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The sign said 'men working,' but girls told city council 'we've seen plenty of women doing construction'


Brienne Babione (left), 9, stands with her sister Blair Babione, 11, in front of Carmel City Hall on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, a day after the girls visited a council meeting hoping to convince the city to abandon the gendered signage it uses, like the one they're holding.

CARMEL, Ind. – Two sharp-eyed young sisters were hailed as change agents and champions of equality by the Carmel City Council Monday.

While passing Carmel construction zones on their school bus, Blair Babione, 11, and Brienne Babione, 9, saw something that seemed wrong: signs that read “Men Working.”

The girls and their mother, Leslie, did some online sleuthing and discovered that the federal government, states and cities put the signs out of use decades ago in favor of gender-neutral signs, like a shovel, flag or a description of the work.

The girls wrote a letter to City Council President Sue Finkham.

“Why is this sign here? Why does it say, ‘Men working’ when we’ve seen plenty of women doing construction?'” the girls wrote.

They quickly got results.

Finkham introduced a resolution to enforce the gender neutral guidelines on Carmel construction projects. It passed unanimously.


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