Last Thursday marked Women’s Equality Day in the United States — the anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. Though much has changed in 101 years, women still face unique challenges in modern society, including inequities and disparities in today’s economy.
COVID-19 disproportionately impacted women, and recent estimates show that even if July’s significant job gains continue, women will need five more months of job growth to return to pre-pandemic employment levels.
As we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, it’s critical we recognize the inequities that remain and commit to eliminate them.
Women’s Equality Day: Elizabeth Gore, Hello Alice
Elizabeth Gore, president of Hello Alice was interviewed by QED to discuss the challenges of being a female entrepreneur. She cited access to funding as the No. 1 challenge women face, noting that women get less than 3 percent of venture capital. “It is critical that funders look at their metrics and ensure they are taking 50 percent of their pitches from women-owned companies,” she writes. “When women have access to capital they tend to outperform their male counterparts. We need to ensure this statistic is in the minds of all capitalists. We are a damn good financial bet.”
Black and Latinx women are redefining the C-suite and entrepreneurial leadership
Lauren Maillian, CEO of digitalundivided, penned an article in FastCompany about the “surge in the creation of new businesses led by Black and Latinx women.” On the heels of a pandemic that exacerbated existing gender and racial inequities, women of color are starting more businesses than ever, yet “are seeing little to no change in the investment metrics.” Receiving fewer than 1% of venture capital funding, “women of color are still forced to innovate, by doing more with less.” Maillian’s article discusses these unique challenges and the policies and data necessary to close funding gaps.
Women talk truth about their crucial role in the American economy and the inequitable expectation to ‘carry it all’
Last month, the Kauffman Foundation published conversations with women entrepreneurs to discuss their experiences starting businesses. In an interview, Black Girl Ventures founder Shelly Bell says, “what motherhood will give you is the freaking hustle spirit. Our economy relies on the economic contributions of women – especially in the face of the rising cost of living and the weight of caregiving responsibilities.” The three conversations cover existing inequities that women face, as well as solutions — including how public policies can best support women entrepreneurs.