Conference of executive women develops new vision for leadership

    Last week’s Vision 20-20 conference brought hundreds of women executives to Philadelphia to discuss ways to finally get rid of the glass ceiling. Locally women comprise only 11 percent of the board membership of Philadelphia’s 100 largest public companies.

    Hundreds of women from across the country gathered in Philadelphia last week to strategize. They’re working on Vision 20-20, a 10-year plan for advancing gender equality and women’s leadership.

    Numbers compiled by the Forum of Executive Women show parts of the glass ceiling are still intact locally. The findings show women held just 11 percent of board seats at Philadelphia’s 100 largest public companies in 2009, and women continue to be significantly under-represented in top executive positions.

    Vision 20-20 attracted women from across the country to Philadelphia for two days of discussions. They want to change those numbers.

    “There’s been a lot of research on the impact that women have in leadership roles and in shared roles with men,” says Lynn Yeakel, a founder of Women’s Way and co-chair of the new project. “In terms of bringing the perspective that is different and is based on their unique experiences.  And so it’s an economic issue, it’s also a justice issue.”

    The numbers from the Forum of Executive Women also showed women of color were barely represented on either boards or in executive positions.

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