March is Women’s History Month, as first declared by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to salute women for their invaluable contributions to the nation’s progress, prosperity, and moral integrity. Since that time, Women’s History Month has become a meaningful opportunity to remember the women who made an impact on this country, women such as trailblazers Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and Madam C.J. Walker.
However, we would be remiss to not also recognize the modern-day female leaders and activists who continue to fight against oppression and inequality. This month, we remember leaders like Kamala Harris, who became the first female Vice President of color in United States history; advocates like Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice who works to be a voice for women and ethnic minorities in criminal justice reform; and activists like Amanda Gorman, the youngest ever inaugural poet who focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization.
The Council hears, validates, and supports the efforts of women everywhere and celebrates the opportunity to help make their voices heard.
This outward representation of strong women in leadership roles is paramount, as it relates directly to the way we treat and perceive women, particularly women of color, in the workplace. Women decision-makers and business owners are growing in numbers in ways never before seen — and they have the power to make an immediate environmental shift that will give female employees the dignity and respect they deserve.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, accounting for nearly 39% of all privately held firms and generating over $1.7 trillion in sales in 2019. African-American women control 47% of these companies, or an estimated 5.4 million businesses that generate $361 billion in revenue annually. Overall, these numbers mark a 23.4% increase in female ownership in just four years, a heartening and encouraging sign of the growth that will only continue to improve in the years to come.
The Council applauds our women business owners for all of their achievements, not only during Women’s History Month, but every month. We invite you to peruse our list of Council-certified, women-owned businesses and encourage you to reach out and forge new business relationships this month and this year. Together, we can continue to support and empower the female leaders of the past, the present, and the future.