Throughout history, and still to this day, women throughout the world face obstacles solely because of their gender. They disproportionally suffer from poverty and discrimination. It’s for this reason that Soroptimist International chooses to focus on the special challenges facing women and girls.

Chartered on September 10, 1977, Soroptimist International of Gresham is part of an international organization whose mission is to provide women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment. From grants that help women realize their dreams and career education for teens, our members are committed to making a difference in our community.

Our name Soroptimist is a coined Latin word meaning “best for women,” and that’s what our club strives to achieve. Soroptimists are women at their best working to help other women to be their best. We believe in dreams and the collective power of working together to achieve them. When women and girls dare to dream, amazing things can happen. They move forward with courage to do great things for themselves, their families, communities and the world.

Our Core Values

Gender Equality
Women and girls live free from discrimination

Empowerment
Women and girls and free to act in their own best interest

Education
Women and girls to lead full and productive lives through access to education

Diversity & Fellowship
Women from varied backgrounds and perspectives work together to improve the lives of women and girls

Education is the key to gender equality, which has yet to be achieved anywhere in the world.

1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. (Amnesty International USA)

1 in 4 high school-age girls in the United States does not graduate. (National Women’s Law Center)

Of single mothers under 30, only 7% have finished college in the U.S. (The Shriver Report)

Women earn $.52 to every $1 earned by men (global average.) (World Economic Forum)

1 in 3 women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her lifetime. (Amnesty International USA)

1 in 4 high school-age girls in the United States does not graduate. (National Women’s Law Center)

Of single mothers under 30, only 7% have finished college in the U.S. (The Shriver Report)

Women earn $.52 to every $1 earned by men (global average.) (World Economic Forum)

What does it mean to be “empowered”?

Women are economically empowered when they have control over their own finances and well-being, and when they have a voice in the financial decisions to shape their lives and the lives of their families. When women and girls are empowered, they have a sense of autonomy, self-confidence, and the power to control their private and public lives. We focus on access to education because we believe it’s the most effective way toward empowerment.

When women learn
families live healthier
Source: Population Reference Bureau

When girls go to school
they are more likely to get paying jobs and their financial contributions to their families – and their nations – increase.
Source: Population Reference Bureau

When girls educated moms
they are more likely to be enrolled in school and to reach higher levels of education.
Source: Population Reference Bureau

When women are educated
their countries are more likely to have greater economic growth.
Source: World Bank

Diversity and Fellowship

We want to reflect the diversity of our community 

We, the members of Soroptimist International of Gresham, are veterinarians, lawyers, musicians, county commissioners and nonprofit leaders. We are waitresses, housekeepers, chefs and students. We own retail shops and insurance agencies. Our members hail from the fields of Education, Media, Government, Hospitality, Medical and more. We are liberals and conservatives, feminists, activists, philanthropists and community leaders.

Soroptimists of Gresham are young and old, straight and LGBTQ+. We are runners and rock climbers, quilters and readers. We play soccer, bocce, Words with Friends and pinochle. We attend church and PTA meetings and join neighborhood associations. We are sisters, daughters, sons, moms and grandparents. We are Soroptimists.