PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The game of baseball might be for boys, but beyond the mound and home plate, the playing field has become more diverse.
Katie Beekman joined the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in June of 2010. She's been General Manager since 2019.
Her career started with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, though she admits at the time she knew nothing about the sport or sports in general but it was a job.
"Then within a couple of months a job opened in the marketing department and I moved into that role and nine years after that I left the organization to take a job in baseball out in State College and then got married and moved back here," said Beekman. "Now, here I am as the general manager of the Railriders today."
Katie is the first female general manager for the team. She's also a mentor in a program to help guide young female executives in the sports world.
As she explains it, leading the way in a male dominant field can be challenging, but rewarding.
"My confidence has grown as I've gotten older. I am not afraid to be the only woman in the room anymore," explained Beekman. "Yes, it's definitely a stereotypical thing where you see a lot of males in roles of GMs, coaches but you're starting to see more females break that glass ceiling."
Barriers have also been broken for women in government roles.
Rosemary Brown is the first woman to hold the state representative seat, in the 189th District of Monroe and Pike Counties.
"We need women, we need men. I think the mix together is really important," said State Rep. Brown. "I think sometimes that is left out of the conversation."
After twelve years and six terms in the House, 2022 will be her final year.
She says a lot has changed since she first took office. Women are becoming more determined in finding ways to manage it all.
"Women seem to be very focused and I feel that when I came into office, it was very unorthodox for a woman with young children to be in a legislative position," added State Rep. Brown. "Actually, I was one of the few, firsts with young children and that was different."
Brown has established programs and continues advocacy for a hands-free cellphone distracted driving law in the state. She also championed efforts to help women in domestic abuse situations.
Women's Resources is a safe place where victims of domestic and sexual violence, and their children and family members, can find healing.
Lauren Peterson has been leading the way at the organization in Monroe County for more than seven years, but her journey to bettering the lives of women and children started more than 17 years ago.
"I don't ask anyone here to do something that I am not willing to do myself. Just last week, I was over in shelter fixing cabinet doors that have come off, replacing a doorknob, plunging a sink," said Peterson, the executive director of Women's Resources in Monroe County.
In doing so, she hopes to inspire others.
"Whether it's the staff, volunteers, our clients. For them to see women in leadership positions, they can see that it is possible for themselves," added Peterson.