First Lady Announces Commission for Women’s Advancement
First Lady Shannon Ginther announced the inaugural class of the Columbus Women’s Commission today. The Commission’s 16 members come from a range of backgrounds, but all will help to fulfill the established goal of advancing women in four areas of life: pay equity, housing and safety, health and nutrition, and workforce development and education.
“Women face unique challenges in this world. We battle for equal rights and pay in the workplace while also dealing with our own health and education issues,” Ginther, Women’s Commission Chair, said in a press release. “I chose the Columbus Women’s Commission as a vehicle to come up with strategic ways to make women’s lives measurably better.
To create the change, applications from almost 250 Columbusites were considered. In the end, it was narrowed down to 16, each overlapping in their relevance to the commission’s goals. Terri Ifeduba comes from YWCA, a group aimed at “eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” She joins Victoria Calderon, who provides a non-profit connection through Avanza, and runs the Bottoms Up Coffee Co-Op, which looks to positively impact the area’s infant mortality struggle.
Ngozi Osuagwu (Women’s Health Center, Doctor’s Hospital), Iris Harvey (Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio), and Matt Habash (Mid-Ohio Foodbank) offer their own perspectives on health and nutrition; Barbara Smoot (WELD), Nichole Dunn (Women’s Fund of Central Ohio), and Mary Relotto (Dames Bond LLC, Mission Possible Consulting) run organizations that work toward economic advancement for women; and Kathleen McGarvey (Legal Aid Society), Danielle Harlow (Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections), and Nicol Ghazi (Muslim Family Services) provide knowledge and insight into women’s housing and safety.
From the corporate side, the Women’s Commission has representation in Christie Angel (Calfee Strategic Solutions), Janelle Coleman (L Brands), Gale King (Nationwide Insurance), and Daphne Saneholtz (Brennan, Manna & Diamond LLC). Councilmember Elizabeth Brown will also serve as a commissioner.
“The Commission represents the diversity of Columbus in race and ethnicity, age and business sector,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said. “I believe this will make the Commission’s work better able to include all of the different segments of our community.”
The commission is set to have its first meeting in January.
For more information, visit www.columbus.gov/womenscommission/.