Time for a quick history lesson. In March 1917, the National Woman’s Party, a political group dedicated to women’s voting rights, was formed. In March 1972, the Senate passed Title IX, which protects people from discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded programs and activities, and it later became law. And this March, the primary election marks nearly 100 years of white women’s suffrage in the U.S.
In this issue (where almost all content was pitched and edited by our all-female print editorial staff), in addition to celebrating local eats, artists, hangouts and events, we’re celebrating trailblazing women in Columbia and beyond. Read about Ann Covington, the first woman to serve on the Missouri Court of Appeals and the first woman to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court; Donna Maize, the Kansas City Fire Department’s first female fire chief; and Fontella Henry, the first female African American police officer in the Columbia Police Department. You can also read about Mar Doering, who, at the time she applied to the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, was one of the only women to do so.
These women have faced doubt and discrimination in their fields and responded with tact, intelligence and talent. Their words of wisdom are ones to return to, especially in times of uncertainty. The March issue also takes a closer look at an issue that affects women and their partners nationwide: infertility. We weigh the costs of in-vitro fertilization and talk with women who have struggled or are struggling to start a family.
We dive deep into The Social Room, a place that welcomes people of all genders. I’m inspired by women in this issue and the women I work with every day. I hope you are, too. But despite progress, there is still work to be done when it comes to gender parity in the workplace. According to the Pew Research Center, the wage gap between men and women has narrowed only slightly since 1985. Among women across all races and ethnicities, hourly earnings trail behind those of men. Asian women earn 87%, white women earn 82%, black women earn 65% and Hispanic women earn 58% of what white men earn. It is my hope that the wage gap will continue to close.
This month, I encourage you to visit the State Historical Society to see “Missouri Women: Suffrage to Statecraft,” an exhibit displaying clothing worn by women in Missouri politics before and after the ratification of 19th Amendment, and I encourage you to be a leader and champion for equity in the workplace in your sneakers, your sweats, your business suit, your dress or your denim.