What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 21, 2006

Female Trouble

Why name a post about the dearth of Pennsylvania women in political office and the executive ranks of business after a John Waters film?

While aside from the fact that watching Divine as Dawn Davenport knock over the Christmas tree on her parents because she didn't get the pair of cha-cha heels that she asked for is hysterically funny, it would seem that a man in drag has a lot better chance of moving up in this little corner of the world than an actual woman does.

Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the following on Women (not) at the Helm in business:

So we tried to do what hasn't been done before: gather data on the number of women executives and board members in the every public and private corporation and nonprofit institution in the region. Business reporter Dan Fitzpatrick spent two months surveying dozens of companies and worked with the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania, an advocacy group for gender equity, to produce this ground-breaking report.

The results are revealing and discouraging. Women hold only 9.8 percent of the executive positions and 9 percent of the board seats at publicly traded companies in the region. Only one public company -- ESB Financial in Elwood City -- has a female CEO. Several have no women executives or board members, including Federated Investors, the Downtown firm with $213 billion under its management.

Compared with Pittsburgh, the U.S. figures are better but still surprisingly low. Nationally, women occupy 15.7 percent of key executive positions among Fortune 500 firms and 16.9 percent of the board seats at Fortune 100 companies, according to Catalyst, a research organization aimed at advancing women's careers.
You can participate in an online chat on the P-G article "Women at the Helm" with Dan Fitzpatrick and Heather Arnet at noon on Thursday at www.post-gazette.com .

Things aren't much better on the political front.

The United States is 50.2% women and yet they represent only

14% of U.S. Senators
16% of U.S. Representatives
14% of Governors
less than 20% of Mayors
0% of the Pittsburgh area's delegation to the State House

This issue will be discussed at:

"The Spark": Women in Local Politics
Host: GAAP, Women's Center, Office of Gender Issues, Pre-Law Society
Location: The Heinz School, Room 1000 of Hamb 4800 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA
When: Friday, March 24, 5:00 PM- 6:30 PM
Phone: 412-491-9938

Join a panel discussion with women improving these statistics by changing public policy and running for public office.

Find out how they found the courage to run, learned the art of campaigning and negotiation, and developed skills to compete in the political arena. Refreshments will be served.


And perhaps because March is Women's History Month, there is a competing panel discussion on the same day:

YWCA Panel Discussion: Women & the Global Community
Host: YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
Location: YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, 305 Wood Street in downtown Pittsburgh
When: Friday, March 24 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Phone: 412-255-1257, Terri Balogh (tbalogh@ywcapgh.org)

In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's
Day, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will be hosting a panel discussion
comprised of five women reflecting the global community.

The three major topics the panel will be discussing are:

1) How is the global economy impacting women worldwide?
2) Why are we hearing less and less about AIDS and is it a woman's
3) What are the most pressing issues facing women today?

Please feel free to bring a guest. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served.

So what can you do to make a change?

The Progress Pittsburgh blog recently ran "A Run Down of the Run Baby Run Candidates":

Run Baby Run is a Pittsburgh based organization that is supporting women candidate running for state office in 2006. Currently there are no women from Western PA in the state house. Here is a run down of the "Run Baby Run" candidates who you can support:

Susan Banahasky
Democrat - District 20
Contact: susan@susaninthehouse.com
Campaign Manager Matt Preston: mattpreston@gmail.com
Website: www.susaninthehouse.com
Incumbent Walko
District includes most of Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville
neighborhood, parts of the Northside and parts of
Reserve, Ross and West View.

Lisa Bennington
Democrat - District 21
Contact: LisaForHouse@comcast.net
Website: www.LisaForHouse.com
Incumbent Pistella
District is made up of Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield,
Shadyside and Morningside neighborhoods, as well as
the towns of Etna, Millvale, Sharpsburg, and parts of
O’Hara, Ross and Reserve.

Jodie Goughnour
Democrat - District 58
Contact: questions@JodieGoughnour.com
Website: www.jodiegoughnour.com
Incumbent: Harhai (D)
District consists of towns in both Fayette and
Westmoreland counties, including Belle Vernon, Fayette
City, Monessen, Sewickley Township, Rostraver and
parts of East and South Huntingon, Hempfield and West

Deberah Kula
Democrat - District 52
Campaign Assistant: Jill Kula, lmi2@atlanticbbn.net
Incumbent: Shaner, retiring
District consists of parts of Fayette and Westmoreland
Counties, including Connellsville, Dunbar, North
Union, Scottdale and parts of Mt. Pleasant.

Kathy Marks
Republican - District 59
Contact: kmarks3088@zoominternet.net
Incumbent: Stairs (R)
District consists of parts of Fayette and Westmoreland
counties, including Saltlick, Bullskin, Fairfield,
Hempfield, Mt. Pleasant and Ligonier Townships.

Marilyn Messina
Democrat – District 34
Contact: marilynwmessina@yahoo.com
Incumbent: Paul Costa (D)
District includes Braddock Hills, Swissvale, Edgewood,
Rankin, Braddock, Forest Hills, North Braddock,
Chalfont, Turtle Creek, Churchill, Wilkins,
Wilmerding, and East McKeesport.

Chelsa Wagner
Democrat - District 22
Contact: chelsa@chelsawagner.com
Website: www.chelsawagner.com
Incumbent: Diven (R)
District includes parts of the city of Pittsburgh,
Baldwin Township, Castle Shannon and Whitehall.

Eileen Watt
Republican - District 33
Contact: eileenwatt@yahoo.com
Incumbent: Dermody (D)
District includes East and West Deer, Fawn, Frazer,
Harrison, Brackenridge, Tarentum, Oakmont, Indiana,
Harmar, Cheswick, Springdale and parts of Plum.

You can also support Valerie McDonald Roberts in her efforts to get Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll to particpate in a debate.

Yes, this female vs. female, but PA needs a Lt. Governor who knows that our Governor is not "Edward G. Robinson."

Catherine Baker Knoll has declined to debate her challengers on the issues at the heart of this year’s election. The League of Women Voters has scheduled a debate for April 25th in Harrisburg and May 1st in Scranton, but it looks like Knoll will be a no show.

McDonald Roberts released this comment on the upcoming debates:
“Debate is at the heart of Democracy. The first amendment in the Bill of Rights protects freedom of speech, because our founders knew the importance of discourse in choosing our leaders and protecting our democratic government. No one has the right to rule. Office holding is a privilege granted by the people and the people have a right to be informed by the candidates themselves. I invite Catherine Baker Knoll to participate in the democratic process by joining me and the other candidates in debating the issues important to this state.”


Anonymous said...

let me guess, it is all George W Bush's fault!

Maria said...

The only one saying that is you.