Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at WEV

For over 30 years, WEV has been dedicated to the economic empowerment of women –cultivating the power within each woman to realize her dreams, achieve financial independence and succeed on her own terms.

Women of color were paid

Of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2019.

Women of color must work
19 months

To be paid what the average white man makes in 12.

The LGBTQ community earns
89 cents

For every dollar their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts earn, according to the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

It would take
257 years

To close the gender pay gap, if current trends continue.

Uplifting Marginalized Communities

The unfortunate reality is that economic inequities continue to disproportionately affect historically marginalized communities, as described in the American Association of University Women’s report based on 2019 US Census data (sources).

White-owned startups are

More likely to obtain loans than Black-owned startups during their founding year, based on SIEPR research.

Of Black & Latinx owners

Who applied for first-round federal COVID-19 business aid received it, according to the New York Times.

New jobs could be created

If the revenue of businesses owned by minority women matched those of non-minority women-owned firms, based on the Amex State of Women-Owned Business.

Entrepreneurship and Economic Success

Historically marginalized communities that have experienced discrimination and exclusion due to race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, language, and immigration status face higher barriers to entrepreneurial success too (sources).

WEV Works to Empower All

WEV believes that we must work together to achieve economic equity for everyone. While WEV’s focus is on women, we support and empower people of all gender identities and backgrounds.

WEV’s DEI Journey

We are on a journey to embed Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion into everything we do at WEV. We must use our combined resources to uplift and support historically marginalized communities to eliminate barriers to achieving economic success.

WEV’s Commitments

Within the next 3 years, WEV is committed to:

  • Increasing services to historically marginalized clients to at least 48%.
    • In the past 5 years, 42% of the clients WEV serves have been historically marginalized – learn more in WEV’s 2021 Impact Report.
  • Increasing the diversity and representation of historically marginalized communities within our staff, programs, and Board of Directors.
  • Expanding our collaboration with other organizations and individuals to uplift and empower historically marginalized communities, including LGBTQ+, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic-Latinx, Indigenous, and People of Color.



Our Guiding Principles

WEV’s DEI efforts are built on 4 pillars…


We honor and celebrate the diversity of our community by fostering a culture of respect, inclusion, and authenticity.


We continue learning about the challenges that historically marginalized communities face in achieving economic success on their own terms and recognize that honoring and learning from diverse perspectives is critical to our mission.


We partner with our clients, community members, and other community organizations to advocate for sustainable solutions and systemic change to advance women’s economic empowerment.


We use our power to focus and shape conversations and perceptions about women and their needs.



DEI Committee

Our commitments start from within. WEV’s staff, Board Members, clients, and DEI expert advisors work together to prioritize and address the needs of historically marginalized communities. To remain accountable to ourselves and our community, WEV established a DEI Committee which oversees the organization’s DEI efforts, implements DEI-related initiatives, and supports the WEV team in building internal capabilities to embed a DEI lens into everything WEV does.

Our work wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of so many community leaders, clients, and professionals supporting our efforts. Thank you for joining us in our DEI journey.



We Are Stronger Together

As we continue learning from diverse perspectives, we invite you to share your thoughts to help us advance our DEI efforts.



Logo on the wall in the Santa Barbara Community Center states WEV + the Power of You