Training community-based women leaders at the State and County levels


United States of America

Thematic area

Leadership and decision making


Since 2017


The context

Despite the size of California’s economy, socio-economic and political conditions for women are extremely inequitable. Low-income women, women of color, immigrant women and LGBT people are  critical voices often missing from policymaking at every level. Almost 40 percent of the state is women, yet women comprise only 25% of state and county representatives.


The project

The Women’s Policy Institute was created to bridge the gap between policy makers and California’s diverse communities by training grassroots female leaders to participate in the policy process. During their training, the WPI fellows have already helped to pass 29 laws that have had far-reaching results in California and beyond.


The support

The Fondation CHANEL is partnering with the Women’s Foundation of California to strengthen the WPI through general operating support and technical assistance on operations and communications. Specifically, a total of approximately 50 women at the State and County levels will be offered support on policymaking and community organizing on an annual basis, with an emphasison recruiting women of color, low-income women, immigrant women, and LGBT people.

The expected results

  • Foster diverse leadership at the state and county level
  • Influence structural issues affecting California’s most marginalized communities
  • Strengthen the network of community based policy experts throughout California


The partner

Since 1979, the Women’s Foundation of California (WFC) has developed expertise as a funder, advocate, and convener of gender justice in California. Its work focuses on four core areas: training Leaders (Women’s Policy Institute), connecting partners, investing in solutions, mobilizing donors.


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