This Nonprofit Is by Working Women for Working Women

Women of Cincy founder Chelsie Walter talks equity and community building—one ”girls night” at a time.

The best ideas often aren’t the ones we spend days, weeks, months, and even years agonizing over. Some are the result of a whim or a passing thought—like Women of Cincy, which Chelsie Walter launched in 2017 as an Instagram account sharing stories about local women of note. Now it’s a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to uplifting women, supported by more 40 volunteers and 34,000 yearly readers. Walter, currently executive director, dissects the story of a shoestring organization’s quick growth.

Photograph courtesy Women of Cincy

Much is said about women finding their “mom tribes” and female friends, but is it equally important that women find a support community in the workplace?

Women of Cincy is committed to creating more connected, empathetic, and inclusive communities by centering the diverse voices that make up the fabric of our city. We’ve done everything from happy hours to coffee dates, community comedy shows, live music, arcade parties, International Day Women’s Celebrations … you name it. We have a directory of women-owned businesses on the website.

Storytelling is such a powerful medium. What kinds of stories does Women of Cincy share?

Our stories consist of long-form Q&As, stories about community, and special series on topics like entrepreneurship and housing insecurity. Our team is run entirely by volunteers—writers, photographers, editors. We also manage a residency program to mentor college-aged students in the fields of journalism and communications.

Why is it so important for women to have their stories told and heard?

I’ve had the honor of witnessing the struggles, successes, and joys of so many incredible women in our city. They’re often facing injustices in the workplace, at home, in healthcare, in housing, and so much more. Beyond supporting each other in the workplace, it’s equally important for women to support each other in day-to-day life, at the ballot box, and anywhere we have the power to do so.

Time and time again, it’s women who organize, lead, and participate in community building. Our efforts have shaped this city and will continue to move it forward. A brighter, more equitable and connected community is possible if we work together, listen, and love each other along the way. We put empathy to work.

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