Professional Dimensions, TEMPO Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Women inc announced the formation of the new Women’s Leadership Collaborative (WLC), a collective of professional women focused on achieving equity recently on National Equal Pay Day, April 2.

WLC was created in the spirit and definition of collaboration, and in alignment with the notion of one voice is stronger than multiple voices. The effort was designed to be inclusive of the leading women professional organizations and represent the strongest collective of professional women ever formed in Milwaukee. The collaborative will address all instances of disparity but will focus on pay equity as its first major issue.

“We are excited to announce this collaborative under one united front,” said Johannah Karstedt St. John, CEO of Professional Dimensions. “I’m not only hopeful that WLC will be at the forefront of dialogue about all women’s equity issues in our region, but confident we are the right group of women to bring about real change.”

WLC does not replace the three organizations that form it, rather brings together the separate organizations in a unified voice to advocate for issues related to equity for all women professionals. The first of the issues that WLC will addressed was equal pay for women. Launching WLC on April 2, National Equal Pay Day, was symbolic, as the date represents how far into the new year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

“It is critically important that we present a united front in addressing gender disparities,” said Jennifer Dirks, President & CEO of TEMPO Milwaukee. “By forming this collaboration, our goal is to leverage the power of our collective memberships to address key issues through a defined process – including local research and solutions. Pay equity will be our first challenge, but not our last.”

Each of the three groups brings a unique expertise and large membership base, and collectively embraces equity for women professionals. With organizational missions involving elevating professional women and delivering greater impact in Milwaukee, the newly formed collaborative has the tools to address the urgent community need of ensuring equitable influence for all women professionals.

The collaborative plans to leverage its networks of nearly 1,000 members using their existing resources and platforms to identify realistic short- and long-term goals. The group intends to explore other organizational partners focused on advancing professional women and will serve as the advocacy group to help educate, train and provide resources for all women professionals.

“This level of collaboration among these three groups and professional women in Wisconsin is unprecedented,” said Jackie Mortenson, Director of Services for Milwaukee Women inc (MWi). “First and foremost, creating more equality in the work place is the right thing to do, but it is also a necessary step in addressing talent needs and creating more diverse, inclusive workplaces.”