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WYO Conference Brings Women’s "Wisdom" to State Issues

May 1, 2008

Jackson, WY – Women's wisdom will shine a new light on tough state issues in Wyoming this weekend, when the first annual "Women's Conference on Sustainability" takes place in Jackson Hole. It's an event that brings women together from around the state to discuss ways to improve the health of the environment, as well as the health of individual Wyomingites.

Melissa Turley, a member of the Jackson Town Council, says men and women are in general agreement that clean air, water and lands are important. But she believes women approach the conflicts related to these topics differently, by encouraging discussion, listening, and including everyone with a concern or interest.

"With the really complex challenges that are facing us, in our communities and in our world today, that's increasingly what we need leaders to be able to do."

Turley says research shows women don't usually run for office unless they're invited to do so. That's what happened in her case, and she hopes the conference will help ensure that, this year, more "invitations" are extended.

"It really does make a difference when your colleague, your mentor, your boss, or your sister says, 'Hey, why don't you do that?'"

There are too few women in elected positions in Wyoming, Turley says, and she's working to inspire more of them to even out the inequity. Wyoming women can file the necessary paperwork to run for office beginning May 15. First Lady Nancy Freudenthal is one of the event speakers.

Deborah Smith/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - WY