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Passion + Parity

One Woman’s Dedication to Cultural Change and Gender Parity

Article by Lisa Schreiner

Photography by Life n Light

Originally published in Bellevue Lifestyle

Thirty years ago, Kate Isler, having just completed her schooling, looked at a map, zeroed in on the West Coast and picked Seattle as her next home. After a few years that included meeting her husband and some years in Asia, she began working for an ad agency and went on to work for a local tech company looking to open an internal ad agency, Microsoft. Over the next two decades, Kate lived in Dubai, London, Africa, India, Germany, and in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. After returning to Redmond to run an international marketing campaign with unprecedented success, she decided to move to the startup world. Kate serves as the CEO and president of Daysaver, Inc. which provides technology to propose appointments directly from the health care provider to a patient’s calendar.

Despite all of her professional success, there was a great passion in Kate’s life waiting to be discovered. Several years ago, Kate was out for a glass of wine with Nickie Smith, a friend from her time in the UK who had moved to Seattle. Nickie asked why Americans didn’t celebrate International Women’s Day.

“I had no reasonable answer—and Be Bold was born,” Kate says.

Their first event was held four years ago in the basement of WeWork in Seattle with 80 attendees. Since then, the event has grown to a sell-out crowd of more than 500 attendees, held at Benaroya Hall the last two years. Three years ago, Kate and Nickie decided to create a nonprofit organization in order to extend their reach into the community, and Be Bold was official. Kate and Nickie decided to build a platform for their group around “Be Bold,” which was one of the global themes that year for International Women’s Day, a 108-year-old celebration sponsored by the United Nations.

Lifting up women and driving gender parity forward are central to Kate’s passion, and she believes the way to do it is for women to support women and inspire one another. Be Bold is about many things, but one key element is to be a place where women can really celebrate each other and share their stories every day.

“We are asking women to tell their bold stories. People make bold moves every single day, and each story is important because you realize you are not alone. The more we tell each other and lock arms to support one another, the better off we are going to be,” Kate says.

She says that supporting one another has been the greatest life lesson she would share with other women because she has learned that working with other women and supporting each other produces the greatest impact. She shares story after story about women who have attended Be Bold over the last several years and how it has impacted their lives, from international visitors who have taken the vision home to raise awareness in their communities, to local women who have acted on their passion as a result of what they gleaned from the event.

When asked about being a professional female in Seattle, Kate appreciates what a remarkable place this area is for professional females. Women run the City of Seattle, with the top five public service jobs held by women. However, she realizes there is still much more to do in the world of technology for women.

“It is still incredibly difficult for women to raise money for a startup, and there is a disadvantage in tech with the population of women and women in leadership declining in big tech in our city.”

Kate is dedicated to cultural change and pushing gender parity, and she lives this dedication with all of her work through Be Bold. She also serves as the board director for Girl Rising, a global campaign for girls’ education and empowerment.

5 Things Women Can Do Every Day to Support One Another

  1. Take a risk! Do something you don’t “think” you can do. Act on your passion. Don’t be intimidated; instead, think of what you can offer and focus on that.

  2. Utilize your community to support you. We can’t do this alone, and life is not meant to be lived alone. It’s not just about you but about all of us together.

  3. Speak up and share your story. Every woman’s story is unique and important, and someone can always relate to you. Sharing our stories is one way for us to band together.

  4. Don’t self-select out! Don’t put one foot in and then pull it back and retreat, consumed by concerns about your abilities. Be Bold!

  5. Ask for help. This is what we are all about. Supporting and helping one another will help us get further, faster. Life is better lived together, not alone.

Learn more about Be Bold on Instagram @BeBoldSeattle

“Be Bold aims to build an intersectional community of women and their allies, who share the same philosophy to inspire, empower and support each other to take bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity across core pillars: health, safety, education and wages. Together we can help embolden all women to advance and unleash their limitless potential to fulfill their dreams.”