How Ancestry’s CEO is changing the game
LinkedIn CEO Deb Liu

By Lauren Steele, Deseret News

When Jim Citrin — a noted expert on leadership, executive success and CEO succession — reached out to Deb Liu about interviewing for the role of CEO at a public company, Liu asked, “Why me?” — immediately recoiling from the idea. But all she had to do was look at her family tree to find the insight she needed to answer that question for herself.

The child of two Chinese immigrants, Liu grew up in Hanahan, South Carolina, and had always been inspired by her parents. “They came to the U.S. in the ’60s with a couple of suitcases and a couple hundred dollars and built their life here,” she says. The tremendous courage she saw in them she was also able to find in herself.

In March 2021, as a mother of three, Liu was named CEO of Ancestry — the world’s largest consumer DNA network, which is based in Lehi, Utah. Ancestry now employs more than 1,400 people, earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue and has collected more than 13 billion ancestral profiles for its users to find and learn more about their heritage. For Liu, who had found so much wisdom in the stories of those in her family who came before her, the mission of the company felt like a perfect fit.

Now, as she marks one year in the position, Liu looks back on what she’s learned about those who came before her, diversity in the workforce and opportunities available to women — and looks ahead to making a better world for the next generation of business leaders.

As told to Lauren Steele

When I asked Jim Citrin “Why me?” his response was, “Why not? This is your chance.” And he was right.

When I first doubted myself and said “no,” I was contributing to the problem of keeping diverse leadership out of the room. A sense of belonging is so important, but it’s harder as a woman or minority. And I get that. The system and a lot of things are not fair, but at the same time, when you do have the opportunity, you have to embrace it.

My leadership coach recently told me something that really stuck with me. She said, “When you’re in that room and you’re looking around and no one looks like you, you should take every advantage of that. Show up and get the job done.” She was right. You don’t get every opportunity, but you have to take every opportunity you do get.

That’s something that I think about for my daughters.

My eldest, when she was about 10, came to visit my office in Lehi, and looked around and said very matter of fact, “You mostly work with boys.”

It’s something that hasn’t changed since I was a student. I went to Duke to study engineering. My dad was an engineer. My sister was studying engineering at Georgia Tech. It seemed like a natural thing for me to study. But when I showed up to my first class, I was in for a shock. I was like, where are all the girls? One class had 70 men and only four women. And I remember walking down the ramp into the lecture hall thinking, “Oh my, this is really uncomfortable.”

Recently, a former colleague brought his daughter with him to a meeting of all the managers at the company. Before the meeting started as everyone was seated, she asked him, “Is this meeting only for boys?” She was only four at the time. And he had to tell her, “No, it’s not, but we can do better.”

And he’s right. She was, too. This is what the playing field looks like to the perspective of a 4-year-old. These inequalities don’t go unnoticed by our children. They have observations that turn into impactful experiences.

And that translates into many people making a decision early on that will affect the rest of their life, just based on a sense of belonging they’ve gathered. And those observations continue to reinforce themselves throughout adulthood and at the office.

For example, we were thinking about acquiring a company and had a big meeting with that company. The CEO starts talking to one of my teammates that I manage. And the CEO only talks to that man on my team — I am cut out of the conversation. At some point, my teammate gestures to me and very calmly says, “You know, she decides whether we buy your company or not.” And the CEO was horrified, just beet red.

But the inequality isn’t just experienced, it’s documented. There are studies that say men are seen as leaders if they’re competent, but women have to be competent and warm.

Another study showed that in the office, women are expected to stay late with their team with no reward. But if men stay late, they’re rewarded. There are so many of these studies that show there are different expectations that we have of men and women in the workplace. A lot of it is just ingrained in us. Is it fair to have an extra requirement of women that men don’t have? It’s absolutely not fair. But I want to identify those barriers and the things that we can do to change them.

