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Civic Impact

Women and Girls Foundation leader makes women's business her business at Chatham

Heather Arnet made a national name for her Women and Girls Foundation with a "girlcott" of Abercrombie and Fitch over sexist t-shirts in 2005. The Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University hopes it doesn't take quite such a ruckus to create a welcoming atmosphere for all sorts of women in business and has invited Arnet to speak about the idea at its next Women Business Leaders Breakfast on Nov. 12.

It is vitally important, says Center Director Rebecca Harris, "to make sure women are supported and welcomed into the workplace from many backgrounds and cultures, and to make sure they succeed. It's so easy to just say, 'You've got the job'" and walk away without concern for what happens in the workplace afterwards. "But it's well-known that women and men learn differently. We know from studies that we've done that it's important that you have a very harmonious environment."

Starting 14 months ago, the morning series has also welcomed talks from women who head RAND, the YWCA, Management Service Associates and other important businesses. Each event includes a continental breakfast, networking and a question and answer session.

Are women too competitive with other women in the workplace to be welcoming? Harris thinks not: "We have found that women can be very supportive of each other and empower each other to achieve a lot. It's important today that we create those environments."

The talks, on the second Friday of each month (through June), take place from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m. in James Laughlin Music Hall; the cost is $25. Register here.

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Writer: Marty Levine
Source: Rebecca Harris, Center for Women's Entrepreneurship
Image courtesy of Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

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