FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2021
California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Announces Permanent Hiring of Executive Director Holly Martinez
SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) has announced the permanent hiring of its former Interim Executive Director, Holly Martinez. Martinez was officially sworn in by California’s Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins on December 16, 2021 after being appointed in November by the Commission. Under her leadership throughout most of 2021, the Commission has blazed a new path, leading the way on a statewide women’s recovery in the wake of the pandemic and expanding its programming and legislative work as well as developing a large-scale philanthropic effort. Her Commission appointment as Executive Director was effective as of November 1, 2021.
“I am thrilled that Holly Martinez has taken on the role of Executive Director as her leadership and vision embody the values of the First Partner’s Office, particularly with regard to gender equity and pay parity,” said First Partner Jennifer Seibel Newsom. “Her capacity as a strategic thinker and committed partner – along with her dedication to building a more equitable and just world for all women — will help drive the work of the Commission and California’s recovery forward.”
Holly Martinez joined the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls in 2020 as its then Deputy Director, rebuilding staff and instituting governance policies and procedures to help the Commission grow. In 2021 she was made Interim Executive Director of the Commission, leading an unprecedented expansion of budget, programs, and policy efforts.
Under her leadership, the CCSWG secured an historic $7.9 million dollars to lead a Women’s Recovery Response effort and develop a California Blueprint for Women’s Recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. She established a new fundraising arm of the Commission designed to level up impact for local changemakers statewide, and led CCSWG though vital strategies designed to build capacity and increase partnerships including those with the California Women’s Legislative Caucus, California Partner’s Project, the California Budget and Policy Center, California’s Mexican Consulate, and more.
“There is no other agency as uniquely positioned to amplify the diverse needs of women and girls, champion critical and equitable solutions, and facilitate policy changes that put the needs of women and girls first,” said Martinez. “I am honored to lead an incredible team and to support the vision of Commissioners, legislators, and the Governor, who have long made intersectional equity a priority for California.”
Martinez has led the Commission’s groundbreaking work in reproductive justice as the state continues to take on first-in-the-nation policies protecting the rights of people who can become pregnant and has provided key vision and support to the rapid expansion of the Commission’s Equal Pay Program targeting corporate leaders in gender equity statewide.
“Holly Martinez’s appointment to the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls couldn’t come at a more pivotal time,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “Since joining the Commission earlier this year, she has championed innovative new efforts to expand the Commission’s reach and support women across the state. Holly’s leadership will be indispensable as we build back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Martinez has dedicated her career to supporting underrepresented and challenged Californians through impactful public policy. Prior to joining the Commission, Martinez previously served as Director of Programs and Advocacy at the California State Parks Foundation, leading the charge to bring equitable access to public lands and establishing California’s first-ever state park pass for fourth grade students with the California State Park Adventure Pass. As the Director of CalEITC4Me, Martinez rolled-out the newly established groundbreaking program, California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), to ensure California’s working families receive the cash benefit they earned. Her State service also includes serving as Director of AmeriCorps at California Volunteers’ Office of the Governor to expand service and volunteer opportunities to improve communities and as Chief of Staff to First Lady Maria Shriver, where she worked to create and implement a range of programs serving low-income families, to empower women, and address barriers of inclusion for people with special needs.
“Women hold up families, neighborhoods, communities and businesses and their level of influence demands more than a single seat at the table to move California toward truly transformational, equitable change,” said Commission Chair Lauren Babb. “The Commission is led by women, for women and girls, and offers countless opportunities to move the needle on intersectional equity for 24 million women and their families in the state. I am excited and eager to work with Mrs. Martinez to continue moving its agenda forward and am grateful for her leadership and her collaboration.”
Holly Martinez is a Sacramento native and a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a BA in Communications and Public Relations.
Darcy Totten, Director of Communications
About the Commission
The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls works in a culturally inclusive manner to promote equality and justice for all women and girls by advocating on their behalf with the Governor, the Legislature and other public policymakers, and by educating the public in the areas of economic equity including educational equity, access to health care including reproductive choice, violence against women and other key issue areas identified by the Commission as significantly affecting women and girls.