The Greensboro City Council has a stated goal of bringing the demographic makeup of each board and commission it appoints in line with the demographics of the City of Greensboro.
The City Council in 2020 did not hold nearly as many work sessions as usual, but in December it held a work session to discuss the importance of the boards and commissions appointed by the City Council being not only geographically diverse but also making appointments with consideration of race and gender diversity.
Recent appointments have been made only after a discussion of whether the race and gender of the proposed appointee would further that goal, and it was discovered that Councilmember Sharon Hightower had to give her approval regarding race and gender before an appointment could be made by a fellow councilmember.
However, at least one commission has escaped this effort for race and gender equity. The Commission on the Status of Women has no gender diversity at all. The City Council has appointed nine women to the nine-member commission. The last appointment in December 2020 was after the City Council held an entire work session to discuss race and gender equity on boards and commissions. And that appointment was another woman, making no move toward bringing the Commission on the Status of Women in line with the demographics of Greensboro, where 46.5 percent of the population is male.
It seems that having a few men on the Commission on the Status of Women would bring a new perspective and a different point of view to that commission, which is one of the purposes of increasing the diversity on the boards and commissions. It has also been stated that underrepresented populations deserve representation. Certainly men could not be any more under represented on the Commission on the Status of Women.
The boards and commissions when possible were set at nine members so that each member of the City Council would have one appointment. However, on the Commission on the Status of Women, Hightower has appointed three members and Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter has appointed two.
Considering the fact that the mayor and seven of the eight councilmembers are women, one might ascertain that the status of women in Greensboro is doing well and that it is unlikely that the governing body would do anything to harm the status of women in Greensboro.
In fact, with only one male on the City Council, perhaps 2021 is the year for the city to establish a Commission on the Status of Men.