By Mike Dunn
PHIALDELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia City Council today put a spotlight on what some say is a dearth of women in executive positions in the Philadelphia region.READ MORE: First Responders, Family, Friends Attend Viewing For Fallen Firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson In South Philadelphia
Autumn Bayles, an Aramark vice president and head of the Forum of Executive Women, told councilmembers that only 11 percent of local board seats are filled with women, and 10 percent of executive positions.
Irene Hannan, a senior vice president at Citizens Bank, said there’s no need for this to persist.READ MORE: 21-Year-Old Woman Dies During Crash In Philadelphia's Mayfair Section
“Let’s dispense quickly with the often heard statement, ‘I’d put a woman on the board if I could only find a qualified one.’ Qualified women do exist, and in growing numbers,” she told the panel.
Patricia Connolly, also of the Forum of Executive Women, said the nominating process of many corporate boards becomes a “self-fulfilling exercise” in which a lack of diversity on the board is perpetuated by those who sit on it.
Bayles recommended the formation of a coalition of government, business, and academic groups to focus on the issue — modeled on what she said was a successful such effort in Kansas City.MORE NEWS: GUIDE: Where To Watch Fourth Of July Fireworks In Philadelphia Region