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Where Are All The Women? Corporate Boards Slow To Diversify, Despite Promise Of Financial Returns

Keith Srakocic
The office building for Alcoa and Acronic are seen on the North Shore of the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Alcoa tied as second in the region for the most women serving on its board of directors at 33.3 percent.

Women account for 50.5 percent of the population of the United States, but across the country, that number is not reflected in boardrooms, which are only 12 percent female. In Pittsburgh that number is a little higher, hovering now at 17.5 percent. Despite the evidence that diverse boards make for stronger companies, corporate culture has been slow to change

Rebecca Harris, director of Chatham's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, and reporter Ethan Lott with the Pittsburgh Business-Times weigh in on the difficulties women face getting into the boardroom, and the ways companies benefit once they're in.

Next in the program...

Mayor Bill Peduto announced an initiative last spring to increase diversity in Pittsburgh's public sector. Taking a page from the NFL, Peduto instituted a policy similar to the "Rooney Rule," which requires that at least one internal and one external diverse candidate be interviewed for open positions and promotions. A year later, deputy director of personnel and civil service Janet Manuel reported that diverse hiring is on the rise in the public sector. 

Reporter Christian Morrow with the New Pittsburgh Courier corresponded with Manuel and gives a breakdown of the numbers.  

Coming up...

Allegheny County Health Department issued consumer warnings for thirteen Pittsburgh restaurants due to rodent infestations, and the details are not pretty. Though most of the infestations were mice, a few were rats. Comparatively, the Health Department issued only eight warnings last year. Could the warmer winters be to blame? 

Reporters Patricia Sabatini with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Hal B. Klein with Pittsburgh Magazine talk about health risks, how affected restaurants are fairing and what it takes to win back consumer trust. 

And finally...

The 59th annual Three Rivers Arts Festival begins Friday with headliner Mavis Staples. Other acts include Brit-pop outfit Everything Everything, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Banda Magda, as well as visual and performing arts and artisan vendors. 

90.5 WESA arts and culture reporter Bill O'Driscoll and WYEP "Afternoon Mix" host and senior producer Rosemary Welsch talk about festivals past and present, and what they're looking forward to this year.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week, reporters, editors and storytellers join veteran journalist and host Kevin Gavin to take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

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