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Gender Equity Summit Supports Policies to Accelerate Progress for Women and Girls

350+ attendees from community, business, nonprofit and government gather in first-ever gender equity summit of its kind

DENVER – More than 350 people, including leaders from the community, government, nonprofit and business sectors, joined Mayor Michael B. Hancock and hosts It’s Time Network, Denver’s Office on Women and Families and the Denver Women’s Commission at It’s Time 2017: Denver Gender Equity Summit, the first gathering of its kind in the nationYesterday's summit yielded recommendations for employers around Career Advancement, Family-Friendly Policies and Creating an Inclusive Culture in the workplace that included support for affordable childcare, flexible schedules, and diversity and inclusion.  

Using a unique interactive technology, summit attendees participated in a modern town-hall style dialogue that allowed them to see common themes and opinions in real-time, then vote with individual polling devices on a set of actionable priorities that could be implemented in workplaces across the region.

“Leaders from across the region came together to work on one of the most vital issues of our time: equity and inclusion in the workplace,” Mayor Hancock said. “The recommendations that came out of that day-long conversation provide a broad diversity of employers with some concrete suggestions that could be implemented to accelerate progress for women and girls, which of course translates into progress for us all.”

Recommendations that came out of the day’s activities include:

  • Support quality and affordable childcare, education, housing, transportation, healthcare and food services
  • Implement transparency regarding hiring practices, pay structures and pay rates
  • Extend flexibility and stability into the work schedule, including telecommuting
  • Financially support child and elder care that is available 24-7
  • Provide multiple options for paid leave (i.e. care for family/children/elders, sabbatical) for all employees, regardless of gender and family structure (i.e. adoption, foster parent, etc.)
  • Create a diverse workforce that values inclusion
  • Encourage open conversations and candid feedback about exclusion, discrimination, privilege, etc.
  • Facilitate community engagement and interaction around shared values, goals, direction and inclusivity of all people

Eleven mayors and city managers from across the state attended the summit, including Mayor Suzanne Jones of Boulder; Mayor Heidi Williams of Thornton; Mayor Pro tem Angela Lawson of Aurora; Mayor Connie Sullivan of Lyons; and Mayor Joe Jefferson of Englewood.

Leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors included: Jandel T. Allen-Davis, MD, Vice President with Kaiser Permanente Colorado; Pamela Hardy, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, DaVita, Inc.; Mario A. Harding, Associate Chief Operating Officer, Denver Health; Leslie Peabody, VP of Human Resources, Goodwill Industries of Denver; Gretchen Selfridge, Restaurant Support Officer, Chipotle; Shadana Tokaheya Wiyan Sultan, Executive Director, Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce; and Valencia Faye Tate, Director Global Diversity & Inclusion, CH2M.

“Today was an historic day, a beginning step and a powerful demonstration of collective impact in action,” said It’s Time Network founder and CEO Betsy McKinney. “When a cross-sector group of people come together to develop a common agenda to solve complex problems instead of operating separately, intermittently and often competing for resources, we can achieve dramatic, measureable results.”

B-roll of the event is available here. Password ITN. Click download on the bottom right of the video.

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About It’s Time Network
It’s Time Network is an inclusive community of people and organizations working collaboratively to accelerate the full empowerment of women and girls in order to achieve gender equity, evolve democracy and build fair economies that regenerate the Earth. Through its Network City Program, ITN works to engage individuals and leaders at the local level, with the goal of achieving gender equity, city by city.

About Denver’s Office on Women and Families
Denver’s Office on Women and Families works toward enhancing the quality of life for women and families through collaboration and community and civic engagement. The office advocates for equity, inclusivity and opportunity for women by partnering with nonprofits, businesses, government agencies and community-based organizations in Denver to address issues affecting women and families.

About Denver Women’s Commission
Denver Women’s Commission (DWC) works for women’s equity in Denver in order to promote the social, economic and political quality of life in the city, by advocating for and empowering women, and monitoring and recommending legislation and proposed policy changes affecting women.