Phoenix women in government shatter glass ceilings as interim mayor steps into role

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/ CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/ CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/ CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/ CBS 5)

The City of Phoenix has a new mayor, for now. Vice Mayor Thelda Williams took over this afternoon for Mayor Greg Stanton. He's leaving to run for Congress while she's bringing some more girl power to city government. 

[RELATED: It's official: Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton has resigned]

While Interim Mayor Thelda Williams is not the first woman to occupy the city's mayoral office, her new role has broken a record. She believes Phoenix is now the only U.S. city to have a female mayor, police chief and fire chief serving simultaneously. 

Thelda Williams joins Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner and Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams-- three female leaders in male-dominated industries. 

"I’d like to say the women have taken over and we're moving ahead," Thelda said. 

That's not all. The City of Phoenix has a total of 19 female department heads out of 36 departments.

"Many of them have worked their way up through the ranks [and] they are considered experts nationally," Thelda said. 

Phoenix’s new interim mayor said she has another strong woman in her life to thank for the motivation. 

"I give full credit to my grandmother, who always said to me, 'You can do anything you want if you work hard enough for it,'” she said.

This is not the first time that Thelda has served as vice mayor-- it's her third.

"I guess I'm very fortunate because I have a little experience," she said. 

She filled in for eight months in 1994, just two days in 2012 and now she's back again. 

Thelda will likely serve as mayor until the November special election. She said she has no plans to run for the seat in the special election.

"No, I'm very content being a councilperson and serving my district," she said. 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Popular Stories

Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio