Nevada state boards dominated by males |

Nevada state boards dominated by males

Cy Ryan
Special to the Nevada Appeal

Men dominate the membership on state boards and commissions, but a revived Nevada Commission on Women is working to increase the number of females.

A preliminary survey of 782 boards and commissions on the Internet shows 60 percent are males and 40 percent are women.

The commission, meeting Thursday, is working to increase the percentage but no goal has been set.

The survey of the boards was conducted last December, said Molly Walt, executive director of the commission. And it covered only those boards listed on websites and didn’t include vacancies in the membership.

The women’s commission was dormant for years until revived by Gov. Brian Sandoval and approved by the 2017 Legislature.

The Secretary of State was authorized by the Legislature to conduct a voluntary survey of corporations and state departments when they renewed their filings to determine the equity employment levels. Of the estimated 1,000 replies, about 500 answered the gender equity levels question. The survey continues through the remainder of this year. And then results will be analyzed for the upcoming Legislature.

The commission is encouraging chambers of commerce and other business groups to get members to complete the voluntary questionnaire.

The commission has no information on the number of top women in state government agencies. And it doesn’t have any data on the women on local government boards and commissions.

Part of its action plan calls for training for women in applying for jobs; a specialty vehicle license plate for women and joining with other women groups to sponsor a parade in Henderson in 2020 to observe the suffrage movement.

The commission will unveil a special exhibit in the Capitol on Sept. 14 on the contribution of women to Nevada. Members decided Thursday it will be entitled “Silver State Sisters: Women Transforming Nevada.” There will be seven exhibits detailing the history of women in the state. Commissioner Jo Etta Brown said the exhibits will be updated periodically.

The following day the commission will hold its strategy session on plans for the future.

One possible topic is to meet with the incoming state officials such as governor, attorney general, the Legislature and Judiciary to encourage them to hire and appoint more women.