The question becomes, what are you gonna do about it? The playing field is uneven and there are a lot of things playing against you, so you’ve got to take the raw materials you have and turn them into fuel to get to where you want to go. Even if it’s hard to imagine getting there.

If you close your eyes and imagine what a leader looks like, I think we kind of have the fixed idea that a leader is a person at the front — but actually, a great leader is at the back, making sure no one falls behind.

This goes beyond diversity that is just a checkbox for workplaces. I’m not just talking about pure representation. I’m talking about seeing people in action and seeing those differences actually become strengths. And if you take every chance you have to help other people and rise together, you can get much further than you thought you could.

If that CEO of that company we were contemplating acquiring was just playing the odds of who he thought was in charge of our company, the chances were that he probably would’ve been right, probability-wise. More executives, business leaders and CEOs in this country are men and are white. And at the end of the day, we have a lot of stereotypes that are easy to play into. When you walk into a room, you defer to the most powerful person — and who that person may be is often identified only by making assumptions. Currently, we don’t automatically default to the person who’s a woman or someone of color, because the odds say that the leader is probably going to be white and a man. I hope to change those odds someday.

Click here to read the full article on Deseret News.

New Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey©, by Harvard Business School Alumnae and Business Leaders Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams, Sponsored by Google, Published Today
woman on the computer using google

By PR Newswire

Today, Harvard Business School alumnae and co-authors Bonita C. Stewart and Jacqueline Adams published their 2021 U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© sponsored by Google. Titled Untapped Women of Color: The Talent Force Multiplier, the new release, and third in five planned annual surveys, is unique in its analysis of the opinions and capabilities of women desk workers and students across four generations. The work also highlights new, evolving skills and attitudes that managers must develop to assess and motivate talent, across cultures as well as generations, in the complex post-COVID workplace.

For the first time, the 2021 edition of the U.S. Women of Color in Business: Cross-Generational Survey© compared and contrasted the experiences of 300 White and Black male managers with those of 4,000 women managers and desk workers across four races (Black, LatinX, Asian American and White) and four generations (Gen Z students [ages 17-24], Millennials [ages 25-39], Gen X [ages 40-56], and Boomers [ages 57-74]). The results underscore the need for a more nuanced appreciation of “generational diversity,” an original concept coined by Stewart and Adams.

In addition to including Black and White male managers, this year’s survey takes a deeper look at Asian American women desk workers, with differentiating responses by the women’s countries of origin: China, Vietnam, India and the Philippines.

Co-authors Adams and Stewart, a Board Partner at Google’s Gradient Ventures, note that they truly appreciate Google’s support of their work. “The company’s sponsorship validates the originality and importance of our research,” they say. “We are also grateful for the on-going expertise of our survey partner, Quadrant Strategies. We believe creating a talent multiplier requires building new management capability in the areas of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), as well as understanding Generational Diversity in the workplace.”

“The data leads the co-authors to the conclusion that great managers matter,” says Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer at Google. “The underappreciated generational changes identified in the survey should encourage and challenge leaders to assess ‘untapped’ talent pools as a force multiplier for business success. At Google, we see this research as another lens to inform our ongoing work to build belonging, while providing exceptional thought leadership to all companies navigating the growing complexities of the workplace.”

Highlights from the new research include:
Despite promises of progress, despite disruptions to corporate recruiting, the co-authors’ chief performance metric – the Onlys – remains stalled, with almost half of Black and LatinX women continuing to report being frequently or always the only person of their races in professional settings.

More distressing is that the number of Black and LatinX Millennial Onlys has spiked: 55% for Black and 45% for LatinX.

The 2021 results show clear differentiations among Black and LatinX Millennial women, especially when it comes to confidence about the future, ways of coping with workplace stresses, and even teaming up within the “sisterhood.”

This was a breakaway year for innovation among Millennials, what this survey calls “First to Know About Technology.” 44% of Black Millennial women desk workers said they are always the first to know; 42% for LatinX, 33% for Asian Americans and 38% for White Millennials.

