LINCOLN — A woman nearly became the Democratic Party’s candidate for president, and a woman has been named to run the Federal Reserve Bank.
Three women serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Women head up Hewlett-Packard and IBM, two of the biggest companies in the world, and women outnumber men as college students.
But State Sen. Amanda McGill of Lincoln said those accomplishments don’t tell the whole story about women in the workplace.
Women still make less than men on average, and women still face numerous barriers to advancement in politics, business, academia and other fields.
“I think there’s a lot of misperceptions out there about how successful women are,” McGill said. “There’s clearly a long way we need to go.”
This month, she and four female colleagues in the Nebraska Legislature hope to learn more about how far Nebraska women need to go and about the issues they face at work.
They plan three town hall meetings to give women a chance to share their experiences and start talking about potential solutions.
“I’m excited about starting a conversation about women in the workforce,” McGill said. “I want to spark discussion in our state about barriers to female success and find ways to help women achieve their goals.”
She said she hopes to hear women’s concerns about balancing jobs and family.
She also wants to explore the reasons behind the continuing income gap between men and women and the barriers that keep women from climbing the ladder in greater numbers.
In addition, she wants to find out about what holds women back in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
For the most part, McGill said, women are not coming to her and asking for the Legislature to take action on addressing barriers. But they have plenty of stories about workplace concerns when she asks.
“It’s in their heads, and they’re not vocalizing it,” she said.
McGill said she hopes the meetings bring those concerns out and generate ideas for possible legislation. She also hopes discussions started at the meetings will continue.
Town hall meetings
OMAHA: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Omaha Security National Bank, 101st and Pacific Streets, co-hosted by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha
GRAND ISLAND: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Grand Island YWCA, 211 E. Fonner Park Road, co-hosted by Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton, Neb., a Democratic candidate for governor.
LINCOLN: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 24, St. Paul United Methodist Church, 144 M St., Lincoln, co-hosted by Sens. Kate Bolz and Danielle Conrad, both of Lincoln.