Fort Worth to Focus on Increasing Women’s Representation
Mayor Betsy Price is making a push for gender parity and greater diversity on Fort Worth’s boards and commissions, in partnership with the Appointments Project, the city said in a posting on its news page.
Currently Fort Worth’s 322 board and commission seats are made up of 36% female and 64% male representatives.
The Appointments Project works to strengthen communities by increasing the gender diversity of civic boards and commissions, the posting said.
Numerous studies of boards and group dynamics document multiple benefits of diverse voices and viewpoints. Diversity drives innovation, by allowing ideas that are “out of the box,” and creating a culture where the ideas of all members are heard, creativity is facilitated and problem solving is maximized.
A diverse board or commission also provides better representation of the organization’s stakeholders, including clients, constituents and the broader community.
The Appointments Project was established based on a study conducted by the Women’s Foundation in 2014, in an effort to identify the barriers causing women to be underrepresented on civic boards and commissions.
The research showed that women are less likely to apply to serve on boards and commissions because they are not asked to serve or generally feel that they do not have the needed expertise to serve, and they want to ensure their time is spent efficiently.
The research also showed that women would be more likely to serve when exposed to greater training and mentorship opportunities, the city posting said.
The Appointments Project has worked with organizations to serve as a talent bank, adviser and advocate for women seeking opportunities to serve on boards and commissions. This award-winning program provides online training, candidate tool kits and the expertise to make a significant impact in Fort Worth.
The City Secretary’s Office, the Diversity and Inclusion Department and the Mayor’s Office have been engaged with the Appointments Project and are identifying community partners that will work with The Appointments Project to help train, mentor and encourage qualified candidates to apply for positions on city boards and commissions.
Application processes and appointment procedures will not change. What is changing is the increased focus, public training and partnerships supporting qualified community leaders to apply to serve on boards and commissions, the city said.
To learn more, contact Chelsea Adler at (817) 392-6118.
This article is reprinted with permission from the Fort Worth Business Press.