Inside Business honors Cleveland's establishment leaders

Rebecca Bagley: Is she really the only young woman leader in Northeast Ohio?
  • Rebecca Bagley: Is she really the only young woman leader in Northeast Ohio?

Thanks to blogger Jill Miller Zimon for bringing this to our attention at her blog Writes Like She Talks:

Cleveland’s Inside Business magazine has just released its “Power 100,” its annual lists of top area leaders in various categories.

Zimon points out that the magazine’s list of “Top 10 leaders Under 40” contains just a single woman. NorTech president & CEO Rebecca Bagley, who’s 39, is surrounded by nine men, including East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton, Oliver Institutional Baptist Church pastor Jawanza Coleman, East 4th street developer Ari Maron, Youngstown Congressman Tim Ryan, and Lorain’s new 27-year-old mayor Chase Ritenauer.

While the paucity of women on the other lists could be chalked up to the fact that they’re filled with older, established names — ever heard of Sam Miller and Albert Ratner? — the lack of younger women leaders leaves Cleveland looking a bit musty and old-fashioned and doesn't bode well for a more diverse future for our sometimes stodgy region.

That sense is reinforced by a glance at the top 25, headed by county executive Ed FitzGerald, whose forward-thinking leadership in the community is undeniable.

But the rest is a ho-hum laundry list of predictable, old-school names, heavy on conservative powerbrokers like Joe Roman, Terrance Egger, Steve LaTourette, Tim Timken, and Umberto Fideli. It’s packed with corporate chiefs, hospital heads, college and university presidents, and foundation leaders, and light on entrepreneurs and the go-getters with 21st-century ideas.

People like Greenhouse Tavern chef Jonathan Sawyer, who appears on the Top 10 Under 40 list, are scarce. And unsurprisingly, only three of the top 25 are women. Taken as a whole, the lists suggest that Northeast Ohio needs to think more broadly about what constitutes leadership worth recognizing and nurturing. — Anastasia Pantsios

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