Jill Ashton

Jill Ashton

Students can make a difference even before they reach voting age, by committing to hold their representatives accountable, said Jill Ashton, executive director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women. Ms. Ashton visited Milton to speak at an assembly sponsored by F-Word, a feminist student publication, and SAGE (Students Advocating for Gender Equality). Ms. Ashton has served as the executive director for the commission since 2009. The commission recently supported a landmark equal pay bill that went into effect in July 2018. It has also worked in recent legislative cycles toward expanding paid medical leave in Massachusetts and improving access to contraceptives.

“Know who represents you at all levels of government. Your state representative may remember what it was like to be a high school student, but they have no idea what it’s like to be a high school student in 2018. Your experiences and perspective are unique and significant.”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The curiosity to ask why and the courage to speak out are qualities that lead to innovation and change. The individuals featured in this issue embody these qualities. Through their questioning, leadership, and willingness to share their views, they are making a difference–in their professions and in the world.