The county’s Santa Barbara Commission for Women is starting a free monthly virtual Town Hall series modeled after its award-winning Women Speak Up forum.

The goal is to bring local women together to share their experiences, knowledge and awareness of issues and challenges facing women during the pandemic and after, and offer expertise and solutions. The series will focus on topics identified by constituents as the top issues affecting women in their communities since the pandemic began.

The first Town Hall, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 18, is titled Women: Work and Family in the Time of COVID-19. Scheduled speakers include Kathy Odell, CEO, Women’s Economic Ventures; Jamie Collins, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria; and Sharon Tepper, vice president, People and Experience of Deckers Brands.

The event will be moderated by Susan Rose, former Santa Barbara County supervisor. A Q&A session will follow the presentations. Click here to register for the Town Hall.

Attendees can expect to receive information, data, and links to resources and programs. Notifications about future sessions will be posted on the Commission for Women website For general information about the Commission for Women, contact

Appointed by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, the Commission for Women is an advisory group that promotes the well-being, equity, and equal status of women. Formed in 1973, the commission is composed of a diverse group of women who are active community members representing the five supervisorial districts.

To help women in need, the commission may collaborate with other agencies and commissions; facilitate, recognize and recommend programs; gather and disseminate information; conduct public meetings, and advise the county Board of Supervisors.