Black and LatinX women reported that they are actively participating in the current startup boom.

32% of Black Millennial women said they founded or co-founded the company they work at, more than doubling the 14% in 2020.

Just as they reported in 2020, Black women across all generations are more likely to be “side-preneurs”—to have a business they are working on outside of their desk jobs. 27% said they are side-entrepreneurs, as opposed to 16% LatinX, 11% Asian American, and 12% White women.

Millennial women are acknowledging systemic racism in the U.S. and are not shy about using their power to address it.

In 2021, Asian American women fell behind other racial groups, across all generations, in terms of career satisfaction.

Only 30% of Asian American women (down from 39% in 2020) agreed a great deal that they’ve had the opportunity to do meaningful and satisfying work, compared to 42% White women, 47% LatinX women, and 51% Black women).

Chinese American respondents, in particular, reported the lowest career satisfaction, while Indian American, Filipina American, and Vietnamese American women were comparatively more satisfied.

Only 17% of Chinese American women feel greatly fulfilled at work, compared to 33% of Filipina American women, 32% of Indian American women, and 31% of Vietnamese American women.

Click here to read the full article on PR Newswire.

Kim Kardashian’s Skims casts singer Rosalía in new summer campaign – shop here
Singer-songwriter Rosalía has been cast in Skims' first bilingual campaign. COURTESY PHOTO

By Melisha Kaur, Mirror

Spanish singer Rosalía has just been unveiled as the face of the latest campaign for SKIMS.

The billion-dollar brand, founded by Kim Kardashian, recently revealed its first ever bilingual campaign where content will be distributed in both Spanish and English.

The new campaign sees Rosalía donning pieces from the best-selling SKIMS cotton range, including the £36 Plunge Bralette, in a 15-second clip.

In a press release, brand owner Kim Kardashian said: “Rosalía’s willingness to push the boundaries and experiment with her music and personal style has been a huge inspiration for me. This campaign is all about the energy and confidence that she brings to the world.

“I’m especially excited that she’s wearing pieces from our best-selling Cotton Collection – they’re classic, cool and breathable everyday essentials that everyone feels good in.”

Rosalía added: “I love SKIMS. They are so comfy and make me feel very sexy at the same time. I’m so excited that I finally got the chance to collaborate, especially in their Cotton Collection which is my fave.”

This is the first ever fashion campaign for Rosalía, who released her third studio album Motomami back in March.

The new launch was shared by Kim Kardashian on social media, sending fans into a frenzy.

The series of stunning photos sees Rosalía wearing a black plunge bralette (£36) and matching cotton rib boxers (£32).

She’s also seen wearing a white cotton jersey T-shirt, £48, and a matching rib thong that costs £20.

The Grammy-winning singer also shared the launch to her 20.3 million Instagram followers.

“Damnnnnnn,” Kardashian commented, adding a trio of fire emojis.

The campaign comes after SKIMS dropped its new ‘Boyfriend’ collection, which saw the comeback of the brand’s signature unisex styles.

Click here to read the full article on Mirror.

Camila Cabello stars in Victoria’s Secret’s first bilingual campaign: ‘I am honored’
Camila Cabello wearing a white dress on the red carpet

By Kerry Justich, Yahoo! Life

Camila Cabello is the latest to team up with Victoria’s Secret.

The 25-year-old Cuban-American singer took to Instagram on Tuesday to share footage from her latest partnership with the brand for the Bombshell fragrance. Not only is she starring in an English version of the commercial, but also one in Spanish.

“I am honored to be the newest addition to the @victoriassecret Bombshell family 💖 and to be part of the brand’s first ever bilingual campaign!” she wrote. “Bombshell is about embracing who and what you are, and celebrating that every day.”

