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Washington Mutual Honored for Creating Contracting Opportunities for Woman-Owned Business Vendors

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2005--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE: WM) has been honored for excellence in creating contracting opportunities for women-owned business and suppliers by Astra Women's Business Alliance in association with the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

The award, presented at a gala dinner in Oakland on Nov. 3, was prompted by Washington Mutual's nine-year contracting relationship with Tajima Creative, a strategic design and marketing group that has worked with Washington Mutual since 1996. Tajima Creative, Washington Mutual's largest woman-owned supplier was certified as a woman business enterprise in 2004.

Washington Mutual received the annual "Done Deal Award" for the more than 200 transactions it has had with Tajima Creative. The award was created by Astra to showcase corporations who create contracting opportunities for Astra-certified women business owners.

"We're pleased to be honored for our supplier diversity program and for fostering an atmosphere of encouragement, cooperation and achievement for women," said Laura King, vice president, Commodity Manager in Strategic Sourcing.

Washington Mutual's supplier diversity program has a long-term goal of awarding 15 percent of supplier-related contract expenses to businesses that are at least 51 percent owned by minorities, women or individuals with disabilities.

Last year Washington Mutual was named one of the "Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity" by Diversity Inc. and included in a list of the "Top 25 Minor Vendor Programs for Latinos" by Hispanic Magazine.

Astra, a third-party certifier of women-owned businesses under the WBENC standards, providers personal, professional and income development skills for women business owners in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, Nevada and Northern California.

Established in 1996, Tajima Creative is based in Menlo Park, Calif. and has offices in Los Angeles and Seattle. It focuses on creating compelling customer experiences.

With a history dating back to 1889, Washington Mutual is a retailer of financial services that provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and commercial clients. At September 30, 2005, Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries had assets of $333.62 billion. Washington Mutual currently operates more than 2,500 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices throughout the nation. Washington Mutual's press releases are available at

    CONTACT: Washington Mutual
             Gary Kishner, 213-217-4006

    SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.