Nashville mayor Megan Barry named Jack White to a new Council on Gender Equality during an executive order-signing event Wednesday. The role of the 45-member Council will be to study gender equality in the Nashville metro area and report back their findings to the mayor.
The rocker, who previously served on former mayor Karl Dean’s Nashville Music Business Council, was recruited because of the work policies implemented by his Third Man Records, including six-month paid maternity leave, three-month paid paternity leave, health insurance for all employees and a $15 minimum wage, The Tennessean reports.
“In my life in the arts, I’ve always considered it unfair when, for example, while producing a record, that a drummer would be less than a singer simply because that singer had an agent or representative,” White said. “I think they should be paid the same. Now wouldn’t it be just as ridiculous to pay two fiddle players a different wage because one of them is male and one of them is female? I think so.”
“Nothing is more important than a new life and new soul being brought into the world, and newborn parents should not have to worry about anything but the health and welfare of their child. If my small company can enact these ideas, then so can McDonald’s and General Motors,” White said at the press conference. “I believe all human being in this planet and in this society we live in deserve to be treated the same.”
Given what’s happening with Tennessee’s neighbors to the northeast in North Carolina and their controversial HB2 “bathroom bill,” White reiterated the importance of treating all people equally.
Read White’s full comments below: