As we begin the yearly celebration of International Women’s Day we must re-evaluate American contributions. Across the globe only 20 women lead their countries as prime ministers and presidents, a measly 6.3% of global leadership. The United States, the land of the free and born to be equal isn’t a part of that spectacularly low but relevant percentage. The 2018 Midterms rectified that slightly by electing 102 women in the House and 25 in the Senate. That’s still only 23.4% (basically unchanged) and 25% of Congressional leadership for a country that’s still majority female-women are a little over 50% of the population. So, how can the United States truly be a celebratory partner in International Women’s Day if we don’t even elect our own women to be leaders? We can start by passing national legislation that would include board and ballot quotas. If, We the People haven’t finally taken the plunge for equality than forced leadership may be the answer.
California, yes that shiny state, passed the first legislative action to include women on corporate boards. According to the law, public traded companies with headquarters in the state must have at least one female on their board. By 2021 these companies must have two females for every five members and three for every seven members. These laws worked in the international community and can work here. Lest we forget, women are the majority of consumers and now are over 25% of head of households as single-mothers. Women are the leaders of their homes and should be the leaders of the businesses they promote to billion dollar businesses. These women need direct representation on corporate boards to ensure women’s needs are met.
These forced appointments are springboards for women in entrepreneurial ideation expansion. The future of America is women-owned small businesses which will connect the gig economy to the Capitalist wheel. Women will be the leader of these small businesses which may be up to 90% of the American overall GDP. These board members can use their expertise to guide women to strengthen America’s entire economy. Women are starting an average of 1,800 businesses a day that can succeed with corporate leadership connections. Amazon, Zappos, and the like are going to rule the economy. Amazon is a main source of American consumerism with the majority of their customers and businesses female. Yes, we must have leader connections in corporations for an overall healthy economy. A national solution to connect and strengthen the economy to women should be a national law for board quotas. It’s not just about equality, it’s about our economic future as a nation.
We have established the strength of women’s leadership in the sheer number of female businesses growing everyday. Who can legislate for these women for business and our economy to continue growing? Research proves that women’s direct representation in Congress and local governance promotes women’s issues. Again, it’s not just about the highly idealized concept of equality. It’s about the growth and sustainability of our country. If only 25% of Congress is female and they pass a few laws in their tenure for women, what could 50% do for our country? Ballot quotas would ensure that women are duly represented as a constituency that supports the growth of business, our communities and our families.
Ballot quotas are necessary as women still have less support by major parties and political donors. Politics is a race to the money then a race to the top. That’s a direct disadvantage for women to get on the ballot. If women were already placed on the ballot through quotas then they would at least have a shot at receiving donations.
A quick look at Chicago’s latest mayoral election proves an increase of women on a ballot correlates women will be successful. Originally there were eighteen candidates with seven female candidates but after the electoral board rigamoro, fourteen candidates with four strong females remained. History was made when the front runners for the April 2nd runoff would be two Black females-Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot. It’s amazing and gratifying to say, The Future of Chicago is Female. But this didn’t happen by accident-it was a plethora of females on the ballot that ensured a female in the runoff. Quotas don’t ensure massive success as international numbers prove, yet we must begin somewhere. A national law instituting female ballot quotas would provide women with the increased exposure and monetary connections to rectify legislative inequality. Americans have two great options to ensure legislative representatives match the population that needs them. We cannot continue to celebrate any “women’s day” until we ensure possibilities for women’s comeuppance everyday. It’s not just girls rising, it’s America’s rising. Keep America great today and support women.