Driving Innovation

Pushing for gender equality

August 28, 2019

Women don’t have the right to vote and have no role in politics. They should focus on housework and being a mother. This was the reality for women in America 100 years ago.

It wasn’t until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 that women were granted the right to vote. Monday, Women’s Equality Day, the United States celebrated the groundbreaking amendment that changed the future for women in this country, forever.

Although the nation has made great strides, there is more work to do before gender equality becomes a reality. Until then, employers and institutions have a responsibility to continue to empower and support women. 

ComEd Manager Toni Garza is one of many who work to educate and promote gender equality. As president of the Chicago chapter of the Network of Exelon Women (NEW), a resource group for employees of ComEd’s parent company, she helps educate others and advance women’s rights in the workplace. 

“From their career to family, it can be a challenge for women to balance that,” Garza said. “NEW supports women in the company, provides resources to help with the career and family balance and support our culture of diversity and inclusion through education and awareness.”

It’s important women feel heard and that their ideas are valued in and out of the workplace. 

“I think diversity is what makes the world go around,” she said. “People with different backgrounds and upbringings bring different perspectives, including women.”

To make a more inclusive society, Garza says understanding the importance of diversity and inclusion is imperative.

“Many times, there is resistance because people don’t like change,”Garza said. “We need to focus on educating on the important contributions women can and want to make. Women want to be represented in order to contribute to the greater good of society.”