The University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service recently surpassed the milestone of 1,000 field service projects. Clinton School students have combined to produce 367,535 hours – or more than 42 years – of civic engagement. Throughout the year, the school will take a look back at some of the long-term impacts its field service projects have created in Arkansas, across the United States, and around the world.
Wright Lindsey Jennings, a full-service law firm with offices in Little Rock and Rogers, Ark., was announced as the 2020 recipient of the Olivia Farrell Gender Equity Leadership Award at the annual Arkansas Business of the Year Awards banquet on Wednesday, March 11. The award recognizes the most equitable workplace in Arkansas.
Initiated by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, the award was one of the results of the work completed by a 2017-18 Clinton School team that partnered with WFA on one of the school’s Practicum projects, which take student teams into Arkansas communities to foster community development and social change in a range of areas, including economic development, public education, and leadership development, among others.
The team of students – Starre Haas (Little Rock, Ark.), Christine McCall (Chicago, Ill.), Dylan Edgell (Pottsville, Ark.), Mariella Hernandez (Guayaquil, Ecuador) – worked with WFA to research and develop the Gender Equity Scorecard. an internal assessment designed to equip businesses in Arkansas with the ability to evaluate the current state of gender equity in their workplace. In March 2019, the first Gender Equality Award was presented to Windstream Holdings, Inc.
"We found that this hadn't been done in Arkansas," Starre Haas, one of the students on the team, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2018. "It's easy to say that you're all for gender equity. But what the score card does, it strives to change the way that businesses think."
The scorecard, now in its second year, allows Arkansas businesses to evaluate the current state of gender equity in their workplaces. The Clinton School team researched models and best practices from other states and countries to help WFA create a scorecard for businesses to improve gender equity within their organization and support Arkansan women in working toward economic empowerment. The scorecard asks company leaders questions in categories ranging from financial literacy, flexibility, job skills, leadership, mentoring, and resources.
Additional criteria were developed within each category to allow businesses to assess whether they provide a gender equitable workplace.
After businesses complete the Gender Equity Scorecard, they receive a Gender Equity Score to help them become aware of what they are doing well in terms of gender equity in the workplace as well as where improvements in their workplace can be made. The Gender Equity Scorecard is a first step for Arkansas businesses to take in becoming more gender equitable.
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.