By Christina Jansen
It does not get better than a sunny Saturday in San Francisco. On such a Saturday almost two years ago, Kate Maeder pulled herself away from work to attend an event in Dolores Park. There on the lawn, she met two women who she hoped would help her change the lives of women all over the Bay Area. They conceived an idea to connect with politically minded women like themselves and become the movers and shakers of their generation. Before long, one of them turned to Maeder and said, “The world is waiting for women like us.”
Out of this sunny day, Women Get It Done was born. (Gives a whole new meaning to ‘grass’-roots organizations) Today there are almost 500+ young and politically minded women in the WGID network. At its core, WGID is about one simple idea: women helping women through the power of networking. When this idea is realized, other events naturally flow: pay equity, more women running for office, women breaking the glass ceiling and more. Maeder recognized very early on that “when you put two people together, you change their lives.” This has become the definition of success for WGID; putting the right people together.
WGID is a springboard to launch their visions of everything from fundraising soirees to political rallies. All it takes is bringing these women together and then letting them do what they do best. No nonsense talk over wine and whisky has spawned events supporting Hillary Clinton for 2016, workshops for leadership in fundraising, attending state assembly debates, and its annual event celebrating National Women’s History Month, “SHEnanigans in San Francisco.”
The group calls WGID more of a “fight club” than a sorority. Members want to talk shop and get to know the women around them. Come the first Monday of each month, they may kick off their heels but never turn off their brains.
Women Get It Done is focused on connecting and engaging young women in politics but the long-term effects may end up being the most significant. It may be that 10, 20, 30 years down the line, these very women will indeed end up being the movers and shakers of their time. The group has even recruited a number of women peers who can act as mentors for less experienced members. This is just one more aspect that WGID is still developing to support women’s rise.
In fact, WGID relies on its members to shape the agenda and set the tone. WGID practices a bottom up style of decision making where members can suggest almost any idea they have for the organization. If members have a project they want to start they can bring it up at meetings or post it on Facebook. Maeder has made a point of trying to say ‘yes’ to everything.
There is little doubt these women will be a big part of the Bay Area political future. They are a force to be reckoned with as individuals and in a group. For now, they have created a network that connects them all. Want to get in on the action? Get out your phone book. Networking is the key to becoming a member. The group continues to grow through word of mouth. So, ask the women in your life if they have heard of Women Get It Done.
See the list of close the gap CA’s allies here.