Jack White has been recruited for the Nashville Council On Gender Equality.
The former White Stripes man, who previously worked on the Nashville Music Business Council under former Mayor Karl Dean, was hired because his label Third Man Records has implemented progressive work policies – such as six-month paid maternity leave, three-month paid paternity leave, health insurance for all employees and a $15 minimum wage.
The Council will spearhead research projects and develop programmes to help combat sexism and inequality in Nashville. Areas to review include salaries and wages, economic opportunities, family services and childcare, health and safety and data integration.
White says: “All human beings on this planet, and in this society that we live in deserve to be treated the same. They deserve to be treated the same in their social lives, and in their financial and business careers as well.
“In my life in the arts, I have always considered it unfair when producing a record, for example, that a drummer would be paid less than a singer, simply because that singer had an agent or representative. They are both creating regardless of their instrument or even their experience. 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 is female? I think so.
“It is embarrassing that in 2016 there are any differences in benefits or wages between genders in our society. Gender equity is something that should’ve been solved a century ago worldwide, and it is sad that we even need to address it.
“If the person does the work, the benefits of doing that work, should be equal among all human beings.”
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White also underlines the need for equality by offering his support to the transgender community.
He says: “I also must stress that the labels of gender and sexuality are completely up to the individual and not the people who employ them, or the government. If a person is born into a different scenario or a different type of physical body, they shouldn’t be treated in any degrading fashion.
“If they choose to represent themselves as transgender or gender neutral even, it should not affect their wages or benefits or how they are treated by other human beings.”
His statement can be read in full below.