matthew EchoHawk-Hayashi

Matthew Hayashi is the principal organization development and leadership consultant for Headwater People. They help brilliant people do transformational work and offer a variety of strategic consulting services such as organization learning, strategic planning, change management, process design, and executive coaching. His passion is to help connect groups to the core mission of their work through collaborative and innovation and whole organizational health. Matthew and his wife and children make their home in Seattle, Washington.

Elizabeth Scallon

Elizabeth Scallon is the Associate Director of CoMotion Incubator for the University of Washington’s CoMotion, which focuses on nurturing UW startup companies from innovation to impact. Elizabeth spent part of her early career as a Lab Manager and Research Associate at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and more recently held a position as the Senior Operations Manager for VLST Corporation, a biotech firm in Seattle researching novel approaches to autoimmune diseases.
She holds volunteer position as the Chief Operations Officer for HiveBio Community Lab, Vice President of Pygmy Survival Alliance, and is on the Board of Trustees for the World Affairs Council of Seattle.

Ruchika Tulshyan

Ruchika Tulshyan is the author of The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality In The Workplace (Forbes, 2015). Ruchika co-found a business in Singapore, where she's from and also led content marketing strategy at a Seattle-based startup before deciding to get back to writing full-time. Her articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Time and Bloomberg, among other media. Ruchika has reported from six cities across four countries. She holds degrees from Columbia University and the London School of Economics.

Eric Osborne

Eric Osborne is Co-Founder of Here Seattle a non-profit networking and professional organization for underrepresented minorities.   He is actively working with minorities and companies within the tech and creative industries to create more opportunities and inclusion for underrepresented minorities in the Greater Seattle area.  He is transplant from Florida by way of Los Angeles and is an avid  reader, reading at least a book a week.


The Evolution of the Word 'Partner'

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Language is fascinating.  If ever you’ve sat with a dictionary in your hand and thought that the language on those pages was defined, static, unmalleable, you would be mistaken. Wicked, sick, twisted: Just a couple of decades ago each of these words would have solely negative connotations; nowadays these words are commonly used to describe something positive.

And so too the language that we use to define our relationships is changing

It's All Connected: 4 ways LGBTQ and Gender Equality Advocates Can Work Together

It's All ConnectedMartha BurwellComment

Imagine this.  You just visited the doctor, and received a 3-month prescription for birth control.  At Bartell's the next day, the pharmacist hands you the packet, then asks you to slide your card.  Your eyes move down to the screen, and you jump at what you see.  $150!  “What? That’s way too high!” you exclaim.  The pharmacist pulls up your information.  “It appears your health insurance doesn’t cover birth control.  Employers don’t have to include reproductive care if it goes against their religion now,” she explains, shaking her head.  You slide the pills back across the counter with a sigh, as you can’t afford that.  

Earlier this month, I interviewed David Ward about how the fight for gender equality and LGBT equality overlaps.  After covering the main concepts, our conversation shifted to where we should work together.   

It's All Connected: LGBTQ and Gender part 1

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If you’re a supporter of gender equality, I bet you also support LGBTQ rights.  

This is true for me, but I’ve never been quite able to articulate why
It just seemed right.  It just seemed to make sense. 

As the first post in the “It’s All Connected” series, I explored this topic with David Ward, an attorney at Legal Voice, who has worked to pass laws in Washington State addressing both the fight for LGBT equality and gender equality.