Nashville Mayor Barry recently announced the creation of a Council on Gender Equity through an executive order.
This council includes Lipscomb University’s Laura Delgado, program director of the Pionero Scholars Program, College of Education; and Phyllis Hildreth, academic director, Institute for Conflict Management; and Linda Peek Schacht, founding director of the Nelson & Sue Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, strategic advisor to the dean, both of the College of Leadership & Public Service.
The Council on Gender Equity will serve in an advisory capacity to the mayor and Michelle Hernandez-Lane, Nashville’s chief diversity officer, and will assess identified gender inequity issues and develop recommended solutions that would assist in ensuring that the Metropolitan Nashville Government is operating in a manner that reflects the needs of all people. Members will provide information, advice, research, program recommendation, and education, on issues of interest.
“By creating the Council on Gender Equity, we can celebrate the diversity in our community while recognizing that we have strides to make in promoting fairness in our institutions,” said Barry. “Everyone deserves access to services and opportunities, regardless of gender.”
According to a release, the goal of the Council on Gender Equity is to provide the mayor with data informed recommendations and advice to address the existence of systemic differences in benefits and opportunities that might be unfairly provided to one gender but not another. The council will recommend solutions for issues in which gender inequity appears to exist in Nashville in the specific areas of economic opportunities, family services, health and safety, and data integration.
“The mayor’s focus on creating an equitable environment in Nashville will emphasize the wonderful diversity we have here,” said Pat Shea, CEO of the YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. “This council will not promote sameness throughout Nashville; rather it will ensure that each unique person has access to opportunities that celebrate their differences and allow them to acquire the services they need.”
The Council on Gender Equity consists of a diverse group of leaders spanning public and private industries, nonprofit organizations, and academia. The council will be co-chaired by Ronald Roberts, CEO of DVL Seigenthaler, and Pat Shea.
In addition to Delgado, Hildreth and Schacht, members of the council include: Maura-Lee Albert, Garlinda Burton, Judge Sheila Calloway, Hal Cato, Dave Cooley, Richard Courtney, Judy Cummings, Councilmember Anthony Davis, Laura Delgado, Bonnie Dow, Corbett Doyle, Mark Emkes, Brenda Gadd, Elizabeth Gedmark, Tracey George, Joey Hatch, Kate Herman, Phyllis Hildreth, Susan Allen Huggins, Councilmember Mina Johnson, Rita Johnson-Mills, Wanda Lyle, Rita Mitchell, Mekesha Montgomery, Sara Beth Myers, Marian Ott, Rose Palermo, Shelia Peters, Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, Lisa Quigley, Billye Sanders, Chris Sanders, Linda Schacht, Julie Stevens, Sherry Stewart Deutschmann, Jeff Teague, Katy Varney, Leigh Walton, Jack White, Cynthia Whitfield and Agenia Clark.
“Gender equity is not just a women’s issue, it should be a concern for all of us,” said Roberts. “Our economy is stronger and our society is stronger when everyone is treated fairly and equitably. We must all be committed, whether it is in the public or private sector, to ensuring that women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men.”
“The mayor’s creation of this council, whose work is centered on issues of gender equity that affect both women and men, is a huge step in the right direction,” said Hernandez-Lane. “It clearly sends the message that not only is fairness and equity a major priority for this Administration, the Mayor also understands the importance of having necessary data to inform decision making.”