March 8th marks International Women’s Day, which celebrates the achievements of women in all spheres of life. In Kingsport, women hold various positions from Police Officer to Transportation Planner to Stormwater Quality Control Technician.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2016, 3.4 million women live in Tennessee and 1.5 million of those women were in the labor force. Women all across the state push forward every day to pursue their careers of choice.
In Kingsport, roughly 150 women work full-time for the City of Kingsport. Their jobs include many that are considered non-traditional roles for women, such as transportation planner, lab technicians or asphalt pavers.
Women’s empowerment can boost city growth. Increasing women in the labor force expands the talent pool which helps to boost productivity and in turn, city growth.
The strong women in these roles hope to use their career path as an example and inspiration to other women.
“Don’t let yourself or anyone else tell you that you can’t do something,” said Officer Terry Hughes. “If you think it and want it, then you can do it.”
In the most recent Board of Mayor and Alderman election, Colette George was reelected and Jennifer Adler and Betsy Cooper were elected to serve. For the first time in our city’s history, the six-elected alderman are 50% female.
The women that serve and work for the city are no strangers to overcoming challenges. Kristen Steach is the Wastewater Technology Services Coordinator and works every day with different departments within the city, communicating and coordinating services.
“I love my role at the city,” said Steach. “It is challenging and rewarding to work with the various public works groups to determine how to manage our public infrastructure and services. No two days are the same and I love that there is always room for improvement that will positively impact our city and its citizens.”
Kingsport is thankful that there are so many women breaking barriers and choosing to make an impact in our city. While these women are being recognized today and for International Women’s Day tomorrow, they deserve our thanks every day for the work they do.
“It’s important to pause and celebrate the amazing women who propel this city forward every day,” said City Manager Jeff Fleming. “I want my daughter and granddaughter to know they can choose any job they find rewarding, challenging, and fulfilling.”
Be sure to check out the ‘Kingsport Spirit’ Facebook page tomorrow to meet all the women in the photo!
Photo Caption: L to R: Amanda McMullen (Stormwater Quality Control Technician), Terry Hughes (Kingsport Police Officer), Robin DiMona (Parks & Recreation Assistant Manager), Kristen Steach (Wastewater Technology Services Coordinator), Lesley Phillips (Transportation Planner), Kayla Evans (Asphalt Paver), Kitty Frazier (Parks & Recreation Manager), Lynn Tully (Development Services Director)