Connecticut Girl Pushes for Equality on Road Signs

A “People Working” signThe sign caught Isabela Glynn’s eye as her father was driving her to school one day, according to the Hartford Courant newspaper.

And she didn’t like what she saw.

What did the sign say?

“Men at Work.”

“I think this is wrong,” Isabela said, at a February 13th hearing held by the Transportation Committee of the Connecticut House of Representatives.  “People who see the work sign will only think men are doing all the work.

“The women,” she continued, “will not get any credit.

“I know that men would not like it if the work sign said, “Women at Work,” she added.

That reportedly got people laughing a little.

But Isabela was serious.

Why was an 11-year-old girl from West Hartford lecturing a bunch of grownups about road signs?

According to the Courant, Isabela’s father challenged her to get a bill introduced in the Connecticut House – a bill that would make all road signs in the state gender-neutral.

(In other words, they wouldn’t have the words “men” or “women” on them.)

And Isabela did just that.

She wrote a letter to the Transportation Committee.

And two members of the committee were reportedly so impressed by the letter that they introduced the bill.

Now, there’s a chance that it might actually become a law.

“I think she’s onto something,” Connecticut Transportation Commissioner James Redeker told Hartford TV station WVIT.

Redeker told the lawmakers that the state’s signs are already gender-neutral.

“They just say, ‘Work Zone,’” he testified.

But a lot of local communities in Connecticut still have those “Men at Work” signs.

Isabela’s bill would require those communities to buy gender-neutral road signs, when it comes time to replace the old ones.

The bill has the support of West Hartford Public Works Director John Phillips, according to the Courant.

“You sort of take things for granted and don’t really realize what it says until you think about,” Phillips told Courant reporter Jenny Wilson.

For Isabela, the whole thing has been a learning experience – and a real-life lesson on how to deal with something when you think it’s not right.

“They said, ‘Why doesn’t she make a bill,’” she told WVIT reporter Jeff Saperstone.  “And I guess I did.”