Dear Santa, I Want It All

by Jan Wright, Publisher

The 2012 election is finally over, and it was said that “women ruled the ballot boxes” on November 6th. When the 113th Congress convenes next month, 101 female legislators will serve their country in Washington DC—20 in the Senate and 81 in the House of Representatives—record numbers all. It’s interesting that exactly 20 years earlier, after the so-called “Year of the Woman” election, there were just 42 female House members and six female Senators—both records at the time.

Just a few years ago, it seemed like a novel idea that a woman might be elected President. Today, it seems inevitable… and not in some far-off, distant future.

Certainly, women have come a long way; the statistics don’t lie. Whether you’re looking at the public or private sector, women are making gains everywhere. The number of female business owners is up compared to men. Nearly six out of 10 college students are women. And soon, females will comprise the majority of the overall U.S. workforce.

Even this year’s class of 40 Leaders Under Forty was dominated by females—with 23 out of the 40 slots occupied by women.

Meanwhile, women continue to increase their sway on the overall economy—or “sheconomy,” as some are calling it—making twice the number of purchasing decisions as their male counterparts. Still, women remain underrepresented at the top, and obstacles remain in the fight to “have it all," whatever that means. Click here for a closer look at that timely discussion.

In this issue, we take a closer look at nine influential women who have made a lasting difference in our community. They’ve broken barriers in government, economic development, manufacturing, social services and medicine. They are extraordinary leaders who’ve risen to the top of their professions—in industries often dominated by men. And they’ve figured out what “having it all” means to them—something that’s unique for each individual.

We salute this group of exceptional leaders for all of their accomplishments. Somewhere out there, the next generation of female leaders is being inspired by their stories of success.

As we come to the end of another year, we give thanks for the progress that’s been made and look ahead to further gains in 2013. Have a safe and joyful holiday season, and a very happy New Year! iBi

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