August 26th is Women’s Equality Day this year. The date was selected to mark the passage of the amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote in 1920. We have made great strides since then—women today have every opportunity to be independent. We can establish bank accounts, be granted personal and business loans, have children while remaining in the workforce, serve on juries, pursue higher education, become elected public officials and more. While this is an impressive list, a gender gap still exists, whether it’s equal pay or women in corporate leadership.
This may surprise you. Around the world, women and girls face barriers and disadvantages in every sector in which we work, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. In fact, while women make up more than 40 percent of the agriculture labor force, only 3 to 20 percent are landholders. In Africa, women-owned enterprises make up as little as 10 percent of all businesses. In South Asia, that number is only 3 percent. And despite representing half the global population, women comprise less than 20 percent of the world’s legislators. Putting women and girls on equal footing with men and boys has the power to transform every sector in which we work. Now that is motivating and encouraging!
NAWBO knows this power of transformation well. This organization was founded 40 years ago by a group of women in the Washington D.C. area who did not have anyone to advocate for them. They weren’t permitted to join any of the business groups of their time. They found that many of their colleagues across the country could not access the capital or information they needed to start a business. In many places, women could not even get a business loan without a male to co-sign. These women set out to change that for themselves and for future generations of women entrepreneurs! They fought against the norm and launched a campaign for change that was not widely accepted or popular at the time. Due to their triumph and victories, today, we can enjoy more equality and a means of opportunity as women business owners.
The theme of this month’s NAWBO ONE is equality. In it, you’ll read a Q&A with Kevin Maggiacomo, president and CEO of Sperry Van Ness and co-founder of www.5050×2020.org, who is passionate about gender equality and helping more women break the glass ceiling and enter more leadership roles. Kevin is speaking at NAWBO’s Presidents Breakfast at the National Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO this September. You’ll also read about the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial Association’s partnership with NOVA Parks to build a memorial in Virginia honoring women suffragists who fought and won women’s right to vote, as well as a roundtable discussion with several NAWBO community members discussing wage gap solutions.
Additionally, I am proud to highlight NAWBO’s new partnership with Vision 2020, a coalition of individuals and organizations united in the commitment to achieve economic, political and social equality for women and girls by the year 2020, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that granted women the right to vote. You can click here to learn more. If you are interested in becoming a Vision 2020 delegate or receiving more information, reach out to NAWBO’s Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Joy Lutes at email@example.com.
As Women’s Equality Day comes this year, I hope you’ll think about the gaps you would like to see closed or opportunities you would like to see opened for women and use your resources to help make them a reality.
—Crystal Arredondo, NAWBO National Chair
PS: One of the valued members of our NAWBO National team has moved on to new opportunities. I want to thank Rachael Bender for her passion and excellence in helping to build and grow NAWBO. Read the profile on Rachael here that appeared in a recent issue of NAWBO ONE and join me in wishing Rachael the very best in her next venture!
Fifth Circuit Requires Labor Department to Pay Attorneys’ Fees in Bad Faith Independent Contractor Suit
WASHINGTON, DC - A new congressional report released today took aim at the airline industry for failing to adequately disclose extra fees and add-on costs charged to the flying public.
The report, released today by the minority staff of the Senate Commerce Committee, found that ancillary fees, such as change and cancellation penalties and preferred seating, are increasingly keeping consumers in the dark about the true cos...
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), in a letter sent yesterday, called on President Barack Obama to, “nominate, without delay, a qualified, experienced, and dedicated individual of high character and integrity to serve as the Commerce Department’s permanent Inspector General.” The Commerce Department’s previous inspector general resigned on June 4, 2015.
“We are c...
On Tuesday, House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) issued a statement congratulating Cincinnati product accelerator First Batch for being selected as a winner in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Growth Accelerator Competition:
“I want to congratulate First Batch on being recognized for its outstanding contributions to the startup movement. Cincinnati has always been a community of makers and doers, and the team at First Batch is building on that tradition. By providing space, mentoring, and access to tools and resources, this product accelerator is helping entrepreneurs turn ideas into prototypes, and prototypes into exciting new businesses and jobs in our community. I’m proud of their work and certainly glad that they call Cincinnati home.”
The SBA received more than 400 applications that were judged by over 40 experts that collectively have entrepreneurial, investment, startup, economic development, capital formation and academic backgrounds from both the public and private sector.
WCOE Charter Member and Past President Ida Brooker Retires after 30 Years of Service to the Boeing Company
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. If you don’t love your job and you aren’t having fun doing it, then it’s time to find something new.” This philosophy is one that Ida Brooker has followed throughout her career – and it has certainly served her well.
Ida began her professional career in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a probation and parole officer, far away from the construction arena. She quickly learned that criminal corrections was not the field for her. Eager for a change, Ida applied for a bookkeeping job at a general contracting firm owned and operated by a friend’s father. So started Ida’s career in the construction industry. Shortly after joining the company, Ida became the company’s estimator. Soon Ida was running the company’s entire office operation, including estimating, bidding jobs, hiring subcontractors, and managing staff.
