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Why it is Important to Recognize Equal Pay Day

Today, April 14, 2015, we recognize Equal Pay Day. This day marks how far into the year American women must work to earn what American men earned in the previous year. The National Committee on Pay Equality put Equal Pay Day into place in 1996 as a public awareness event to alert people of the gap between men and women's wages.  The White House estimates that full-time working women only earn 77% of what their male counterparts earn. This means women need to work about 60 EXTRA days to earn what men have earned in the previous year! In short, it is important to remember this day each year, as long as this gap continues to exist.

 

Please check out this list of resources on Equal Pay Day:

 

We Did It


By Ann Sullivan, WIPP Government Relations

 WIPP Works In Washington

December 2014


It was against all odds that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included a vitally important improvement to the WOSB procurement program - sole source authority.   Yes, you read it right - the WOSB program will now have parity with every other small business procurement program. 

 

The law wasn't written that way back in the year 2000, but through WIPP's persistence for 14 years, we finally have a program that is sustainable.  First, of course, we had to get the program put into place.  If you recall, SBA delayed implementation for 11 years.  Then we went about changing the underlying law that was flawed.  First, we advocated for the removal of the dollar caps on the program--the original law limited contracts under this program to $5 million, rendering the program largely ineffective.  Since the caps on awards through this program were removed, the program has tripled in size. 

 

But, in our view, removing the dollar caps was not enough to make this program work.  The original law only permits contracts to be set-aside for women owned companies if the business is owned and controlled by women and two or more women owned companies will submit offers.  Meanwhile, every other small business procurement program allows contracts up to $4 million (or $6.5 million in the case of manufacturing) to be directly awarded to one firm.  That is a critical tool used by the federal government to award contracts to minorities, veterans and HUBZone firms to access the federal market.

 

Now that I have explained the long road toward making the WOSB procurement program work, we have a few things left to do.  First, agencies (in this case the SBA) have to promulgate rules to implement the law passed by Congress.  The SBA did this for the removal of dollar caps in six months, which is lightening speed for an agency.  Second, the FAR Council, which oversees contracting rules, has to approve the changes.  That takes additional time.  Third, all the contracting officers and small business offices in the government need to understand the change and start using it.

 

It is a long process, but not as long as we have been working on making this program successful.  And we certainly did not do this alone.  To thank everyone that deserves thanks would require pages but here are some special shout-outs.  If you ever responded to a WIPP Call to Action or ever wrote a letter to your elected officials on the WOSB program--THANK YOU, you made a difference.  To the fifteen organizations that supported WIPP on this effort--THANK YOU. If you attended the hearing during WIPP's annual leadership conference, you played a big part--THANK YOU.  Special thanks go to those on Capitol Hill who shepherded this program through the Congressional system- Senators Cantwell, Shaheen, Landrieu and Representatives Speier and Graves.  The staffs of the Senate and House Small Business Committee were instrumental in this success.  The SBA Administrators Mills and Contreras-Sweet made the success of this program a top priority and we will never forget their contribution.  Speaking of staff members, the dedicated SBA employees on the Government Contracting team and in the General Counsel's office deserve our gratitude.  The WIPP team and WIPP's board members have been solidly behind these successes devoting endless hours on these issues, ensuring that Congress heard directly from business leaders.  Lastly I am really proud of my team's efforts.  As I am sure you are aware, there has been very few votes in this Congress this year--this effort was particularly difficult and fraught with many twists and turns.

 

But in the end--WE WON--WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS WON.  Now, for the first time in history, let's make sure the federal government meets its goal of 5% with women owned firms. 



Thank you POLITICO,The Tory Burch Foundation and Google for hosting a two part "Women Rule: Cracking the Code" event in the San Francisco Bay Area. A panel which included Jennifer Granholm, former Governor of Michigan, Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California system and former U.S Secretary for Homeland Security, and Vivek Wadhwa, Stanford Law School professor, created an electrifying conversation with several hundred women, and a few men, about Changing the Course: Fostering a New Culture for Women in Tech. The full event may be viewed here

The audience learned from Professor Wadhwa that in order to make change, the tech industry needs to stop blaming the pipeline. There is no pipeline problem in an industry that is hiring male dropouts and even placing them on their board of directors. An overhaul needs to occur with the interviewing process at most tech companies. Today, both the interviewing environment and the questions posed during the interview favor males who spend hours using technology as a toy rather than a tool. And most obvious according to Wadhwa is that women have workplace needs that differ substantially than men, especially women who are seeking work-family balance. Obtaining women friendly policies will be integral to fostering a new culture for women in tech. 

