Steamboat Springs Local real estate agent Pam Vanatta is capitalizing on what it means to be a professional businesswoman.
For Vanatta, who started her career as a secretary for Steamboat's Professional Group in 1979 and was recently named one of Prudential's top 100 agents in the nation, being a woman in the work place has been to her advantage.
"In real estate, women do it better than men," Vanatta said. "It's statistical. Women can be more emotional. When you're buying a piece of property, it's an emotional decision. Women can sometimes do that better than men can. Being a woman has definitely been to my advantage. Most of the top agents in the country are women."
Of course, it's more than just the feminine mystique that's gotten Vanatta to where she is today, setting her sights on being one of Prudential's top 10 agents for the next three years.
"I'm a firm believer in giving 100 percent. Real estate is my love, and I'm totally committed to it. When you commit yourself to something all the way, you'll always reap the benefits," she said.
Vanatta's words are reminders to local professional women struggling with issues such as pay equity in the work place.
In 1998, women were paid 73 cents for every dollar men received, according the Working Women for Equal Pay, a national organization. That's $27 less to spend on groceries, housing, child care and other expenses for every $100 worth of work women do, the organization reported.
Over a lifetime of work, the 27 cents-on-the-dollar adds up; according to the same source, the average 25-year-old working woman will lose more than $523,000 to unequal pay during her worklife.
The figures are even worse for women of color, Working Women reports. African-American women earn only 67 cents and Latinas 58 cents for every dollar men earn.
In honor of the local women such as Vanatta, who have battled against discrepancies like these, the Steamboat Springs City Council has declared the week of Oct. 16 to 20 the 72nd National Business Women's Week.
"National Business Women's Week is a terrific way to honor women in the businesses of Steamboat Springs," said Cynthia Vaida, Business and Professional Women's Club president. "We urge everyone in Steamboat Springs to join their voices with our club members and with those of the over 70,000 working women members of the BPW/USA by participating in 'Three Fun Ways to Celebrate.'"
At noon on Thursday, a luncheon round table discussion on work-place issues affecting full participation and pay equity in the work place will take place at Cugino's Restaurant.
For the first time at this year's Steamboat Chamber Resorts Association Annual Dinner, the 2000 Chamber Navigator and City Heritage award winners will be joined by a gala celebration of Yampa Valley's BPW Woman of the Year.
Finally, Alpine Bank will be donating the proceeds of its coffee bar to the Yampa Valley BPW Pioneer Scholarship program from sales during Oct. 16 to 30 as part of the bank's participation in "Bean Counter," a project to raise funds for second chance college educations for women.
All three of these October 2000 events are designed to call attention to local women entrepreneurs, to facilitate discussions on the needs of working women and focus public attention upon a better businesswoman for a better business world, Vaida said.
"Join us as we celebrate the tremendous contributions working women make every day to our community and our nation," she said.
BPW/USA has been the leading non-partisan advocate for working women since 1919. With more than 2000 local organizations and 70,000 members, BPW/USA's mission is to achieve equity for all women in the work place through advocacy, education and information.
To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4204 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org