In the commercial, Cabello goes on to describe what the word bombshell means to her, explaining that it’s all about “owning your desires, your pleasures and enjoying everything life has to offer. Those things that make you feel great and make you feel joyful. Being who you are in every way.”

She later posted other photos from the campaign, sharing how empowered she felt to be a part of it. She even showed appreciation for not having her freckles airbrushed out of the final pictures.

“i loved this shoot !” she captioned one of three posts. “It’s rare that my lil sun freckles get to have their moment.”

Friends and fans of the singer took to the comment section to praise Cabello’s beauty.

“Linda,” singer Anitta wrote, while others called Cabello “gorgeous” and wrote “You ARE a bombshell.”

Supporters also shared that they were “proud” of Cabello for representing Latin women and Spanish speaking people in the brand’s first bilingual campaign. Some even expressed that they’d be willing to support Victoria’s Secret with Cabello’s stamp of approval.

“Influence,” one wrote. Another said, “I’m gonna try this brand cuz I trust you.”

While Victoria’s Secret has had a notable history of exclusionary practices and representation with its models, the brand has recently pivoted to become more inclusive. And although Cabello isn’t partnered on a lingerie campaign, it seems that the body positive singer is the latest to help with that mission.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Representation matters. Biden’s new LGBTQ press secretary has a big job ahead
Karine Jean-Pierre will be the first openly LGBTQ White House press secretary.(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

By Liz Granderson, Los Angeles Times

Ten years ago this month I gave a TEDx Talk titled “The Myth of the Gay Agenda.” It was shortly after President Obama announced his public support for same-sex marriage, becoming the first commander in chief to do so while still in office. During the talk, I shared some graphics highlighting the number of states where it was still legal to deny someone employment and/or housing for being queer.

I remember being approached afterward by numerous left-leaning audience members who were genuinely shocked to learn Michigan, where the event took place, was among those states. I was shocked they were shocked. At the time, Michigan was being sued by the ACLU over its 2011 law prohibiting same-sex partners of public employees from receiving health benefits. This was in addition to a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions that nearly 60% of voters embedded into the state’s constitution back in 2004. I wasn’t sure where those audience members thought Michigan was in terms of LGBTQ equality, but they needed someone to set the record straight.

Pun intended.

“Representation matters” is more than the catchphrase of the hour. It’s recognizing the gaps that exist between our different life experiences. It’s about the willingness to admit we don’t know all that we do not know.

For the first time in our country’s history, we learned this week, there will be an openly LGBTQ White House press secretary. And while Karine Jean-Pierre is not charged with writing any laws, she will be asked to explain their impact. Ideally in a way no one before her has been able to do.

For nearly 100 years — from the appointment of the first press secretary, George Akerson, in 1929 to Jen Psaki in 2020 — there has never been an openly queer person entrusted with that responsibility. In recognition of that history, Jean-Pierre received the longest standing ovation of anyone who walked on stage Friday night at the GLAAD Media Awards. As she stood there smiling — appearing to reside somewhere between being overwhelmed and overjoyed — I prayed for her.

Regardless of party affiliation, it’s not an easy job. When I asked Jay Carney, Obama’s second press secretary, if he missed it shortly after he left in 2014, he couldn’t say “no” fast enough.

At this moment, when the country has seen a wave of attacks on voting rights, people of color, reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality, I prayed Jean-Pierre would be able to talk about the White House’s agenda with more than sympathy. Not that I want Jean-Pierre’s time at the lectern to sound as if she’s defending her very existence each time. But given the current political climate, as we head toward one of the most consequential midterm elections of our lifetime, defending her existence is oddly now part of the job.

Such is the life for those who are first.

Now I am sure the tenures of Carney, Psaki and Akerson were not absent of personal investment. It’s just that none of them had to wait for the Supreme Court to legalize their marriage. None of them had to do what is already a very difficult job while worrying that the Supreme Court might dissolve their marriage.

