Equality means different things for different people—and generations. For the women who founded NAWBO more than 40 years ago, it was about being able to take out a line of credit to start or grow their business without their husband, brother or father cosigning. For women business owners today, it’s about equality in pay, in the boardroom, in elected offices, in government procurement opportunities and more. And for women in other parts of the world, especially in developing nations, equality often takes on a completely different meaning—like the ability to work or receive an education.
Here are a few recent statistics from Makers (the largest video collection of women’s stories online) that tell the story:
- In 2015, only half of the world’s working-age women were in the labor force, compared to 77 percent of working-age men.
- Women with full-time jobs still earn only about 77 percent of their male counterparts’ earnings.
- African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man.
- 62 million girls are denied an education all over the world.
- Every year, an estimated 15 million girls under 18 are married worldwide, with little or no say in the matter.
- 4 out of 5 victims of human trafficking are girls.
- Around the world, only 22 percent of all national parliamentarians are female. That’s double the number in 1995, but still a marker of slow change.
- Women currently hold 24, or 4.8 percent, of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies.
As women and women business owners, one of our greatest weapons in our fight for true equality is our voice—which is even more powerful when combined together as a movement of thousands of smart, passionate NAWBO members from across the United States. Together, we can speak out on the issues that are most important to all of us, in our communities, in our states and in our nation’s capital. Learn more about this powerful NAWBO voice and how you can be part of it here.
This issue of NAWBO ONE features an equality theme. In it, you’ll revisit this summer’s NAWBO Advocacy Day where our members from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to meet with and learn from key political decision makers and have their voices heard. You’ll also read about how equality within our own businesses benefits us and makes us stronger.
Additionally, we’re counting down the final weeks to our National Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO, September 18-20, 2016. That’s why this issue also features several Q&As with conference speakers, including keynote Dr. Tererai Trent, a scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, author and company founder. I hope you’ll take a moment to read about our speakers and if you aren’t already registered, register now here. See you in Columbus!