March 31, 1998 in City

Job Appointment Reason To Celebrate

By The Spokesman-Review

(From Opinion page, April 1, 1998): Francine Boxer is, of course, the new county administrator for Spokane County government. Her title was listed incorrectly in yesterday’s editorial.

The day Spokane County commissioners appointed Francine Boxer as county commissioner, everybody won.

Boxer won an impressive new job, the result of a long, dedicated climb up the county ranks. County government workers won because a hard-working, widely admired co-worker became the county’s top administrator. The public won, not just because Boxer helped devise a $100,000 salary savings right off the bat, but more importantly, because it will benefit from the unique gifts she brings to this role.

In 1975 when Boxer started out at the bottom of the county’s pay scale, most employers missed out on the energy and talent women can bring to top positions.

Those were the days when bright women filled jobs as administrative assistants - Boxer’s first county title - executive secretaries, teachers and nurses, and rarely moved beyond them.

Since then, Boxer’s climb through the ranks of county government mirrors the advancement of working women in general.

Today, many more employers actively seek out and promote talented women. Women have flooded into law schools and medical schools. They’ve learned construction trades. They’ve become astronauts, fighter pilots, engineers and scientists.

As the world has opened up to working women, it has been simultaneously changed by them. A new set of perspectives, new talents and new skills have entered and transformed the workplace. Each individual woman brings her own set of strengths. For one, it’s compassion. For another, it’s firmness.

Francine Boxer obviously has a strong work ethic - she earned a bachelor’s degree and has almost completed a master’s by attending evening classes. She also relishes challenge, exhibits strong inter-personal skills, and displays a delicious sense of humor.

Gone are the days when working women were exhorted to shape themselves into miniature men. Today’s professional women are freer to enter the workplace exactly who they are. In Boxer’s case, that means bug collection, brain-shaped Halloween Jell-O, and all.

Certainly, more work remains. Women’s average weekly salaries remain just under 75 percent of men’s. They still bump their heads on glass ceilings. They fill only 5 percent of senior executive jobs in American corporations.

But change does happen, and Boxer’s promotion makes a fine time to celebrate it.

Congratulations, Ms. Boxer. We’re glad you made it.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Jamie Tobias Neely/For the editorial board

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