16 October 2016

ASBC: TAKE ACTION - Declaration on Gender Equity in Business

Business and the broader economy work best when prosperity is widely shared, especially historically disadvantaged populations or those who have faced barriers to opportunity. An inclusive economy is representative of all interests in society – major and minority population groups, women and men, old and young people. Bringing about an inclusive economy requires a systems approach that brings together government, the private sector, and communities.

Women, in particular face significant obstacles to securing the same financial compensation as their male counterparts in the work world. Sign the declaration today.
Declaration on Gender Equity in Business
We the undersigned business leaders find there is a robust and growing case for moving aggressively on the gender-equity front. It is well documented that gender-diverse companies show higher profitability, while gender-balanced economies are consistently linked with peace and prosperity. Gender equality, when measured by a combination of business, environment and social impact indicators, is a win-win for companies and their communities. Seven public policy solutions have been identified to reach these goals:
  1. Require a 30% or better representation of women on the boards of public companies. (In Norway and France, 34% are current comparative figures.)
  2. Expand funding of federal Small Business Administration (SBA) and Small Business Innovation Research programs for women-owned small businesses, and have the SBA to be more transparent and timely in requiring gender and racial data when awarding government contracts. 
  3. Raise the goal for awarding government contracts to women-owned and small, disadvantaged businesses from the current 5% figure to a modest target of 25%. Raise the current goal of 3% of spending of federal prime contract dollars on ‘Historically Underutilized Business Zones’ to at least 15%.
  4. Require gender-blind hiring and promotion by all companies and institutions, and require disclosure of employee gender mix at each pay level.
  5. Hold federal agencies accountable for meeting legal ‘inclusion’ quotas and requirements as set forth in the Dodd-Frank law. These are guidelines to ensure that entities that contract with federal agencies support economic opportunities for women and minorities, and provide fair wages. Encourage and watchdog implementation of Section 342 of Dodd-Frank (Minority and Women Inclusion), requiring (voluntary) disclosure on business activities and workforce composition by gender and race, to apply to financial institutions, federal contractors and their regulators. 
  6. Implement federal and state legislation that addresses workplace issues such as pay equity, paid leave, and childcare; the lack of which disproportionately limits women and minorities from reaching financial independence and becoming industry leaders.
  7. Decrease the barriers to entrepreneurship for disadvantaged groups through mentorship programs, crowdfunding and expanded resources that coach individuals in loan applications, in order to improve success rates for traditional financing options.

(Source: http://asbcouncil.org/inclusive#.WAQ-j-grKhc)

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