Takeata King Pang: Florida benefits when we empower women in politics

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More needs to be done to ensure women are fairly represented in the legislative process.

Women’s History Month serves as a reminder of the remarkable journey women have undertaken to secure their place in history. Yet, even as we celebrate the strides made, it’s crucial to recognize that true progress hinges on providing women with the tools and opportunities they need to exceed. At the Women’s Foundation of Florida, we have seen the positive impact women bring to our state when we support women and encourage them to elevate their leadership and pursue careers in public service.

Just four years ago we celebrated the 100th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote in America. In only 104 years, women have elevated their role in politics to make up almost 33% of state legislatures in 2023. While this is the highest percentage in our nation’s history, women make up over 50% of the United States population. Therefore, there remains a gender disparity in political representation and more needs to be done to ensure women are fairly represented in the legislative process.

One of our main initiatives to propel women into leadership roles is our non-partisan Women on the Run program. Through tailored mentorship, comprehensive training, and strategic networking, Women on the Run equips aspiring female leaders with the skills and confidence necessary to navigate the intricate landscape of political campaigns and governance. Twenty-four women from this program are currently serving in elected positions, becoming catalysts for change in their communities. Their stories exemplify the transformative power of women’s leadership, illustrating how diverse perspectives enrich governance and drive meaningful progress.

While in-person training has been such a valuable aspect of our training, our online community on Facebook has been crucial to cultivating vibrant communities of support and collaboration. The Facebook group for Women on the Run has evolved into a healthy community for women in the program to seek immediate support from other women, including current and former elected officials. Whether it’s rallying behind aspiring female leaders in the Women on the Run program or nurturing the next generation of STEM enthusiasts through our Girls STEAM program, our Facebook communities serve as catalysts for collective action and empowerment.

As Women’s History Month concludes, our organization encourages celebrating the indomitable spirit of women who have defied the odds and reshaped history. But we must continue to honor this progress year-round by empowering Florida women to overcome systemic setbacks and realize their full potential. Together, let us create a future where every woman is equipped with the tools and opportunities needed to exceed, thrive, and lead.


Takeata King Pang is the executive director of the Women’s Foundation of Florida, a nonprofit in West Palm Beach educating and empowering women and girls to be leaders and change the world.

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One comment

  • Bryce

    April 4, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    With regard to its COO Jennifer Kryshka (who previously served as CEO of Herizon): instead of acknowledging its lack of an autism lens in grantmaking (with respect to a 2020 grant to Futures Without Violence to expand its Coaching Boys Into Men program which according to correspondence I have received, Futures is not willing to tailor it for people with autism and other special needs considering that 1 in 36 children and more than 1 in 4 boys are on the autism spectrum according to the US CDC and that such may disagree with certain messages in this program among certain others thus hampering its effectiveness), Herizon and its CEO Jennifer Kryshka was running around threatening its (respectful) critics which I (a person with autism) was one of them.

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