Bryan Schott, communication director for the Utah Senate Democrats, sent an email this morning with the following headline:
"Efforts to Encourage Alternative Careers for Women in Utah State Senate"
Well, I just had to open it because what could those efforts be to encourage "alternative" careers for women in the Utah State Senate?
Considering that in the Utah State Senate, there are 24 men and only five women (four of whom are Democrats; a fifth is a Republican homemaker), I wildly imagined that the Senate was considering hosting an ice-cream social to invite more women into the political arena. As what? Campaign directors? Lobbyists? Aides? Analysts? Communication directors? Bloggers? The women Senators there now had to beat the streets to get themselves elected. What types of alternative careers could be possible for women?
As it turns out, the Senate, under the auspices of Senator Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, was simply advocating for careers for women in the construction trades -- industries where more women should indeed find hard hats with their names on it but as we all know remain a rarity. "The Utah State Senate acknowledges efforts by the Utah College of Applied Technology and Utah Construction Trades to encourage women to pursue alternative careers in construction and other trades," the press release reads.
Mayne's sponsorship of SJR015, "Alternative Careers and Skills for Women," inadvertently shines a little light on the preponderance of Y chromosomes in the Senate, and Utah politics in general. Talk about nontraditional occupations. Not that the Ys really care. But the XXs do.