Advocacy, Leadership Empowerment, Diversity


Our Goal

The mission of the Partnerships Subcommittee is to collaborate with various business resource groups and other organizations to advance the ICSEW’s mission and support the many intersections among Washington state-employed women. We believe diversity is our strength, and it is vital we build a coalition to address the various forms of systemic oppression affecting the many intersections of state-employed women.

What We Do

The Partnerships Subcommittee works to shape the relationships among ICSEW, the Women’s Commission, business resource groups and other organizations to leverage the power of ICSEW’s membership. We strive to have an impact on policy that directly affects Washington state-employed women and all our intersections. Together, we hope to create a unifying voice where we advance diversity, equity and inclusion within state government.

Our Members

Office of Financial Management

Allison is Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Data analyst at the Washington Office of Financial Management’s (OFM’s) Workforce Strategies Section.  Allison started her career in state government at the Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises and prior to OFM worked at the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Office of Equal Opportunity.  Allison has a joint JD / MBA and a bachelor’s in psychology.  Allison served on Governor Inslee’s Equity Office Taskforce which developed the recommendations that led to creation of the nation’s first statewide Office of Equity.  Allison has been in state government for about five years.  Allison is passionate about helping current and prospective state employees find their way in state government.

I joined ICSEW to support other women in state government and to promote visibility of transgender individuals. 

ICSEW is a great supportive environment where you can meet other amazing women professionals.

My hope is that partnerships can continue to develop relationships to other groups that impact women employed in state government.  I also want to foster connections with the state business resource groups and the new Office of Equity.

Department of Enterprise Services

Melissa Harris is a Learning Design and Delivery Professional for the Department of Enterprise Services, with over 20 years of professional experience in both the private and public sector.  Melissa has focused her career on employee engagement and organizational performance by developing and coaching people throughout all levels in an organization, and helping organizations build on the value they delivery to their customers.  She specializes in Leadership & Team Development, Human Resources, Operations Management, Change Management and Lean Six Sigma.

Melissa is co-chair of the Partnerships Sub-Committee for the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women (ICSEW), the representative for the Department of Enterprise Services.  In her current position with DES, she feels fortunate to have a direct impact on the leaders of Washington State, and aspires to lead by example through her behaviors and actions that align with the ICSEW values.  She is truly honored to represent her agency alongside some of the most inspirational, hardworking and determined women in Washington State government.

Melissa studied Business Management & Human Resources Management at Washington State University. She also holds certification as a Change Management Practitioner and Lean Six Sigma Green Belt. Melissa enjoys spending time with her two teenage boys, and traveling the world exploring other cultures and places.


Taja Blackhorn, Department of Labor and Industries
Jennie Cheng, Department of Revenue

Partnerships Subcommittee History

In 2018, the Washington State Legislature formed a Women’s Commission. The commission’s goals are to further the development of public policy to improve the well-being of all women and to be a focal point in state government for the needs of women.

Our state representatives believe it is of the utmost importance for all citizens to achieve equal opportunity, and that women specifically face unique problems and needs. This is central to ICSEW’s mission.

The ICSEW created a subcommittee whose original goal was to support the Women’s Commission. Now that the Women’s Commission is well underway, the Executive Board decided it was in the ICSEW’s best interest to re-launch the subcommittee as the Partnerships Subcommittee.


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