Women's History Month Stories

Kate Womens History Month

Meet Kate

How long have you worked for the City of Lafayette?

  • About seven and a half years (since June 2013)

What do you love most about working for the City?

  • Lafayette has a strong sense of community and a small-town feel, and enjoys many of the amenities of a larger community. I love the variety of programs and interests in the community, and the enthusiasm they create around town.

Why do you support women’s empowerment and gender equality?

  • I have benefited from the efforts and struggles of women before me and hope to smooth the path of those that will come after. I also feel that enhancing opportunities for women benefits all people by mitigating artificial expectations and barriers.  

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

Many of the women in my college friends group are employed in male-dominated fields that would have been significantly less accessible to them a generation or two ago. I majored in chemistry and minored in physics, and enjoyed relatively unfettered access to the fields without having to fight for those opportunities because of the body I was born in. 

Share a women’s empowerment moment that has inspired you.

The story of Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller’s teacher and lifelong friend is a powerful demonstration of a woman taking on a novel challenge and succeeding beyond any possible expectations. Despite being partially blind and prone to illness herself, Anne opened the world to Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf from a childhood illness. She taught Helen to communicate via fingerspelling, and eventually even taught her to speak verbally. Helen went on to graduate from Radcliffe college, write her autobiography, and tour nationally and internationally. Anne was Helen’s constant companion and facilitated many of these accomplishments through her assistance with the bulk of Helen’s reading and communication needs. Helen was incredibly brilliant and accomplished, but none of her accomplishments would have been possible without Anne’s creating a way to communicate, and then facilitating much of Helen’s further communication.

What is your favorite food?

Toss-up between pizza and ice cream. I like both in nearly any form.

Who is your favorite music artist? 

So many options, but a few of Sara Bareilles’ songs really speak to me lately.

What is your favorite activity/thing to do in Lafayette?

Walking through the downtown area to see the Art on the Street and other art throughout the area.

Ann Womens History MonthMeet Ann

How long have you worked for the City of Lafayette? 

12 years

What do you love most about working for the City? 

I love the fact we provide one of the most basic of all human needs, clean quality drinking water. 

Why do you support women’s empowerment and gender equality?

I was raised by a single mom with three kids in the 70's and witnessed my Mothers struggles and how she was treated in the male dominated work force. Back then, women were mostly thought of as homemakers and someone to raise children and were not given many quality job opportunities. My mother was a very intelligent woman but was oppressed like so many women. My mother always stood up for the under dog and the oppressed and I have always kept that with me and continue her legacy by doing the same. 

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

It wasn't till I started working for the City of Lafayette that I personally experienced job equality, the starting pay was the same no matter of gender or race, which I have been very thankful for. 

Share a women’s empowerment moment that has inspired you.

I have always told my teenage daughter that you can do anything you want to do in life with hard work and the desire to do it, there's nothing you can't do. We are all only limited by our imaginations.

What is your favorite food? 

That's a tough one , I love good food no matter what kind it is, but I will probably have to go with curried chicken. 

Who is your favorite music artist? 

Amos Lee, I just love his soulful music style. 

What is your favorite activity/thing to do in Lafayette? 

I love taking a walk or run around Waneka Lake.

Joliette Womens History MonthMeet Joliette

How long have you worked for the City of Lafayette? 

I started with the City in September of 2019. 

What do you love most about working for the City?

I love that the City of Lafayette is inclusive and that staff is friendly. We are always willing to be of assistance to residents and other staff. 

Why do you support women’s empowerment and gender equality?

Women must be given the same chances as men in the workplace, politics, and in all aspects of life. Equality gives everyone a voice and can improve the health of our society.

What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?

The field of civil engineering did not have many women in it back when I was in school. Now it is common to be in a room full of female engineers. 

Share a women’s empowerment moment that has inspired you.

Over the years, I have had a chance to speak to young people in school settings about engineering. It is satisfying to walk away from those interactions knowing that some of the young girls, who may not have previously considered engineering or other technical professions, had their eyes opened to the possibilities because of me. 

What is your favorite food?

I enjoy almost anything with peanut butter in it. 

Who is your favorite music artist?

I have a wide range of musical interests, but my favorite artist of all time would probably be Prince. 

What is your favorite activity/thing to do in Lafayette?

I enjoy walking down S. Public Road with my daughter. We talk about the art and visit the sweet shops.