Several years later, Ida decided to move back to her hometown of Seattle, Washington. It was the 1970s, and women were certainly not being welcomed with open arms into jobs in the construction industry. Ida struggled to find a suitable position in her chosen field. She contacted an employment agency, who wanted to send Ida to an interview for a secretarial position. Although she did not want to work as a secretary, Ida went to the job interview because the employer was a construction supplier that sold lockers, partitions, cabinets, countertops, and other specialty construction supplies. Ida told the man who conducted the interview that she did not want to work as a secretary, but instead wanted a position as a project coordinator. Within hours, she was offered the job.
After working as a project coordinator for several years, Ida then went to work for a concrete sawing and drilling company as an estimator and dispatcher. The company was given the opportunity to work as a subcontractor on a project with BoeCon (Boeing Construction), which was a construction company owned by the Boeing Company. At her boss’s request, Ida reviewed the subcontract BoeCon wanted them to sign. Ida advised her boss not to sign the subcontract as written, and gave him a detailed list of changes he should request when he met with BoeCon. Ida’s boss later reported to Ida that the BoeCon representatives were very impressed with Ida’s list of requested contract revisions and asked who had performed the contract review. A few weeks later, BoeCon called Ida and offered her a job as an estimator.
Ida’s first project for BoeCon was on a nuclear power plant in Washington. She worked on several other major projects as well, but then Boeing decided to close BoeCon.
Next, Ida went to work for a general contractor in Palo Alto, California, where she managed a group of staff responsible for hiring subcontractors. During an interview in 1984 with a prospective staff member, Ida first learned about WCOE. The woman Ida was interviewing said that Ida needed to meet Dorothy Erickson, who at that time was the President of Nationwide Construction in San Francisco. Dorothy and a group of other female owners and executives in the construction industry were founding a brand new organization – Women Construction Owners & Executives – dedicated to making a positive difference for women in the construction industry so there would come a time when gender would cease to be a business issue. Ida soon became a charter member of WCOE.
Shortly thereafter, Ida’s former boss at BoeCon called. He was now working for the Boeing Company, and he offered Ida a job back in Seattle, Washington. When Ida reminded her former boss that she did not build airplanes, he told her that the Boeing Company needed Ida’s expertise to build buildings. Ida began working in the contracts group at Boeing, where she became responsible for hiring contractors to build some of Boeing’s largest and most complex facilities all around the United States and throughout the world, including in China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
Ida’s international expertise at Boeing became very valuable to WCOE when the U.S. State Department asked that WCOE appoint a representative to serve on a new Advisory Board the State Department was forming. Ida was selected to serve on the Board for a one year term. The State Department ultimately extended Ida’s term on the Advisory Board for three additional years due to the valuable input she provided.
Ida retired earlier this year after thirty years with the contracts group at Boeing. Ida says she really never expected to stay with Boeing for thirty years, but she always found the work interesting and fun. Each day brought new challenges. Ida became the go-to person at Boeing for her expertise in construction contracting. She was a subject matter expert in her field, well-respected and indispensable. Ida loved her job at Boeing – so it never felt like work.
Despite retiring from Boeing, Ida remains active in WCOE. She is currently President of the WCOE Resource Center, a 501(c)3 educational foundation with the purpose of providing education to WCOE members and the public at large relating to best practices in the construction industry. Ida also sits on the National Board of Directors of WCOE.
As a woman who broke so many gender barriers working in the construction industry, Ida Brooker has always been a force to be reckoned with. Still, Ida has also always valued the importance of enjoyment and job satisfaction. When asked for career advice, Ida says, “Learn all you can and follow your interests. Humor is what makes the world go around. Never take yourself too seriously, and always find the fun in your work.”
Congratulations to Ida for a career well spent! We all look forward to seeing what comes next!
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate, today, unanimously approved S. 1297, the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, introduced by Commerce Committee Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee chairman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), full committee ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee ranking member Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), and subcommittee members Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Cory Gar...
A Case with Teeth?: Federal Circuit to Review International Trade Commission’s Jurisdiction over Digital “Articles”
Restricted Access at Biscayne National Park and Implications for Fishermen, Small Businesses, the Local Economy and Environment
On Monday, August 3, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) the House Committee on Natural Resources and the House Committee on Small Business will hold a joint oversight hearing titled, “Restricted Access at Biscayne National Park and Implications for Fishermen, Small Businesses, the Local Economy and Environment.” This hearing will be held at the William F. Dickinson Community Center, 1601 N. Krome Avenue, in Homestead, Florida.
Witnesses will be by invitation only.
If you need further information, please contact Kiel Weaver, William Ball or Alex Semanko, staff of the Committee on Natural Resources at (202) 225-8331 or Viktoria Ziebarth, staff of the Committee on Small Business at (202) 225-5821.