By Senator Patty Ritchie
Here in Central and Northern New York, women are doing big things.
More and more frequently, women are found serving at the helm of businesses and organizations, being elected to office and taking on different leadership roles within their community.
Helping to continue this trend is the “Upstate Women’s Leadership Council,” a nonpartisan, non-political group which I formed alongside Rep. Elise Stefanik, Jefferson County District Attorney Cindy Intschert and other local leaders from throughout our region.
On November 16, the Upstate Women’s Leadership Council will host its first event at Watertown’s Jefferson Community College, featuring a discussion on leadership with Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul beginning at 6 p.m., followed by a “Mentoring Mixer,” where attendees will be able to network and enjoy refreshments and nonalcoholic beverages.
In addition, at the event, local women nominated to be recognized for their leadership will be honored.
The event is open to women of all ages, and those interested in attending are asked to preregister at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov
In our region, women are making strides when it comes to becoming leaders. And, it’s not just happening locally, across our country, more and more women are proving they have what it takes to break glass ceilings.
According to a recent study, the following sectors have seen women more frequently take on leadership roles:
Business: In the corporate world, more than two dozen women currently serve as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Flashback to just 20 years ago, and there weren’t any female Fortune 500 CEOs. In addition, in 2013, more than half of managerial and professional occupations were held by women, that’s up from 30.6 percent in 1968. Outside the office, women in the agriculture industry are making strides too. In fact, the percentage of family farms that are run by women, now around 15 percent, has nearly tripled over the past 30 years.
Politics: Locally, nearly 400 women currently serve in public office in Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties. That’s about one-fourth of current office holders. At the state level, the number of women who are state legislators has risen from 4.5 percent in 1971 to 24.2 percent in 2015. And, at the national level, for the first time, more than 100 women are serving in Congress.
Education: Today, more and more women are pursuing educational opportunities after college. It’s estimated that 12 percent of women ages 25-34 hold a doctorate, masters or professional degree, compared to 8 percent of males in that same age bracket.
Today, more and more women are stepping up to the plate, in academics, business, medicine, public service and other areas.
The Upstate Women’s Leadership Council’s aim is to help these women and others find success in their chosen fields, and inspire women of every age to reach for higher goals and become our next generation’s leaders.
For more information on the Upstate Women’s Leadership Council and to preregister for the November 16 event, please be sure to visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov