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Working women list their central issues

September 20, 2010
The working women of Warren County have issues. And they want something done about it. A grassroots interactive working luncheon was held Saturday at the Warren Woman’s Club for women and their male counterparts to discuss the issues faced by women in the workforce. Billed as a non-partisan event, the luncheon featured remarks by Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-5) and Susan Corbett, wife of Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett. During his talk, Thompson enlightened the crowd with a litany of statistics about women. “The majority of voters today are women,” he said. “Women are half of the workforce, but only earn 78 percent as much as men.” During the luncheon, guests at their assigned table were asked to discuss the issues working women struggle to overcome. Suggestions, ideas, complaints, observations and personal experiences were offered by the approximately 120 people in attendance. Some of the issues discussed included family-sustaining jobs, child care, health care. After each table thoroughly discussed the issues at hand, the designated leader of the table present a synopsis of the discussion to the entire crowd. Vicki Stec’s table discussed the concerns of rural women in business. She suggested the creation of tax incentives to women entrepreneurs so they can, in turn, offer health care and other benefits to their employees. At DiAnn Savko’s table, the participants suggested a women’s leadership tax credit as well as a non-traditional career mentorship program. The dialogue came back to jobs and salaries when Kathy Johnson reported the topics discussed by her table. “We need self-sustaining that pay more than $10 an hour,” she said. Table leader Tricia Durbin said her table discussed women as business owners. “Our table agreed that best way to support women who own businesses is to keep the Bush tax cuts,” she said. The purpose of the dialogue was to gather the concerns and suggestions and provide them to those who can take action. “We’ll provide these issues in draft form to our elected officials, our leaders,” said Chris Cheronis, who served on the committee that organized the event. During her talk, Corbett discussed some of the factors behind the issues faced by business owners. “Pennsylvania really has one of the worst business climates,” she said. As illustration of her point, she mentioned that the state ranks very low in job creation and imposes a large amount of regulations on businesses. Corbett believes cooperation is the key. “Business need to become a partner with government and government a partner with business and not an adversary,” she said. She encouraged the audience to consider businesses when they go to the polls. “The best thing you can do is vote for candidates who care about businesses,” she said.

Article Photos

Times Observer photo by Lydia Cottrell
Susan Corbett



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