Women’s initiatives take center stage

This month’s magazine has a focus on women in business and women’s initiatives. The stories are about female executives, the columnists put thought into issues that affect women and the Uniquely Pittsburgh is about one of Pittsburgh’s most famous women, Rachel Carson.

I had fun putting it all together and I hope you enjoy this issue.

Finding a balance

When I spoke to Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, I asked her if she faces unique challenges as a female CEO. She laughed and said that it’s hard for her to judge since she’s never been a male CEO.

But Gabriela Isturiz, co-founder, president and CEO, of Bellefield, had a lot more to say on the subject.

Women in business are something that Isturiz is very passionate about, especially as she works in the male-dominated tech industry.

Although Isturiz says women have come a long way, she still finds that they have to make more compromises than their male counterparts.

“There’s an understanding that for women to be able to succeed and go high on the ladder, you have to be superwoman — and it should not be that way,” she says.

One of the most challenging my components is the social environment.

When you’re running a company, you’ve got to be out at the social activities like trade shows, cocktail parties and events in order to network with other CEOs, Isturiz says. Those are the types of things that you cannot delegate.

That means a balance, which can be harder for women to find than men, as they juggle family obligations and their children’s events, too.

“Understand that you cannot do it all, because something’s got to give,” she says. “You cannot do it all; you cannot be everywhere, every time. So, prioritize — what will be the best cost benefit? Go for that, and let the others go.”

A package deal

If you feel strongly about women’s issues, like Isturiz, you might try something else that she does.

She mentors startups through the University of Pittsburgh, and she says that one of her requirements is that she wants to mentor women and teams with women representation.

If you feel strongly about a certain issue — women in business or otherwise — why not make that part of your requirement as you pass along your expertise?