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Women in Burlington County will now have a re-energized platform and additional advocates on issues affecting them in their communities thanks to the efforts of Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs and Deputy Director Linda Hughes.
The county officials announced today that they have taken important steps to modernize and reinvigorate the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council, as the Board continues to actively address the unique needs of women in the county.
“As the only county in the state with women serving as Director and Deputy Director of the Freeholder Board, I believe we have a unique opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of women in Burlington County,” said Freeholder Director Gibbs. “While we have a proud tradition of women in positions of leadership like Senator Dawn Marie Addiego, Sheriff Jean Stanfield, Surrogate Mary Ann O’Brien and many public servants in management positions, unfortunately women still face challenges created by historic gender inequality. Women deserve a respected seat at the table and what better time to reinvigorate our advisory council as a voice for our female residents than Women’s History Month.”
During the Board’s meeting tonight, Director Gibbs and Deputy Director Hughes presented their fellow Freeholders with a resolution modernizing and refocusing the Council. The resolution and accompanying by-law changes rename the council, increase its membership, and streamline its objectives; providing flexibility to better serve the ever-changing needs of our county’s women and a broader more diverse perspective.
Freeholders Gibbs and Hughes have tasked the Council with evaluating existing services and programs, educating the public about the challenges women face daily, raising awareness of the special contributions women make in our communities and providing opportunities for mentoring and collaboration that will enhance the quality of life for all women in Burlington County.
Gibbs and Hughes will work with the Council to launch new women-focused-initiatives such as conducting a county-wide women’s survey, leveraging social media to create an online resource center with centralized information about services and programs for women, and launching a mentoring event series, with the goal of bringing more than 50 established professional women together with women either starting or re-starting their careers.
Additionally, 20 members were appointed to the Council this evening that have diverse backgrounds, professions, and hometowns, yet share the goal of continuing to make Burlington County a great place for women to live, work, raise a family, and retire.
Reinvigorating the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council joins recent initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace, including: an equal pay resolution, mandatory sexual harassment training and retraining for all county employees, and placing private, dedicated mother’s rooms in county buildings.
“I am proud of the steps we have taken for a safer, fairer work environment and look forward to the positive impact created by bringing these incredible women, and their voices, to the table,” added Deputy Director Hughes.