Wenatchee Valley Business World

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Editor’s Note | There is still much left to accomplish

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Cover story | Finding their way: Women leaders carve their paths to business success

Cover story | Finding their way: Women leaders carve their paths to business success

WENATCHEE — Young business woman Carissa Blair knows that doing it all — family, career, community — can be a tough balancing act. When she needs help, she turns for advice to a group of local ...

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that there are a lot of women in leadership positions in business. This is not the 1950s, when that may have been unusual enough to warrant a story in your local newspaper.

But here we are in 2017 writing about professional women. Unlike previous decades, however, we didn’t need to search far and wide to find them. They’re everywhere. They’re running businesses, government agencies and being elected to positions of political power.

And our stories aren’t “wow, look at that,” they’re more instructional, telling readers how these women got to where they are and the lessons both men and women can take from their success.

But not all is perfect for women in the workplace. There are lingering important issues, like equal pay.

Also, when it comes to the heights of business and government they still lag far behind men.

Pew Research Center recently took a look at where women stand at the highest levels of power. When it comes to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, only 5.4 percent of them are women. It sounds bad, but perhaps we can take some solace in the fact that in 1995 there were none. That’s right, 0 percent as recently at 1995.

Women represent 20.2 percent of all college presidents.Yes, even the hallowed halls of enlightenment and diversity haven’t come close to showing equality at their highest level. That number, by the way, is up from 9.5 percent in 1995.

You want more numbers? Of course you do.

In government, there are four out of 50 governors who are women and there have only been 37 women governors in history, from 27 states.

There are 21 women who are U.S. Senators, out of 100, which is a historic high. During much of the 1970s, there were no women in the Senate.

Clearly, when we talk in turns of equality, there are statistics that show all things are not equal, even though the country has come a long way since women were even denied the right to vote.

But, again, there have been dramatic improvements and the trend lines show we are heading toward true equality.

The woman we profiled for this issue of Business World don’t seem to see themselves as crusaders for their gender. They’re smart, successful business people who are using their talents to benefit themselves and others.

Also, we have a story on the Wenatchee Business and Professional Women group. That chapter of the national organization has experienced tremendous growth in recent years.

When you read what the group’s leaders have to say, you don’t hear about unfairness, discrimination or misogyny, though there’s no doubt those things exist, what you hear is a common goal of success and sharing in that success.

Maybe 10 years from now, writing about successful women won’t be necessary at all, because we will take their success for granted.