The Stateswoman Archive

Wisconsin Women’s Council Renewal Underway

by Sharyn Wisniewski

The Wisconsin Women’s Council (WWC) is taking steps toward rejuvenation. Governor Jim Doyle appointed Kris Martinsek of Milwaukee to chair the Council in September, and the first meeting was held in May.

The WWC was established by statute as an independent state council in 1983 “to enhance the ability of all Wisconsin women to participate fully in all aspects of life.” The Council was preceded by the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women, which existed from 1964 to 1979.

“I’m excited that we’ve had our first meeting and we will be hiring an executive director,” said Martinsek, who owns Martinsek & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in marketing real estate and transit projects and promoting special events. She organized Governor Doyle’s inaugural celebration.

“This has been my passion for a long time and I am excited to be chairing the Council,” said Martinsek.

Martinsek said that she is looking forward to partnering with other not for profit organizations to foster women’s issues. An early goal is to update the Status of Women in Wisconsin Report, using updated census data. The Report was first published in November 2002 by the Women’s Fund of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Two of its many findings were that Wisconsin women rank 48th of the states in the overall composite ranking for reproductive rights, and 39th in the ratio of men’s to women’s earnings.

The WWC has an office in the state Department of Administration building in Madison, and a budget of $100,000, which will primarily be used to pay salary and benefits for an executive director.

This article first appeared in the June 2004 issue of the Wisconsin Women’s Network’s Newsletter, The Stateswoman.