Women urge Se­nate to pass gen­der di­ver­sity res­o­lu­tion

State Capi­tol press con­fer­ence speak­ers in­cluded Sen. Sch­wank, for­mer Cam­bridge-Lee In­dus­tries CEO, Pres­i­dent of EWC, and CEO of Women and Girls Foun­da­tion of South­west PA

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

Women, in­clud­ing sev­eral from Berks County, gath­ered in the State Capi­tol Ro­tunda for a press con­fer­ence March 27 to bring Se­nate Res­o­lu­tion 255 to the fore­front.

Spon­sored by Sen. Judy Sch­wank (D-Berks County), the Res­o­lu­tion, ti­tled “En­cour­ag­ing equitable and di­verse gen­der rep­re­sen­ta­tion on the boards and in se­nior man­age­ment of com­pa­nies in Penn­syl­va­nia,” cur­rently stands in the Se­nate Rules and Ex­ec­u­tive Nom­i­na­tions Com­mit­tee.

Fea­tured speak­ers at the Press Con­fer­ence in­cluded Sch­wank, An­drea Funk, for­mer CEO of Cam­bridge-Lee In­dus­tries LLC, a pipe sup­plier in Berks County, Chris­tine Koe­b­ley, Pres­i­dent of Ex­ec­u­tive Women’s Coun­cil of Pitts­burgh, and Heather Ar­net, CEO at Women and Girls Foun­da­tion of South­west PA.

“We’re here to dis­cuss some­thing I feel is re­ally ob­vi­ous, the fact that women are dif­fer­ent than men and women bring a unique per­spec­tive to any­thing that they are en­gaged in, and those per­spec­tives de­mand con­sid­er­a­tion in ev­ery as­pect of so­ci­ety,” Sch­wank said. “We have a unique voice that can bring about nec­es­sary changes.”

The Res­o­lu­tion urges pri­vately held and pub­licly traded busi­nesses and non­prof­its do­ing busi­ness in the Com­mon­wealth to have a min­i­mum of 30 per­cent women di­rec­tors by Dec. 31, 2020 pro­gress­ing to­ward equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion of men and women on an an­nual ba­sis with mea­sur­able re­sults. Fur­ther, that gen­der di­ver­sity will be good for busi­ness in Penn­syl­va­nia.

An­drea Funk, the for­mer CEO of Cam­bridge-Lee In­dus­tries, said de­spite be­ing the top fe­male ex­ec­u­tive in two or­ga­ni­za­tions, she was fre­quently ex­cluded from ex­ec­u­tive meet­ings and pre­sen­ta­tions.

“In fact, I was most com­monly the note-taker, or sec­re­tary, in many of these meet­ings in which the work was done and rec­om­men­da­tions were for­mu­lated, and then ex­cluded from the con­clud­ing meet­ing, in which my rec­om­men­da­tions were pre­sented and the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion was de­cided,” Funk said. “I don’t be­lieve I was in­ten­tion­ally ex­cluded but I was not in­ten­tion­ally in­cluded. I needed re­silience and per­se­ver­ance to achieve the role of CEO. It is harder to be heard with­out sup­port and a seat at the ta­ble.”

Chris­tine Koe­b­ley, Pres­i­dent of Ex­ec­u­tive Women’s Coun­cil, said the group’s mis­sion is to pro­vide lead­er­ship and fa­cil­i­tate op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic power of women.

“Our on­line Women on Boards Data­base fea­tures the cre­den­tials of qual­i­fied women avail­able for cor­po­rate and pub­lic board ap­point­ments,” she said. “We have been and con­tinue to be con­tacted by or­ga­ni­za­tions to pro­vide can­di­dates for board op­por­tu­ni­ties and have suc­cess­fully placed a num­ber of women on govern­ment boards. So, we’re hop­ing that once this is passed we can use that data­base to help fa­cil­i­tate find­ing women qual­i­fied for these roles.”

Heather Ar­net, CEO at Women and Girls Foun­da­tion of South­west PA, said SR 255 is more than a “feel­good” or “di­ver­sity” res­o­lu­tion.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

At the State Capi­tol Ro­tunda talk­ing about Se­nate Res­o­lu­tion 255, Sen. Judy Sch­wank (D-Berks County) said women have a unique voice that can bring about nec­es­sary changes. The Res­o­lu­tion urges pri­vately held and pub­licly traded busi­nesses and non­prof­its in the Com­mon­wealth to have a min­i­mum of 30 per­cent women di­rec­tors by Dec. 31, 2020.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.