Austin Official Anthony Snipes Resigns After Organizing ‘Sexist’ Training Session On Women

A city official in Austin, Texas has resigned after organizing what many are calling a sexist training session. Anthony Snipes, an assistant city manager, turned in his resignation Monday. The official was suspended when an investigation was launched into a seminar Snipes arranged for city employees titled “The Changing Dynamics in Governance: Women Leading in Local Government.”

The official organized the workshop when women outnumbered men for the first time in Austin’s history in the newly elected City Council. A male consultant led the session on March 27 and made sweeping generalizations about women, saying female officials “don’t want to deal with numbers,” “act on emotions,” and “ask lots of questions.”

On May 13, city officials held a news conference and stated that they were shocked to find out about the seminar arranged by a city official. The Austin American-Statesman first broke the news after receiving a tip. Council Member Delia Garza spoke about the broad generalizations about women that were made during the seminar.

“The characterization of women as not having an interest in financial arguments, asking too many questions and requiring different interactions than men is unacceptable. Our community is beyond the archaic rhetoric used in this training.”

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Austin residents took to social media to express their outrage over the sexist seminar with calls for City Manager Marc Ott to resign. The hashtag #whatwomenask was created and used on Twitter by those who wished to make their opinions heard loud and clear.

In response to the outrage, Marc Ott said, “I am offended and embarrassed by what I saw in the video. This training should have been fully vetted to ensure it was consistent with our values, and that didn’t happen.”

The official also said the city would remove the video from its website because “the training’s content was not consistent with the City’s culture, philosophy or management approach.”

In the official’s letter of resignation, KVUE reports that Snipes wrote, “My attempt to prepare city staff for a huge community transition unintentionally became a focus on gender leadership when in fact the make-up of the council should have been a heralded accomplishment.”

Anthony Snipes resigned on Monday and will remain a city official until August 10 according to a memo from City Manager Marc Ott.

What do you think about the training session? Do you think it’s sexist? Should the city official have not resigned, resigned sooner, or been fired?

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