That was something I had to explain to some of my left-leaning family members who couldn’t fully understand my concerns following the Supreme Court draft decision that would overturn Roe vs. Wade. My husband and I were married in Michigan. Those laws banning same-sex marriage I mentioned earlier? Well, much like all of those state laws banning abortion, those anti-LGBTQ laws are still on the books.

In February, Virginia tried to remove the (currently unenforceable) same-sex marriage ban from its constitution. The efforts failed in the subcommittee when Republicans stopped a resolution that would have put the question on the November ballot. That’s what’s at stake for all of the couples who got married in a state that didn’t want them to after the Obergefell decision in 2015. Some of us may be rendered back to fearing losing employment and housing. Some of us live in states where we have never stopped fearing that.

Click here to read the full article on the Los Angeles Times.

10 Women Scientists Leading the Fight Against the Climate Crisis
Rose Mutiso speaks at TEDSummit: A Community Beyond Borders. July 2019, Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED | Flickr/TED Conference

By Tshiamo Mobe, Global Citizen

Climate change is an issue that affects everyone on the planet but women and girls are the ones suffering its effects the most. Why? Because women and girls have less access to quality education and later, job opportunities. These structural disadvantages keep them in poverty. In fact, women make up 70% of the world’s poor. In a nutshell, climate change impacts the poor the most and the poor are mostly women.

Poverty is driven by and made worse by climate change also makes girls more susceptible to child marriage, because it drives hunger and girls getting married often means one less mouth to feed for their parents. Climate change also leads to geopolitical instability which, in turn, results in greater instances of violence — which we know disproportionately impacts women and girls.

Ironically, saving the planet has been made to seem a “women’s job”. This phenomenon, dubbed the “eco gender gap”, sees the burden of climate responsibility placed squarely on women’s shoulders through “green” campaigns and products that are overwhelmingly marketed to women.

There are several hypotheses for why this is. Firstly, women are the more powerful consumers (they drive 70-80% of all purchasing decisions). Secondly, they are disproportionately responsible, still, for the domestic sphere. And finally, going green is seen as a women’s job because women’s personalities are supposedly more nurturing and socially responsible.

Women should be involved in fighting the climate crisis at every level — from the kitchen to the science lab to the boardroom. Ruth Bader Ginsburg explained it best when she said: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.” However, women are underrepresented in the science field (including climate science), with just 30% of research positions held by women and fewer still holding senior positions. The Reuters Hot List of 1,000 scientists features just 122 women.

Click here to read the full article on Global Citizen.

LA Latina Business Owner Combines Love for Culture and Pink
Yesenia Castro, 25, owns a small business in the Fashion District of Los Angeles. Serving pink tacos, Castro blends her love of fashion, culture and food.

By Génesis Miranda Miramontes, NBC

Taco stands in downtown Los Angeles can be found on pretty much every street, but how often do you come across a pink taco truck, and with pink handmade tortillas?

With a goal to empower and inspire others, a Latina business owner found a way to combine her love for fashion, her culture, food and the color pink.

Pink and Boujee in the Los Angeles Fashion District is definitely one of a kind, bringing together the culture and food of Los Angeles.

Owner and founder Yesenia Castro is behind this unique, “not your average taqueria.”

Oh and that’s not food dye in those gluten free corn tortillas, Castro says the pink color comes from dragonfruit and beets, along with premium quality meats, to make that perfect LA style taco.

You can smell the delicious scent of authentic Mexican tacos as you approach the pink truck.

Latino owned and operated, Pink and Boujee is a family run business, giving customers a comforting sense of community along with their order of pink tacos and aguas frescas.

Castro says it all started with pop up events and farmers markets in 2019, but she officially launched her business with the pink truck in August of 2021.

Castro counts on the support of her family, as well as friends like Maria Viera, who manages their social media content.

Viera, a Latina foodie blogger in the LA area, first posted a video of Pink and Boujee on March 31 which has now garnered over 10.7 million views.

