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International Woman’s Day : Should Business be Business as Usual?

On March 8, 2022, the world celebrated ‘International Woman’s Day’! It is symbolic of a world where difference is valued and celebrated. This is when we celebrate women’s achievement, we raise awareness against bias and we promise to act for equality.

When the Vendorship Team polled a small number of colleagues about what they understood this day to mean, most admitted they had no idea. But they only conceded that when asked the second question: What will you be doing today because of what you know about International Women’s Day?

We can have a conversation filtered through stacks of statistics that amplify what we already know about systemic gender gaps sustained in business and socio-civic affairs. Or we can make a couple of quick clicks to see what the world is saying in passive concert, and repeat a line or two over lunch or into a note to an expecting group of peers.

But here’s the hard point of truth: International Women’s Day is about bias – personal demonstrative commitments to completely eliminate intended and unintended biases against women, anywhere and everywhere. If that’s too hard a topic for your usual business day, you should probably look into the face of the woman closest to you at work or in your life in general, and say without stumbling, “I don’t care.”

Now, if you can’t look her in her eyes today and say that, then here’s something else you can do: Ask her, as you look into her eyes, what does a thing held as International Women’s Day whisper to her? Really allow her to think and then answer. Then ask her what specific thing can you do in business or otherwise today to support or amplify exactly what she said. And this is the hard part, especially if you are a decision maker at your place of work: Do it.

A Level Playing Field

The government entities realize the need to empower women entrepreneurs and have several programs and certificates to boost them ! Here’s what the Small Business Administration or SBS recommends for women owned businesses and women entrepreneurs.

To provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the Women- Owned-Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program. Some contracts are restricted further to economically disadvantaged Women-Owned-Small Businesses (EDWOSB). Joining these contracting programs make a business eligible to compete for federal contracts set aside for the program. Here’s a list of those eligible industries and their NAICS codes.

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