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Men in Back

Women's gathering hopes more success comes with groupthink

Good work is not its own reward: The recent study by Ralph Bangs and Pitt's University Center for Social and Urban Research documents that Pittsburgh women have among the highest percentages of college degrees but still suffer one of the nation's largest gender pay gaps (see City Paper's July 14 main feature, "No Girls Allowed"). So much of career success is who you know, who likes you and, truth to tell, self-promotion. But with so many people in charge being men, how do you get them to give up the money? Or, even harder, the power?


But maybe there are a greater number of powerful and accomplished local women than you know. Organizers of the "Treasuring Pittsburgh's Women" potluck picnic think so. Mary Pat Brennan and Cathy McCollum have set an event next week designed to cast a broad net to reacquaint the city's various women's organizations, active feminists and equity-minded men with one another.


In addition to developing the local old-girls' club and starting a Pittsburgh scholarship fund for women, Brennan wants attendees to write a few words or bring along to the picnic a memento recalling an inspirational Pittsburgh woman, which will later be compiled into a booklet.


OK, so the first ones she suggests are "our mothers or ... Rachel Carson." But there's no more prominent hint that Pittsburgh's women's history is getting short shrift, Brennan believes, than the current plans of the Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center to build a five-story Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, whose heroes will mostly be men.

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