“Partnering up with Yesenia has been truly a blessing,” Viera said. “It’s fate that we just happened to collide and now here we are.”

The pair met just three weeks ago and are already not just partners in business but close friends as well.

“In the end I’m just really grateful,” Viera said. “She’s inspiring, she’s like my role model”

Castro says about 90% of her clientele come to her from TikTok.

The pink taco truck located on 948 Crocker St. definitely stands out.

The pink truck, pink tortillas, pink tables and pink boxes where your food is neatly packed all make for such a great photo op.

“I’m a girly girl at heart and I love good vibes, good food, and to dress cute,” Castro said. “I wanted to a create a place where you can feel all that”

Raised in the Boyle Heights area, Castro came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was just nine months old.

“Being a DACA business owner is extremely tough but not impossible. I think we are called dreamers for a reason and I’m here to show your dreams are impossible despite the circumstances,” Castro said.

She says she wants to empower and inspire others, especially young Latinas who would one day want to do what they see her doing.

“I’m sharing behind the scenes of what it’s like starting from the bottom and my personal journey. I am someone another young girl can relate to,” Castro said. “Representation matters to me and that is what I think makes my business so special.”

In the future, Castro says she thinks about getting a bigger food truck or finding an investor and opening up a restaurant.

But she says for now she wants to live in the moment and focus on what she’s doing now.

“It takes a team to be able to push a business forward,” Castro said. “I definitely think that when Latinas come together, women in general, there’s so much that could be done.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC.

Makeup Brand Finds Success By Targeting Afro-Latina And Multicultural Market
Shaira and Mabel Frías, sister co-founders at Luna Magic, an Afro-Latina and multicultural makeup brand LUNA MAGIC

By Geri Stengel, Forbes

During the early days of the pandemic, the social unrest focused attention on Afro-Latina and multicultural brands. Their communities supported them by buying their products. Corporations beefed up their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives which included providing training to diverse women entrepreneurs and selling their products.

Two sisters, Mabel and Shaira Frías, founded and launched their makeup brand, Luna Magic, in 2019. They benefit from their community purchasing their product and big-box retailers who want to reach this market. The sisters were part of Target’s accelerator program, and Luna Magic makeup is sold nationally by Target and Walmart. They appeared on Shark Tank, though ultimately, they didn’t take the deal.

Cosmetic companies have long ignored the Afro-Latina and multicultural market’s taste preferences and price points. The Frías sisters saw this as an opportunity. Their parents are Dominican immigrants and they grew up speaking Spanish at home and English in school.

“Beauty is a deeply cultural experience,” said Mabel. “There are a lot of rituals around putting on makeup. “Our culture is everything that has to do with vibrancy, bold colors, and being unapologetic in our color choices,” said Shaira.

The sister cofounders are proud to be Dominican Americans pursuing the American Dream through entrepreneurship. The brand reflects and celebrates the culture and energy of the Caribbean and Latin America along with the hustle and bustle of New York City—where the sisters were from—with a dash of glamor from L.A.—where they now live. Shaira explained that “it’s about the three Bs:

  • Bueno—it has to be good [quality].
  • Bonito— it has to look good.
  • Barato—it has to be value priced.”

She creates affordable, gorgeous, luxurious products that look good on diverse skin tones.

The company launched in 2019. The pandemic could have caused the collapse of the company. Instead, it accelerated the company’s growth and not just because of corporate DEI initiatives. Buying makeup is an inexpensive way to treat yourself during hard times. Mabel understood how to reach the market through social media, especially Instagram and TikTok videos. However, it is Shaira who loves celebrating everything, from National Lipstick Day to Saint Patrick’s Day, and dresses for the occasion.

The pandemic caused lots of headaches for the sisters. Shaira is in charge of product development and the supply chain. A journalist by training, she used her investigative skills to source ingredients and packaging worldwide. It was a balancing act getting shipments to arrive when needed. There were setbacks. Mabel is in charge of business development and has found that when setbacks happen, over-communicating is critical.

