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Local business owner Rebecca Wattenschaldt, of Elizabeth & West Fashion House at 44 West Philadelphia Street, recently won Redbook's Real Women Style Award!

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The York County Women's Business Center Organization is expanding, and it has young women in the early stages of their careers in mind. 

WBCO transitioned in August from under the wing of York College to the leadership of the York County Economic Alliance.

Lynda Randall, a founder of WBCO and member of both its advisory committee and the YCEA board, helped the committee bring the idea to the alliance, and YCEA president and CEO Kevin Schreiber agreed that there is a need in the community for women's business programming.

Read more:Study: Hollywood films exclude women, Hispanics

In York County, women represent 51 percent of the population and 60 percent of the workforce, Schreiber said. 

“Among corporate companies, very few executive positions are held by women," he said, citing a 2015 Women on Boards report for the Philadelphia region stating women held only 13 percent of executive positions in the regions's largest 100 public companies.

Despite trends of more women in business, "we know that women are significantly underrepresented in executive leadership, government positions and government as well," Schreiber said. 

Read more:Gender disparity in politics slowly evolving

WBCO's new role under the YCEA will allow both organizations to provide more opportunities for women.

Building on its Professional Women's Alliance, which provided women with resources in the community, the YCEA will be able to take a more direct approach to serving women in the business community through WBCO's lunch series, mentoring and advocacy.  

"We believe that we’ll really be able to take it in an entirely new and amplified direction, " Schreiber said. 

The focus will be on women in the first and second stages of career development and on women re-entering the workforce after taking time off for family.

The monthly lunches are a continuation of WBCO's prior programming, featuring speakers from the business community. The next scheduled speaker is Keely Childers-Heany, editor-in-chief of Susquehanna Style Magazine, presenting "Navigating a Media Career" on Tuesday, Sept. 12. 

Read more:York business owner graces cover of Redbook Magazine, wins style award

New to the organization is a mentoring program for women ages 22-35 planned for 2018 and advocacy discussions centering around problems women face in the workplace.

WBCO also plans to collaborate with like-minded organizations in the community, such as Junior League and the YWCA, in order to compliment the work those organizations are doing and maximize efforts.

Schreiber said the hope with new leadership under YCEA is for the organization to broaden its reach to women. 

For more information and updates on new programming, visit ycea-pa.org.

If You Go:

What: WBCO Luncheon

When: Tuesday, Sept. 12

Where: Heritage Hills Golf Resort & Conference Center, Windows Ballroom; 2400 Mount Rose Avenue, York

Cost: $25 for guests, free for WBCO members

 

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Read or Share this story: https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2017/09/07/ycea-strengthens-womens-group-mentoring-and-advocacy/638273001/