Chief Human Resources Officer

About YWCA

The YWCA’s mission is to Eliminate Racism and Empower Women. Their vision is an inclusive, thriving, healthy community transformed by racial and gender equity, where women and girls of color have equal access to opportunity, and there is social justice for all people.

The YWCA Seattle/King/Snohomish embraces its commitment to racial equity and social justice in all of its work, proactively advancing the core beliefs that:

  • When the barriers of institutional and structural racism are broken down, everyone will benefit.
  • Because BIPOC women have been historically marginalized and excluded, their voices must be centered in this work.
  • When people are confident in their inherent strength and communities are valued and self-directed, they are empowered.
  • We must stand together across lines of difference with courage, compassion, and commitment to transform our community.

As the largest YWCA in the country, the YWCA Seattle/King/Snohomish has an operating budget of $50M with net assets of over $150M and over 200 full-time dedicated staff, with centers in Seattle, Renton, Everett, Redmond, and White Center. In 2020 the YWCA moved quickly to meet urgent needs caused by the pandemic and provided 900 units of housing and approximately 40 economic advancement, and health and safety programs to help over 7,000 women and girls, men, and youth overcome obstacles created by racism and sexism, so they can build stable and self-sufficient futures for BIPOC women, girls, and families.

The YWCA is led by Maria Chavez-Wilcox as CEO. Chavez-Wilcox has been named to Puget Sound Business Journal’s list of 100 powerful and influential business leaders in 2020 and serves on the YWCA USA board of directors among other national and prominent local boards across the country. Her nonprofit career spans over 30 years of dedicated service leading nonprofit agencies across the country and holds a highly visible role in the community.

The Opportunity

This is a new role and a particularly exciting time to join the YWCA. The organization is developing a new Strategic Workplan to be launched in January 2022 with a significant focus on talent management, skill-building, and partnerships to bring the agency to its next exciting chapter in its commitment to social justice in all sectors. The Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) will play a key role, leading the establishment of a best-in-class and forward-thinking HR operation that will be a trusted partner and a central resource for realizing YWCA‘s racial and social justice vision. Given the prominence of the Seattle region organization within the broader YWCA movement, the new CHRO will also have plenty of opportunity for national exposure and thought partnership with the CEO and within the network.

The Chief Human Resources Officer Role

Reporting to the CEO and overseeing a team of six, the CHRO has overall strategic and operational accountability for the full HR life cycle. This is a proactive, in-service leadership role that models responsiveness, partnership, flexibility, and collaborative problem-solving. The CHRO is a member of the leadership team and is responsible for developing and executing a human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, specifically in the areas of succession planning, HR systems and policies, recruitment, selection, legal compliance, employee relations, talent management, change management, organizational and performance management, employee communications and events, training and development, and benefits and compensation. The CHRO provides strategic leadership by articulating HR needs and plans to the executive management team, and the board of directors.

This position has a social justice component that requires critical thinking through the lens of racial equity toward the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Key Responsibilities


  • Provide Human Resources leadership consulting to CEO and Executive Staff Team on major issues related to the organization
  • Act as the steward/ambassador of the YWCA mission and values to foster a positive climate among YWCA staff
  • Support agency-wide Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI)
  • Implement a Human Resources strategy and multi-year plan that ensures Human Resources services are integrated and aligned with agency needs


  • Oversee Human Resources functions for the agency – including but not limited to HR systems, benefits, administration, employee relations, agency-wide policies, risk management, compliance with federal and state laws
  • Directly supervise Human Resources Manager, Volunteer Services Manager and Administrative Coordinator; provide team coaching and mentorship and offer culturally relevant conflict resolution and problem-solving strategies
  • Partner with senior managers in support of agency goals and objectives and ensure policies and practices are managed fairly

Legal and Compliance:

  • Maintain an effective program of compliance with laws and regulations related to human resources; manage relationships with compliance agencies and YWCA legal counsel.
  • Ensure all YWCA managers adhere to legal and operational compliance requirements affecting employees
  • Provide leadership, representation, and oversight for all legal compliance issues including but not limited to court cases, LNI, unemployment, risk management, and any legal issues that impact the organization’s operations, policies, staffing and clients.
  • Remain current with employment laws and regulations, and changes and current trends in Human Resources practices

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Design compensation plan, including job descriptions and classifications; conduct compensation studies and market research for salary structures and adjustments
  • Create an employee benefits program that maximizes value to staff within budgetary constraints; supervise the communication, enrollment, and administration of plans
  • Assess the competitiveness of human resources programs and practices in relevant markets and make recommendations for improvements and changes.

Race and Social Justice:

  • Commitment to YWCA mission
  • Demonstrate cultural competency and respect for diversity
  • Provide leadership to YWCA’s Social Justice Initiative by understanding how racism, sexism, classism, and other oppressions play out in institutions and systems

Ideal Candidate

The YWCA is looking for a CHRO with a high level of functional expertise who is at home in a diverse, dynamic, complex environment that corresponds to a multi-site, multicultural, direct service agency. Operating as a true and authentic leader who thrives on working in service to others, the CHRO will exhibit a genuine commitment to anti-racist principles and the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

They are partner, implementer, guide, and expert in equal measures. The position calls for a strong communicator and collaborator who conveys expertise and empathy and can interact across the organization with professionalism and humility.

The ideal candidate has a thorough understanding of HR best practices and has operated in environments where the bar for HR excellence is high. The CHRO will provide executive leadership with thoughtful, insightful advice grounded in functional knowledge to inform strategy and decision-making.

Candidates should bring a track record of success leading HR efforts cross-functionally and culturally in a complex and growing organization. The YWCA is looking for a track record of strong supervisory and leadership skills to establish connection and engagement up, down, and across a growing organization with diverse cultures, work styles, and needs.

Excellent interpersonal and conflict resolution skills are essential to ensure staff feels heard and supported without judgment while also having clarity about processes and expectations. The CHRO role has many competing demands and strong attention to detail coupled with the ability to manage multiple priorities and meet deadlines will be essential for success.

Integrity, confidentiality, sensitivity, respect, and good judgment are critically important to demonstrate daily.

Specific Qualifications

  • Candidates should bring a minimum of 10 years of Human Resources related experience in progressively responsible, hands-on HR roles; thorough knowledge of employment-related laws, regulations, and industry trends
  • Certifications such as PHR, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-CP, or SCP are valued. A BS/BA degree is required. An MBA or MA/MS in human resources or related field is preferred.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, particularly the ability to communicate complex concepts and information to agency senior management and board volunteers
  • Experience working with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals and people from different cultures preferred
  • Financial acumen to provide fiscal salary information
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving capability, including the ability to analyze, compare, and interpret data such as market comps quickly and effectively
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills; proficiency with Microsoft Office products and knowledge of/experience with varied HR information systems

Additional Information

The position is based in Seattle with current remote and in-office leadership visibility in King and Snohomish County.

The salary range for this position is $180,000-$210,000.

YWCA Seattle|King|Snohomish is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we highly encourage people of color to apply.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the Become a Candidate button.

Chief Human Resources OfficerYWCASeattle, WA

The search for a Director of Grantmaking, Learning, and Operations is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: 

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300

Keristian Farra
Direct: 206.792.4311