Good news for women business owners: Rep. Nydia Velazquez has taken a shot at “old boys’ networks” in a measure that’s winding its way through Congress.
Earlier this month, the Democrat from New York sponsored a bill that would allow government agencies to target women-owned firms as they dole out contracts.
“Comprising 30 percent of all small businesses, women-owned enterprises are a growing force in the American economy,” she said in a press release. “Unfortunately, too often they are locked out of the federal marketplace as the ‘old boys’ network’ games the procurement system to win lucrative federal contracts.”
She continued: “By helping women compete in this area, we can bring greater equality to the system and generate new opportunities for female entrepreneurs.”
The Women’s Procurement Program Equalization Act of 2013 would, if enacted, cause change through the revision of several key parts of the Small Business Act of 1953 – the act which led to the creation of the Small Business Administration.
Velazquez also sponsored a second measure that would streamline the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers. She says the proposal would make more resources available for the nation’s small businesses, which she calls “the backbone of the American economy.”
Both measures passed by “voice vote,” which suggest strong bipartisan support for the measures, according to the congresswoman. The bills will next be sent to the House floor for consideration.
In Washington, the topic of equality for women in business has been making headlines for the past few months.
During this year’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama mentioned the continued lack of fair pay for women – at present, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man makes doing comparable work. He has since launched a campaign aimed at rectifying the issue.