Women have always had a rough road in Cleveland. A traditional Fortune 500 town, Cleveland has epitomized the old-boy machine. And while they have achieved top management posts at many of our nonprofit organizations, women have rarely risen to positions of power outside that realm (Mayor Jane Campbell notwithstanding).
For example, only about 15 percent of partners at Cleveland law firms are women, compared to 17 percent of law partners nationally, according to a recent report by the National Association of Law Placement.
We might do better to give women more opportunities. A recent study by the research firm Catalyst found that companies with an average of 20 percent female managers perform better than more male-dominated firms.
In the arts, women have made the most of those opportunities and flourished. Possibly it's because artists are entrepreneurial, giving women the chance to control their own businesses and potentially leapfrog over the politics of male-dominated bureaucracies.
This month, let's celebrate the power of women by catching some of the most interesting artists and writers at work today. Our city will be better for it.
Power of Woman Building on the wildly successful 2003 Power of Woman charity photography auction, the event returns with a stunning collection donated by dozens of talented local and national artists who interpret the theme "The Power of Woman: Earth, Wind, Water and Fire." A silent auction of black-and-white and color original works will benefit Planned Parenthood of Greater Cleveland on Saturday, March 5, at 8 p.m. For more information, call (216) 961-8804, ext. 221. ArtMetro Gallery, Colonial Marketplace, 530 Euclid Ave.
Mystery author Sara Paretsky Her sharp and provocative plots border on social commentary and have set this fiction writer apart from the masses. You might recall her character, V.I. Warshawski, who made it to the Hollywood screen. Meet the writer at Cleveland Public Library's Writers and Readers Series Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m. Call (216) 623-2800. Main Library, Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium, 325 Superior Ave.
Writers Center Stage Series with Frances Mayes "Under the Tuscan Sun," which was adapted into a feature film that celebrates Mayes' love of Italy, has made her a fixture on the New York Times best-seller list for two years. Communicating a vivid sense of place, her books on Italy touch upon personal observations and memory painting. This event, sponsored by the Cuyahoga County Public Library, includes an informal Italian meal before Mayes' appearance, giving you an opportunity to vicariously live her extraordinary experiences. Tuesday, March 15, at 5 p.m, at Star in Playhouse Square Center. Lecture begins 7:30 p.m Call (216) 241-6000. 1515 Euclid Ave., www.playhousesquare.com