On Dec. 9, 2013, Milwaukee Women Inc. (MWi) lost its co-founder and a powerful mentor, Betty Quadracci.
Betty was a community advocate, philanthropist, business leader and champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Betty co-founded MWi in 2002 and brought together – literally around her own table – professional women determined to enhance the face and quality of leadership in the Wisconsin business community. Since that time, more women have advanced in leadership roles and are now serving on corporate boards.
Betty realized early on that in a complex global world, a range of viewpoints, backgrounds, skills and experience can have a positive impact on a company's strategic decision-making and ultimately its bottom line. She valued and respected individual differences and talents. Research is now catching up with Betty's vision and validating her beliefs
With only 14 percent of all of the board seats in the top 50 Wisconsin publicly-held companies today filled by women, and only seven of these companies reaching 25 percent of women in their board composition, we are called to build on Betty's legacy of promoting diversity and inclusion. (See the latest research at http://milwaukeewomeninc.org/research.html).
MWi is committed to continuing the advocacy work Betty started by working with community and business leaders to grow a stronger economy and a more attractive environment in which to work and do business. That means creating a community where we value diversity and optimize talent to create a bright future for Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.
Betty Quadracci will be missed, but it is our hope that her vision for diversity and inclusion will live on.
Phyllis King is chair of Milwaukee Women Inc.