Not Since the Suffragette Movement of the 1800’s

| September 28, 2015 | 0 Comments




Suffragettes in the late 1800’s revolted and moved the pendulum for women, like never before. In my humble opinion, women have not had this type of unified impact in socioeconomic evolution, since then. Those women were courageous feminine activists who saw the injustices and banned together to right the wrong. Unfortunately, they were forced to fight for these inherent rights. In reading the historical accounts – I marvel at the feminine gender of that time. They were unapologetic vigilantes on a mission for the unified cause of equal rights for women. Women were a force to be reckoned with. They spoke softly at first, then louder and then, in desperation, they shouted from the mountaintop and blew up buildings to get to the forefront of media, and to capture the hearts and minds of the majority. In the end, miraculously, thank God, they won!


Fast forward to the 21st century.   We have come a long way, but there is still an unequivocal imbalance and inequality of opportunities for women in America’s business world. We face imbalanced promotions, unequal pay, minuscule presence in the boardrooms, and unequal small business inclusion in business deals. As a proud and passionate woman business owner, I am here to tell you that the past 30 years have been an uphill battle and often times a lonely struggle. As a gender, women have sadly lost that suffragettesque style of banding together. To be sure, there are organizations that I proudly support in membership, that bring many of the issues and needs of WOSB/WBE companies forward – and are getting noticed, being heard and affecting change. But, even with the power of these organizations – women owned businesses have disproportionately been the underdogs in the sea of small business movements trying to gain ground in big business America and to realize growth and diversity inclusion. Our goals and percentages are smaller, our “set aside opportunities” are almost non-existent and as a gender, we do not forcefully ban together en masse to affect change.   We’ve lost the “suffragette culture” and have somewhat complacently accepted our truth & reality in business.


But, this month, I see change and progress and I am compelled to shout it from the rooftop or at least to blog about it. The SBA on 09/14/15 – made a definitive ruling for WOSB set asides – that should propel bid opportunities for WOSB/EDWOSB’s moving forward. This is great news!

Here is a link to the ruling summary.


On the surface, it’s progress. But unfortunately, the ruling is complex and as humans, we often take the path of least resistance. Implementation & execution requires outside the box thinking, oversight and accountability in order to see impactful growth in spend. I hope that resistance to change will not stifle the potential impact of this exciting ruling.


The suffragettes had unique techniques and tactics including hunger strikes, secret meetings, peaceful and non-peaceful riots, sit in’s and in some cases torching buildings to get the attention of the press. I am not suggesting this – but I do propose that women in business need to ban together to help make the WOSB/EDWOSB set aside program a success. There is a quiet confidence in women that needs to get louder – we’re getting noticed and rules are changing. But there is more work to be done. Contracting officers, government officials, SBLO’s and majority corporate partners must work to encourage and enforce the law, to help propel this potentiality for increased dollar spend on an upward spiral. Incorporating this important moral business imperative by increasing inclusion helps our society and our middle class economy. It will be a WIN/WIN when the Government’s goals are met and exceeded. Let’s band together to make this a reality.

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