Chatham News

Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship hosts Women & Girls Foundation CEO Heather Arnet for next Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

By: Amanda Kennedy, Senior Public Relations Specialist
November 5, 2010

PITTSBURGH (November 5, 2010) … According to the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, mentoring is one element vital to the development of women entrepreneurs. Recruiting and retaining women who view each other as resources for growth rather than competitors can often enhance the overall workplace. To explore these issues and more, CWE will welcome Heather Arnet, CEO of the Women and Girls Foundation, as its next speaker in the popular Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series. “Women: Our Best Asset. How We Can Work Together to Achieve Business Success” will be held on Friday, November 12 from 7:30-9:00 a.m. in the James Laughlin Music Center on the Shadyside Campus.

Individual tickets are still available for $25 per person and include a continental breakfast. More information is available at, by calling 412-365-1253 or emailing

“Heather is a leader in supporting women and inspiring them to energize each other and reach their potential,” notes Rebecca Harris, the CWE director. “We’re thrilled that she is bringing her passion and expertise in this area to the business community.”

About Heather Arnet
Heather Arnet is Chief Executive Officer of the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF), a non-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 be directing 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.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (CWE) provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs to start, develop, and significantly grow their businesses by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, and faculty expertise. CWE provides programming targeted toward local and regional women in business designed to advance and hone their professional skills. CWE teaches the art of thinking and acting entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity within the context of existing organizational environments. CWE also offers specific programs for both undergraduate and graduate students which can help them learn the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and successful women in business.

The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Initial funding for CWE was provided by the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.