Nikita Stewart of the New York Times writes on the new Women of New York’s City Hall.
“The longtime fraternity of government power — a boys’ club that women have been admitted to for years but without ever becoming a dominant force — now resembles a sorority where women are helping set Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agenda, squeezing real estate developers for better deals, and prodding entrenched bureaucrats out of their comfort zones.At meetings at every level throughout City Hall, women now equal or outnumber men. “There are certainly moments where I kind of sit back and think, ‘Wow, this is sort of changing before our eyes,’” said Emma Wolfe, Mr. de Blasio’s longtime aide, whose title is director of Intergovernmental Relations but whose real role is that of fixer. The muscle.
She looked around a stately conference room on City Hall’s second floor. “We’re sitting in this room here, in the Governor’s Room, surrounded by all of these — ” she paused and whispered, “white men,” then continued, “on the walls.”
There are more than 100 portraits of city officials throughout the building. Not one is of a woman, an imbalance that reflects the realities of the 19th century, when most were commissioned. The city no longer commissions such paintings.
If it did now, they would look very different. The mayor “wholeheartedly rejects that as the face of New York City,” Ms. Wolfe said of the many portraits. “He’s just more conscious of it. It’s just him.””