Women in Public Policy

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Women in Public Policy is an upcoming event geared toward drawing women into politics and providing networking opportunities for those interested in meeting and learning from the experiences of prominent female politicians. The event is hosted by the Arizona Capitol Times and will feature an interview with former Governor Jan Brewer. Ginger Lamb, vice president and publisher of the Arizona Capitol Times, will tell us more.

TED SIMONS: "The Arizona Capitol Times" is sponsoring an upcoming event designed to draw more women into politics and public policy. Here now with more is Ginger Lamb, vice president and publisher of "The Arizona Capitol Times." Good to see you again.

GINGER LAMB: Good to see you, too, Ted.

TED SIMONS: Before we get to the event, we've got a pretty rich history of women in politics here don't we?

GINGER LAMB: We have the fab five back in the '90, and you know, the leadership of Arizona with a woman governor continued for almost 16 years consecutively, and now we have Michelle Reagan running the secretary of state's office, we have Diane Douglas as superintendent of public instruction and it goes beyond that. Women have really done well in Arizona, and I think that they've set the pace for things that have happened here and I know when we did our event back in 2012, it was timed to be right after the election and we had ASU come in and talk about what happened in the elections nationally that year and not only did women pick up spots around the country in Congress and other leadership roles but we did pretty well in Arizona then, too.

TED SIMONS: You mentioned the fab five, governor, secretary of state, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction and treasurer. That's obviously the pinnacle there. Have the numbers, though -- it seems like they steadily declined a little bit or what do you think about that as far as state government is concerned?

GINGER LAMB: They declined a little bit in terms of the overall leadership at the statewide office level but what we've seen is gains at the state legislature and now almost a third of the legislature is made up of women so we have done well.

TED SIMONS: Impact on policy. The impact on passing policy. Talk about the impact of having women as lawmakers.

GINGER LAMB: Well, women, you know, they're running households, not all of them but most of them are running households, businesses, they have a lot on their plate and they're capable of making tough decisions and I think that helps them to lead in those roles.

TED SIMONS: Are there differences or do you hear others comment on the differences between a male lawmaker and a female lawmaker?

GINGER LAMB: Well, I think if you look at some of the individuals who have come into politics recently, the tables have turned and things are different in terms of what they encounter now as to what we may have encountered in the past and I know in terms of my own career, there were things I encountered in the media when I was the only woman in the newsroom or, you know, just when I started as a publisher with our current company there were only two women publishers so I think women have really grown and we've assumed leadership roles and we've shown that we can lead.

TED SIMONS: As far as challenges for women in politics office I'm guessing the old boy network still holds pretty strong in some arenas?

GINGER LAMB: I think it does hold strong in some arenas but there's ways to break through that, and I think as women we support one another in that and can help with challenges and other men help with those challenges, too, and how to navigate that.

TED SIMONS: Can it be more intimidating for a woman or an advantage at the capitol, as a lawmaker, a lobbyist?

GINGER LAMB: I think for women it's about opportunity and we have a lot of opportunity to go in and make change. And we have opportunity to lead, and I think it's finding what may be a challenge or something in your path that's not allowing you to accomplish what you need and you go in conquer it and look at it from a positive, that that's an opportunity.

TED SIMONS: Is there a thought that there are women out there that have not entered the public policy arena, you may know them, other folks may suggest their names, are you hearing their names and what's keeping them out?

GINGER LAMB: That's the whole point of women in public policy and why we created it quite a few years ago is that we want to help women who are in business kind of put their toe in the water at the state capitol because I think unless you're a political wonk or you're in the public policy arena, chances are when you hear of politics and government you might think that's not for me but nowadays it affects us in what we do personally and professionally so what we're trying to do is advocate that any woman in business, at the capitol or in a bank, an educational institution, a nonprofit corporation, you need to put your toe in the water at the capitol.

TED SIMONS: Talk about the event, when and where and what exactly will go on?

GINGER LAMB: November 18th at the fonesian, we have a keynote at 9:00 by secretary of state Michelle Reagan and two panel discussions, our first panel is on education. We have a committee that helps us put together the agenda and they've talked about how as moms and business leaders they're concerned about what's happening with education. We had the governor's settlement, common core is no more, letter grades are going away, there's so many things and it affects the future of our workforce so we're going to have a panel to talk about that. We have Lisa Keegan, former superintendent of public education will be on the panel, Janet day with policy connect is going to lead that discussion. We have the superintendent of public instruction Diane Douglas is going to be part of that. Stacy morley from A.E.A., and we have a couple of other individuals and then the second discussion is going to be led by Cathy senseman from policy development group and we're going to talk about leadership and advocacy, you know, what are the tools that you need to succeed at the legislature? What types of advice is helpful. What if you're at point A. and you want to go point B.? How do you get there? Whether that's advancing in your career or making a hiatus and doing something else or maybe it's hey, I want to run for public office. We're hoping we're going to accomplish that and have the attendees leave with a lot of knowledge.

TED SIMONS: I would imagine networking will be a major focus of conversation on all panels and discussions. Focus on the importance for women now and networking.

GINGER LAMB: Networking is huge because this event, I'm always amazed, we have between two and 300 people from across the state that attend. And typically when I look at lists of who's attending Arizona capitol times events, nine times out of 10 I know most of them. Women in public policy there's always women who I have not met so for me and all of the team at the capitol times it's a great opportunity for us to network, too, but if you come to the event you're going to meet women from across the state of Arizona that are in public policy, whether it's at the municipal level or the state level and you're going to meet women who are running corporations.

TED SIMONS: So if someone is watching right now and she's thinking I'm more interested in this, I would like to go down there, what do you expect her to take from the event? What do you want people to take from the event?

GINGER LAMB: What we want people to come to the event and see is obviously, you know, meet people who are in positions that are influencing what's happening in state government. We want people to network and meet those people. We want you to be educated and walk away realizing I can get involved and I can have an impact and make a real difference.

TED SIMONS: All right. November 18th?

GINGER LAMB: November 18th and don't forget we have a fashion show over lunch and a fireside chat with governor Jan Brewer that will be done by A.P.S. and we would love to have you as one of our male models for the event if you would be interested.

TED SIMONS: I will get back to you on that.

GINGER LAMB: All right.

TED SIMONS: Maybe on the 19th, how's that?

GINGER LAMB: I think I'll be reaching out before then.

TED SIMONS: Good to see you. Thanks for joining us.

GINGER LAMB: Thanks, Ted.

Jan Brewer:Former Governor, Ginger Lamb: Vice president and publisher of the Arizona Capitol Times

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