Founded in 1925, Soroptimist International, Seattle-Metropolitan (SISM) is a volunteer run organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls locally and around the world.
Our Vision and Core Values
Our Club aims to be the leading international organization of business and professional women united through volunteer efforts to enable women and girls to live their dreams, take control of their lives, and live according to their own values.
Soroptimist International of the Americas is committed to:
- the belief that all women deserve to lead full and productive lives
- women helping women
- international diversity and fellowship
SISM was founded in October 1925, by business women in the community who wanted to improve the lives of women in girls in their community and worldwide. Throughout the decades, a variety of programs and initiatives have provided support and hope to hundreds of women. Our founders include many amazing women. Two of our early members include:
Bertha Knight Landes, the second federation president, became one of Seattle’s first two councilwomen in 1922, served two terms and was inaugurated mayor of Seattle in 1926. In one of her moments in the spotlight as mayor, she welcomed Charles Lindbergh to Sand Point Air Field on September 14, 1927. She served as president of the Seattle Soroptimist Club from 1930-1934. Bertha Knight Landes passed away in 1944.
Ella S. McBride was the President of the Seattle Soroptimist Club in 1938. She was an avid mountain climber and visited Mount Rainier with a group of climbers including the photographers, Ashel and Edward Curtis. During this trip, Edward encouraged her to move to Seattle to run his photography studio. Always up for adventure, Ella left her first successful career as principal of Ainsworth School in Portland, Oregon in 1907 and came to Seattle to be Edward Curtis’s business manager. After several years working for Edward S. Curtis’s Studio, she started her own portrait studio in downtown Seattle. Her work has been exhibited around the world and her portrait subjects included famous and not so famous. In the 1950s, she photographed members of the Soroptimist Seattle Club.
For more information about Soroptimist clubs regionally and nationally, please refer to the websites below:
Why Women and Girls?
Throughout history women and girls face additional obstacles and discrimination solely because of their gender. As an organization of business and professional women we feel uniquely qualified to help women and girls live their dreams.
• One in three women have been beaten, coerced Into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime.
• Women represent 40 percent of the world’s labor force but hold just 1 percent of the world’s wealth.
• Of the more than 110 million children not in school, approximately 60 percent are girls.