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Women in leadership: Transforming the business landscape in the Fox Cities

Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Posted at 5:24 PM, Mar 18, 2024

APPLETON (NBC 26) — New research shows a significant shift in the labor force landscape with women now making up more than half of college-educated workers in the U.S., according to Pew Research.

The trend is reshaping industries nationwide including chamber leadership roles.

Since its inception 150 years ago, the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce has witnessed major moments in history, including the rise of women in leadership roles.

Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Historic photo of downtown Appleton, courtesy of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce

The Appleton chamber was originally founded by 21 men and has weathered through pivotal moments in history.

In 1976, Appleton, Neenah, and Menasha combined to establish the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.

Today, Becky Bartoszek serves as the President and CEO,

"It's really where we bring our community together. It's where we create a better place for us all to live. And it's where we advocate a lot of times for somebody who doesn't have a voice, which is the small business community. And I think that that mission really resonates with women," Bartoszek says.

Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Becky Bartoszek, President and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce reflects on it's 150 year history and the rise of women in the industry.

According to the chamber, in 2019, 63% of chambers nationwide were led by women. A significant shift away from an industry once dominated by men.

Jodie Federwitz, Director of the Pulse Young Professionals Network knows the impact women leaders are having in the community.

Women in Leadership: Transforming the Business Landscape
Jodie Federwitz, Director of Pulse Young Professionals Network talks with NBC 26's Nina Sparano about the importance of women in leadership roles are to our community

"We're starting to really see a lot of our young women take advantage of professional development opportunities," she said. "We have CEOs that are women, and we have that on purpose because we want young professionals to see you could be a CEO, you could be a CFO, you can do whatever you want to and whatever you set out to do," Federwitz continues.

For 150 years the chamber has watched the Fox Cities evolve and as Bartoszek says, has brought the community together to make the Fox Cities a better place.

"There's still a place for everybody. That's the whole point of the Chamber of Commerce to bring your community together. But it's exciting to see that there's more opportunities for women to grow in general in this industry."