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After Austin Elects First Female-Majority City Council, Consultants Brought in to Talk Down to Them

May 13, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

Among the tips: “Men have egos; women have wishlists.”

Austin has the first female-majority city council in its history, with seven women and four men. In March, these staff of this new council were greeted by a patronizing lecture from a pair of speakers who held a training session on what they can expect from a female-dominated council.

The first speaker was Jonathan K. Allen who once served as a city manager of Lauderdale Lakes, Florida. Allen warned that women ask a lot of questions and that female city council members are less likely to read agenda information and ask questions instead. He cited his 11-year-old daughter as an examples. He also said that you have to present arguments in a “totally different way” because female councilors don't like dealing with financial analysis and other numbers-oriented presentations.

The second speaker was Dr. Miya Burt-Stewart, who runs a business development and marketing firm. She instructed the attendees that “men have egos, women have wish lists,” and that men typically communicate less than women do.

The Star-Tribune's Lilly Rockwell contacted the city and found out that it actually paid for the hotel fees for Allen, which raises the question of why Austin found it prudent to hold a sexist training session for staff on taxpayers' dimes.

Watch video from the training:

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