Building a brand and a company culture during turmoil and remote work was difficult. Having conversations around working from home and employees feeling safe to come to work were critical, said Mabel. “In a small company, every employee matters and is a key team member. I had to put myself in their shoes and show empathy and grace. I also had to provide a lot more structure and talk about the company’s vision.”

Click here to read the full article on Forbes.

This tech titan shares her tips on how women can break into the industry
smiling asian woman on her laptop seated at a desk

By Paola Peralta, EBN

The tech industry is filled with opportunities for women seeking new careers, but in a male-dominated field, it can be difficult to find them.

Women make up 28.8% of the tech workforce, according to a 2020 study by, a global organization that advocates for women in tech. That’s up from 25.9% in 2018, signaling a steady increase in representation. Today, as more women are exiting their current jobs and joining the Great Resignation, the tech industry is an appealing place to make a fresh start — if you know how to break in.

“The landscape is still competitive,” says Amy Kim, CEO of Jugo, an immersive virtual events and technology company, and a tech veteran of almost a decade. “The hands aren’t in women’s favor to this day, that’s just reality. And it’s something that we’re going to continue to recognize.”

Kim has worked in several different realms of the tech world, from gigs at big-name operations like Google and Microsoft, to serving as founder at smaller firms. Her experience has made something very clear: just because the industry is male dominated doesn’t mean it isn’t suited for women.

“Tech is one of the hardest industries [to break into] because in Silicon Valley, there is such a strong, preconceived notion of engineers being men, or intelligence coming out of male engineers,” she says. “But that’s just a numbers game — you’ve only got five to 10% of women engineers in that stack.”

Only 2% of VC funds in the U.S. go to women entrepreneurs, Kim points out. And it’s not because they’re not successful — in fact, companies in the Fortune 1,000 that have women as board members are 23% more profitable and see a 28% increase in higher end performance.

“Lift as you rise,” she says. “For the next generation, I want females and female leaders to help drive a path and make it easier to create that equality and eliminate some of the preconceived notions of women in tech and women leaders in general.”

Kim shared a few tips and tricks with EBN, both for women looking to break into the space for the first time and for those who’ve already established their place but are looking to move up.

Click here to read the full article on EBN.

Should You Get a Women Owned Business Certification
female business owner looking at a laptop in her warehouse

By Annie Pilon, Small Business Trends

Female business owners have traditionally faced unique challenges when seeking funding and government contracts. To balance those disadvantages, there are now certain programs and contracting dollars that are reserved just for women-owned businesses. However, owning a business as a woman isn’t enough; there are specific certification requirements companies must meet to be eligible.

What is a Women-Owned Business Certification?

A women-owned small businesses certification is an official designation through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Companies that achieve this certification process are eligible for programs and contracts set aside for women-owned small businesses.

Types of Certification for Women-Owned Businesses

There are two main types of women-owned small business certifications through the SBA: Women-owned small businesses and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses. Here’s a guide to each.

  • Women-owned small businesses: This is the basic women-owned certification through the SBA. Companies must be at least 51 percent owned and run by women to qualify for this designation.
  • Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses: This designation goes a step further. In addition to being owned and run by women, EDWOSBs must also have an 8(a) certification, which specified businesses that are owned by economically disadvantaged individuals. These businesses may qualify for contracts that are set aside both for women and economically disadvantaged businesses.

