Black History Month celebrates progress that has been made by and for African-Americans in the social and economic spheres. Yet it also brings to light the opportunities that still remain even in these contemporary times.
Minority women have achieved increased visibility and continue to influence the business world as we know it. Recently named one of the 50 Most Powerful African American Women by Black Enterprise Magazine, RLJ Hedge Fund of Funds VP & COO Lisa Pickrum believes, “Once you can influence decisions in the boardroom, you are a woman of power.” To read more bios from the most influential African-American women in business, please visit: http://www.theglasshammer.com/news/2008/01/24/top-african-american-women-in-business-%E2%80%A6other-than-oprah/.
Procurement opportunities for racially diverse and women entrepreneurs will be key in our continued advancement. You can read about the SBA Contracting Program For Women-Owned Small Businesses that was just announced in this issue of Focus, as well as the 2011 Minority Business Procurement Connections event on February 16th.
Capacity building is another area that will level the playing field. The NAWBO® Institute has launched the Accelerated Growth Series®, sponsored by corporate partner Wells Fargo, which offers intense workshops designed to deliver the highest ROI and set you on a road to increasing your business competitiveness. Learn more here: http://nawbo.org:80/section_294.cfm
Undeniably, race and gender identity in America has evolved in tremendous ways, but there still is and perhaps always will be even more progress to be made. Do you think African-American women, minority women and women in general have equal access in today’s marketplace? I welcome your thoughts!
—Helen Han, NAWBO President and CEO