Feb 17, 2022 - News

Hutchinson establishes women's commission on workforce participation

Alison Williams will chair the new commission. Photo courtesy of State of Arkansas

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday he is signing an executive order establishing the Commission on Status of Women in Arkansas.

Why it matters: Women are disproportionately economically disadvantaged, and the pandemic exacerbated that, especially mothers.

  • Women in Arkansas earn 80% of what Arkansas men do, said Alison Williams, Hutchinson's chief of staff who will chair the commission.

Details: The purpose of the 14-person commission is to:

  • Study and analyze labor force participation by women and how they were impacted by the pandemic.
  • Review labor force statistics, specifically in entrepreneurship and STEM fields.
  • Examine barriers to women entering the workforce, such as child care.

Zoom in: NWA's Gayatri Agnew, Bentonville City Council member, and Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas, will serve on the commission.

What's next: The commission will hold its first meeting next week and have a report ready by Dec. 1, Williams said during Hutchinson's news conference.

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