Wittman, a UW-Stout retail merchandising and management alum, recently was named one of Wisconsin’s 34 Most Influential Asian American Leaders by Madison 365, a nonprofit online news outlet that covers communities of color and issues important to those communities.
She was recognized for her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion, while working with Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee areas, and for aiming to empower women’s voices – especially women of color.
“It’s humbling to be recognized, but more importantly it was an opportunity to highlight the work I was doing at the time. Bringing to light the needs of marginalized people is a great undertaking,” said Wittman, the former Women's Empowerment Center director of the YWCA Greater Green Bay.
She remembers wanting to empower women’s voices after reading a book about how women don’t apply for jobs that they don’t feel 100% qualified for, how they rarely ask for raises and miss promotional opportunities.
“I found that absurd. I refused to fall under that stereotype and knew that if I didn’t raise my own voice, no one would do it for me,” she said. “Yet when you look for Asian representation in respect to leadership, you’ll see that it’s not as strong as it could be.
“I hope to help pave the way for other Asian and Asian-American women to seek out positions in leadership and utilize their diverse experience and skills to better the businesses and organizations they serve.”