Hub City lawyer reflects on Evelyn Gandy's impact

Hub City lawyer reflects on Evelyn Gandy's impact

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act bill was filed last week to discourage wage discrimination among women in Mississippi

Evelyn Gandy was the first woman elected state-wide treasurer, first woman insurance commissioner and the first female in the country to serve as lieutenant governor. She was also the first woman editor of the "Mississippi Law Journal" and first woman president of the law school student body at Ole Miss. After retiring from public service, she joined the Ingram Law Firm.

There, she worked with Caroll Ingram for the second time. Ingram was a senator while Gandy served as lieutenant governor.

"Gandy was an absolute public servant," Ingram said. "She believed in making government work for the people. She just lived a life of that kind of service."

Ingram said Gandy continued her public service at the law firm. She answered every phone call and letter, continuing to make the community a better place through the legal system.

At the firm, Gandy even mentored Ingram's young daughter. Jennifer Ingram Johnson is now an accomplished lawyer at the firm and even has some of Gandy's awards in her office, including her Margaret Brent Women Lawyers Award that depicts a broken glass ceiling.

"She has helped an untold number of women," Ingram said. "She has paved the way for them to get involved in the legal system, helped them get elected to judges positions and various other legal positions in the state."

The Evelyn Gandy Fair Pay Act bill is one of many bills filed over the past 10 years for equal pay. Last year, two similar bills were killed in committee.

"Anytime that her names is on a bill, it's an indication that the measure has substance," Ingram said. "There is a lot of public support for that measure."

Gandy's bill has been submitted to two committees.