Chatham University

Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

Heather Arnet

Heather ArnetHeather Arnet is Chief Executive Officer of the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF), anon-profit organization based in Pittsburgh, PA with a mission to achieve increased gender equity through strategic investments in public policy initiatives. Arnet was selected to be the Foundation's first Executive Director in 2004, and promoted to the title of Chief Executive Officer in 2010.

Arnet is a tireless advocate for women and girls rights locally, nationally, and internationally, and serves as a regular Op-Ed writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Pittsburgh Business Times, and commentator to local and national media regarding women and girls rights and economic development. At WGF, Arnet has spearheaded efforts to decrease the gender wage gap and increase women's representation on public and corporate boards. Heather and the Foundation received National and International media attention for their successful "Girlcott" of Abercrombie & Fitch in 2005. Arnet has been interviewed on NBC's Today Show, CNN Headline News, CNN's Paula Zahn Show, Fox News "Hannity & Colmes", MSNBC "Scarborough Country," ABC and CBS Nightly News as well as National Public Radio, and the BBC.

In 2006 Arnet and the Foundation received awards from the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the International Women's Funding Network (WFN) for the Foundation's triumphant youth-led Girlcott and for Arnet's work in energizing a new generation of women leaders. Arnet has been identified as one of Pittsburgh's "Top 40 under 40" by Pittsburgh Magazine, as one of the "Top Twelve Noteworthy Business Leaders of 2006" by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and received the Diamond Award, for "Outstanding CEO Leadership" by the Pittsburgh Business Times in April 2008.

Previous to her position at WGF, Arnet served as the Director of Development for City Theatre, and Senior Vice President of Marketing for leading a $3.5 million marketing budget and helping to secure over $15 million in venture capital funds.

Arnet serves as a Board Member of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania and on the Advisory Boards of WQED Multimedia and The Forbes Funds. Arnet served as an elected Board Director of the Pittsburgh Public School Board 2007-2009 and served as the Regional Vice President of the Pennsylvania Women's Campaign Fund 2005-2007.

Arnet is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America and has her BA degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Literary and Cultural Studies with a minor concentration in Directing through the Drama department. In addition to her work at WGF, Arnet also writes and directs feminist theatre. Currently she is directing a new world premiere play by Vanessa German for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture which will premiere at the First Voice: A Pittsburgh International Black Arts Festival in May 2010. Arnet will bedirecting a reading of "Root" this summer at the Vineyard Playhouse on Martha's Vineyard and a full production of "Root"' for The Ensemble Theatre in Houston in 2012. Arnet's play "Yo'Mama!" (which she wrote and directed, about the challenges and joys of modern motherhood) was awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts and the Sprout Fund and has been produced in Pittsburgh, Seattle, Chicago, and Alaska.