Next year brings an important milestone in our nation’s history: the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Their entrance to the polling booth was the key to other doors women REALLY wanted to enter – banks and corporate boardrooms, higher education, careers in the professions, Congress and state legislatures.
A century later, it’s hard to imagine what our Southwestern Indiana economy would be without the equal rights and participation of women. So we think this anniversary will be a great opportunity for area employers to pay tribute to the women in their history, applaud their current contributions, and think about their future.
There are inspiring stories, mostly untold, about Southwestern Indiana women who over the past century were leaders and change-makers in business, labor, education, civil rights, healthcare, the arts – from Nellie Sweezer, who operated Evansville’s ferry across the Ohio River in the early 1800s, to Rosie the Riveter in our World War II shipyards, to Linda White, a nurse who became CEO of Evansville’s largest employer in 2002. It could be fun and fascinating to tell their stories next year on corporate websites and in lobby displays.
We also could plan something special at the Chamber’s 2020 Athena Awards luncheon honoring women making a difference in the community today. And we could do symposiums on issues facing women and their employers in the future. Ideas abound.
Mayor Lloyd Winnecke is encouraging community-wide observance of the 19th Amendment’s centennial anniversary. With the League of Women Voters of Southwestern Indiana, he has helped organize a committee to help promote and coordinate observances by local organizations and employers. For more information, contact Roberta Heiman of the League, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jan Davies of the Women’s Equality Day Committee, at email@example.com.
The year 2020 will be here before we know it. Start planning now!