Though about 40% of the world’s workforce is women, according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, only 25.5% of all national parliamentarians were female as of April 1, 2021.
Because Zonta International believes that young women are the key to women’s advancement in the field of public service, it offers the Young Women in Public Affairs (YWPA) Award, which recognizes young women, ages 16-19, for demonstrating leadership skills and commitment to public service and civic causes, and encourages them to continue their participation in public and political life.
Established in 1990 by Past International President Leneen Forde, Zonta has given 1013 awards, $1,207,250 to 851 young women from 58 countries.
The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta clubs provide awards for club recipients, and district/region and international awards are funded by the Zonta Foundation for Women. District recipients receive $1,500 and 10 international recipients are selected from the district/region recipients to receive awards of $5,000 each.
Women, aged 16-19 on April 1 each year, studying at a secondary school, college or university in a Zonta district/region, or who are studying elsewhere but are citizens of a Zonta country, who demonstrate evidence of the following, are eligible to apply.
Applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located may apply via a Zonta e-club or directly to the district to be eligible for the district/region and international awards. Z and Golden Z club members are also eligible to apply.
Classified members (club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International) and employees of Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women, and their family members (ancestors, descendants, adoptees, siblings, nieces or cousins, and those of their spouse or co-habiting partner), are not eligible to apply for the Awards. Previous International Young Women in Public Affairs Award recipients are not eligible to apply.
The application process must start with a Zonta club. All application materials must be received at a Zonta club by the deadline printed on the application.
Zonta clubs each select one application to send to the Zonta district/region. A district/region evaluating committee reviews the applications and selects one applicant per district/region to submit to Zonta International Headquarters. The Zonta International YWPA Committee recommends 10 international recipients from the district/region applications to the Zonta International Board. After approval by the Zonta International Board, the Zonta Foundation for Women provides awards and certificates to the district/region and international recipients.
Applications must be completed and returned to the Zonta Club of Defiance by March 10, 2023 . Zonta Club of Defiance awards $1,000.00. A club recipient is selected, and the application is presented to the governor/regional representative by April 1, 2022. The district/region recipient is selected, and the application is presented to Zonta International Headquarters by May 1, 2023. The 2023 recipients will be announced by July 1, 2023.
Women have made great strides in the pursuit of education, careers and leadership roles they were once denied. However, they still comprise a minority of leaders in the business world. As of December 2020, 21.2% of S&P 500 companies’ board seats are occupied by women, and just 6% of the companies' CEOs are women.
Because Zonta International believes in gender equality, the Jane M. Klausman (JMK) Women in Business Scholarship program helps women pursue undergraduate and master's degrees in business management and overcome gender barriers from the classroom to the boardroom. The Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship program was established in 1998 from a generous bequest by Jane M. Klausman, a member of the Zonta Club of Syracuse, New York, USA, and the 1990-1995 Zonta International Parliamentarian.
The program operates at the Zonta club, district/region and international levels. Zonta annually awards up to 32 scholarships of US$2,000 each at the district/region level and six international scholarships in the amount of US$8,000 each.
Since the program's inception, Zonta has awarded 640 scholarships, totaling more than US$1.5 million, to 492 women representing 58 countries.
Women of any age, pursuing a business program with major field of specialization in accounting, economics, finance, business management, marketing, operations management, human resources management, international business, or entrepreneurship at an accredited university/college/institute, who demonstrate outstanding potential in the field and are living or studying in a Zonta district/region, are eligible. Online students are also eligible to apply if enrolled at an accredited university/college/institute. Students must be enrolled in at least the second year of an undergraduate program through the final year of a Master's program at the time the application is submitted to the local Zonta club.
Applicants must be in school at the time the scholarship funds are disbursed and must not graduate before December. Previous International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship recipients may not apply to renew the Scholarship for a second year.
Classified members (club members and individuals with direct membership with Zonta International) and employees of Zonta International and Zonta Foundation for Women, and their family members (ancestors, descendants, adoptees, siblings, nieces or cousins, and those of their spouse or co-habiting partner), are not eligible to apply for the Scholarship. Golden Z club members may apply.
Note that applicants from geographic areas within a Zonta district/region where no clubs are located will be considered and are eligible to apply for the district/region and international awards.