When asked what can the federal government do to make changes for women, Janet Napolitano referenced the government's ability to contract with women owned small businesses (WOSB). Her advice was for women to get into the procurement fight and seek federal contracts. She added, if and when contracts are written not for an entire airplane carrier but for parts of it, then more women and minorities will become winners in the Request for Proposal arena. Breaking an RFP into pieces is key to the dollars being spread across a wider field, one that includes women and men. WIPP attendees were delighted by this message, since it works hard to have WOSBs at the ready to get into the procurement "fight". 

Former Governor of Michigan Jennifer Granholm has a new role at the University of California's School of Engineering. She raised concerns about the number of women who drop out of tech along the way to a fulfilled career. She sees culture in the tech workplace as a key factor. In her closing remarks her call to action encouraged audience members to vote for people who will change the world the "right way". Put people in office whom you trust. 

Preceding the "Change the Course" panel was an equally stimulating one on "Rules of the Road: How can women enhance their changes of being heard in tech?". Among the three participants, there was consensus about the need for women to be relentless, authentic, and curious. Advocacy in the Capitol was viewed as being key to having women's voices heard. Done correctly, Congress can be a partner, a leverage point for solutions brought to them by constituencies like WOSBs. The WOSB legislation that WIPP obtained is an excellent example of just that, as is the July 2014 Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing on women owned business issues for which WIPP and other groups created a standing room only audience. Panelists included: Dr.Genevieve Bell, Intel Corporation- Vice President and Intel Fellow, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo- Founder and Chief Development Officer, Tina Sharkey, iVillage- CEO, Foundry, Co-Founder. 

Key people: Janet Napolitano, UC California- President,Janet Granholm- Former Governor of Michigan, Viviek Wadhwa, Stanford University Law School Fellow, Dr. Genevieve Bell, Intel Corporation- Vice President and Intel Fellow, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo- Founder and Chief Development Officer, Tina Sharkey, iVillage- CEO, Foundry, Co-Founder. 

Join the conversation on Twitter: #WomenRule

Join the Women Rule Google+ Community 





          Did you know that there are more internet-connected gadgets that people in the U.S.? Well, that is the news coming from Carbon War Room, 2013. This statistics gives us an idea about how people communicate now. Additionally, it was proven through a survey that people feel connected and productive by using gadgets on the go. About 1/3 of the businesses in the U.S. utilize broadband technology. The ones that are not utilizing the broadband technology are losing about $ 300,000 in annual revenue.


          Another interesting fact to know is that nearly half of all U.S. homes have at least one tablet and those tablets are connected to 330 million wireless devices nation-wide. Since video traffic is expected to increase exponentially, the booming market of tablets will be playing a crucial role as the video data traffic flow from tablets continues to grow. With all these facts, we need to keep in mind that aside from revenues, jobs are being created in high-tech as well.As Diane Smith, American Rural's Founder and CEO, said " Entrepreneurship works 24/7 wherever they are and whatever they are doing. It could be a coffee shop, home, malls or even while playing golf".  

          We need to make sure that our policymakers and thought leaders understand how we are affected by everything from broadband deployment and energy to entrepreneurship strategies. They should keep in mind that jobs are created primarily by entrepreneurial businesses that are less than five years old.

 By Lynn Bunim

 

"The prevailing myth that only large companies can and should export has been loudly debunked: a 2010 survey showed that small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) accounted for an overwhelming 98 percent of all exporting companies," wrote Barbara Kasoff , President and CEO, WIPP in the most recent edition of enterprisingWomen, (Vol.14, No. 1, 2013).  Exporting SMEs outperform their competitors with higher revenues, faster revenue growth and higher labor productivity.

 

Exporting offers tremendous potential and opportunity for millions of women-owned businesses.  Is it time to consider your business for exporting?  Are you ready to take your spot in the global marketplace?

 

Last year WIPP launched its program ExportNOW to educate women entrepreneurs about the vast potential for enterprise that exists beyond our borders.  To accomplish this, WIPP partnered with the Clinton Global Initiative as a 2012 Commitment to Action, with a commitment to open the doors to exporting for more than 5,000 women entrepreneurs.  For more on our partnership, please read the press release here.

 

WIPP has developed a series of webinars to support its participation in ExportNOW.  Our first webinar, "Export 101," with the Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration, was an important step in education women-owned businesses about the basics of export.  Our second webinar featured Dario Gomez, associate administrator at the Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade.  You can find the presentations as well as a podcast of the webinars here.

 

Please click here for a calendar of upcoming webinars and/or register.

 

For more information, please visit our ExportNOW page or call WIPP, (415) 434-4314.

 

 

 

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