Women account for about a third of judges in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania courts
Women comprise 30 percent of the state’s judiciary, with the figure being slightly higher with the current makeup of the Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court bench.
The county has three women judges — Rita Hathaway, Michele Bononi and Meagan Bilik-DeFazio — among the court’s nine working judges. There are two vacancies.
March is Women’s History Month.
Judge Donetta Ambrose, now a federal senior district judge in Pittsburgh, became Westmoreland County’s first woman judge when she took office in the 1980s.
Hathaway is the first woman to serve as president judge in Westmoreland County. She has served as a judge for 22 years after becoming the third woman ever elected to the bench in the county.
“It’s like you don’t even think about women in any profession anymore,” said Hathaway, one of 14 women who serve as president judges in counties around the state. “What’s wonderful is I think a woman can enter any profession now and it’s not limited. I’ve never found people looked at me differently because I am a female judge.”
By-the-numbers look at women judge’s in Pennsylvania:
Women among 7 state Supreme Court justices
Women among 14 Superior Court judges
Women among 9 Commonwealth Court judges
Source: Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts
Rich Cholodofsky and Deb Erdley are Tribune-Review staff writers. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or [email protected] You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.