In celebration of Women’s History Month, Guerrieri Student Union and Multicultural Student Services hosted a Fireside Spotlight with Julia Glanz. As Acting Mayor of the City of Salisbury, Glanz discussed the struggles that she faces as a woman in leadership.
Glanz is a Salisbury alumnus; her aspirations to work within the bureaucracy began after joining Salisbury U’niversity's Student Government Association.
“I never thought then (during her undergrad) that I would be where I am today … it was a big jump, and it all happened very fast,” Glanz commented.
At only 25, Glanz was hired by the city of Salisbury to serve as the Assistant City Administrator; two years later, she was promoted and appointed to the role of City Administrator. Not only is she the youngest appointed administrator, but she is the first openly LGBTQ woman to be assigned the position within the city government.
“Only about two weeks into this role, I learned that you will not be able to please everybody,” Glanz stated, regarding her new position.
As acting mayor, Glanz has altered city functions to ensure that Salisbury’s citizens are protected from COVID-19 transmission while having the proper resources to access the COVID-19 vaccination. To ease the transition, Glanz created the Vulnerable Populations Task Force; around 200 city leaders came together to focus on the issues surrounding housing insecurity, food insecurity, access to information and language barriers.
“[The task force] is to assist vulnerable populations of non-native English speaking persons, minorities, disabled, low-income, seniors and the homeless … we want to break down systematic barriers and make real changes in our community,” Glanz stated on the task force.
The implications of systemic barriers within our society are degrading the overall quality of life of the affected individuals. Glanz is taking strides to ensure that their needs can be met during this time of economic insecurity.
Kara Hart, WWDT TV Reporter and SU Alumni, joined the discussion with Glanz.
“We saw a spotlight on them (vulnerable populations) during the pandemic. (By observation) I have seen that there is not only a need for vaccines and (COVID-19) testing. There is a money issue here, and the rise of job inequity,” Hart stated.
Although these issues are on the rise, Glanz feels that Salisbury is in a better position when compared to past years. Before relieving her position of Mayor Day, Glanz hopes to continue to continually assist vulnerable persons of Salisbury to ensure that they have equity in access of COVID-19 relief resources.
“We have got a couple of our projects moving, kept all of our staff safe and healthy and kept the ball rolling… our customer service is still top notch, while continuing to look out for the little guy,” Glanz stated.
The gender inequity within Maryland is alarming, with women typically making $0.86 for every dollar paid to men. In addition to the wage differentiation, women within positions of power have been historically debased and doubted. Glanz is no stranger to this occurrence, and encourages women to live truthfully and break down barriers of gender inequity.
To be a successful woman in leadership, Glanz reiles on, “reflective listening … we’re now in a world where you need to lean on empathy and that may come more naturally to women.”
Most of all, Glanz encourages women to go after anything they desire in life.
“Go after whatever you want to go after. Do not let anybody tell you no, do not let anybody scare you away … do what you can to go after your dreams,” Glanz stated.
In closing of Women's History Month, we must remember to take active measures to ensure that gender is not a determinant of an individual's worth. Acknowledge the gender disparities experienced by your peers, and take actions to ensure that it does not continue.
By STEPHANIE RIVERA
Gull life editor
Featured photo courtesy of https://salisbury.md/mayors-office