Woman-Owned Small Business Benefits

Wondering why you may want to designate your company as a women-owned small business? Here are some benefits to consider:

  • Qualify for more government contracts: Certain government agencies are required to earmark a certain amount of their contracts to women business owners and those who have faced an economic disadvantage. Decision-makers can filter through contractors to find these providers for various products and services. So getting a certification may increase visibility and open your company up to more opportunities.
  • Grow your customer base: Many large corporations also have diversity goals, which include supporting women entrepreneurs. So you may receive contracting or sales opportunities from more than just the federal government.
  • Network with other female business owners: There are plenty of networking events and opportunities specifically for women-owned businesses. So a certification may help you find and make the most of these contacts.
  • Access educational resources: The SBA and third-party organizations also provide guides and educational resources for women-owned businesses. You may find valuable information about seeking financing, marketing, or expanding your operations. The Amazon SBA Program is such a resource.
  • Find business mentors: You may also benefit from learning from other women who have been in similar situations. WOSB or EDWOSB certification can help you find and reach out to potential mentors.

Female Owned Business Certification Requirements

To qualify for the benefits listed above, you must meet the following criteria.

  • Be a small business: The SBA has specific size standards that apply to a variety of contracting and incentive programs. The definition varies by industry, but most are required to have less than 1,500 employees.
  • Be at least 51% owned: Women must own and control at least half of the company. They must also be U.S. citizens.
  • Have women in management roles: The female business owner(s) or managers must also be responsible for day-to-day operations and making long-term business decisions.

How to Get an SBA Women-owned Business Certification

If you’re interested in getting a women-owned business certification, you’ll first need to apply through the SBA or an affiliated group. Here’s a basic look at the certification process:

  1. Check eligibility: WOSB must have proof that the business is at least 51 percent owned by a woman or women who are U.S. citizens. And EDWOSBs must also prove an economic disadvantage. The SBA offers an online Q&A tool to determine eligibility before you start the application process.
  2. Gather essential documents: You’ll need business and personal documents to prove you meet the eligibility requirements. These may include proof of U.S. citizenship, business trust agreements, articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, and stock ledgers.
  3. Apply online: The SBA offers an online application tool that asks questions and allows you to upload relevant documents.
  4. Connect with a third-party certification provider: Alternatively, there are four outside organizations approved by the SBA to perform third-party certifications. Each has its own processes and associated costs. So contact them directly to learn about applying. The four organizations are the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Women Business Owners Corporation, U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.

How Much Does a Certification Cost for Women-owned Small Businesses?

The SBA certification process for a women-owned small business is free. However, third-party certification may come with costs. These groups help you through the certification process, so you’re essentially paying for their services. Certification is often free for members of those groups but may cost a few hundred for non-members.

Click here to read the full article on Small Business Trends.

NASA to save mission safety contract for women-owned businesses
Nasa satelite in space

By Nick Wakeman, Washington Technology

Proposals are due next week for a NASA contract that supports the space agency’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance.

The contract is known as SETS for SM&A Engineering and Technical Services.

Only women-owned small businesses can bid for the contract covering a wide range of services including record management, outreach, event support and training and professional development.

Deltek estimates the contract has a value of $42.3 million. Proposals are due April 29. Banner Quality Management Inc. and Ares Corp. are the two incumbents, while Banner Quality Management is the only woman-owned small business of the pair.

In solicitation documents, NASA said it would evaluate proposals on three factors: Mission Suitability, Cost, and Relevant Experience and Past Performance. Mission suitability will carry the most weight when picking a winner. Cost and past performance/relevant experience are all equal.

A good mission suitability score will depend on demonstrating an overall understanding of the requirements, the management plan, and the technical approach to a sample task order.

NASA expects the contract to be awarded in August with a transition completed in September. A majority of work will take place at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C. and National Safety Center in Cleveland.

Click here to read the full article on Washington Technology.

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Air Force Civilian Service


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Upcoming Events

  1. City Career Fair
    January 19, 2022 - November 4, 2022
  2. The Small Business Expo–Multiple Event Dates
    February 17, 2022 - December 1, 2022
  3. USPAACC’s CelebrASIAN Business + Procurement Conference 2022
    May 25, 2022 - May 27, 2022
  4. 2022 WBENC National Conference
    June 6, 2022 - June 9, 2022
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