Posted at 3:00 PM
Speaking before 200 participants at the 13th Annual Lockheed Martin Women’s Impact Network Leadership Forum, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker made the case for the advancement of women in today’s high-growth, high-tech industries.
During the Forum, Secretary Pritzker highlighted three ways that government and industry leaders can work together to make our workplaces more inclusive, and as a result, our companies more competitive on a global scale.
1. Implement policies that reflect the wealth of evidence suggesting that gender equality is a strong competitive advantage.
Secretary Pritzker highlighted efforts underway at the Department of Commerce to break down barriers for women in today’s most innovative fields. As examples of these efforts, Secretary Pritzker pointed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s “All in STEM” program, which aims to get more girls interested in science and technology; and the Minority Business Development Agency’s “Inclusion Innovation Initiative,” which connects women and minority entrepreneurs with opportunities to commercialize new technologies developed in our federal research labs.
2. Leverage the power of big data to identify inequities and create solutions.
In today’s era of big data, tools are available to measure, examine, and address issues of income inequality. For example, the Commerce Data Service worked with the Census Bureau to launch MIDAAS – or Making Income Data Available as a Service. Using the MIDAAS API, developers created tools that help individuals make data-driven decisions when it comes to closing the pay gap. Data analysis, using Department of Commerce statistics, offers companies a new way to root out disparities among their employees, identify challenges that prevent women from climbing the corporate leadership ladder, and create solutions that promote inclusivity in the workplace.
3. Empower female entrepreneurs and innovators around the world.
Public and private sector leaders must work together to promote women’s economic empowerment around the world. When women are able to succeed as entrepreneurs, economies grow, families benefit, and societies change for the better. At the Department of Commerce, Secretary Pritzker chairs the PAGE program, which connects top American entrepreneurs with young innovators from around the globe for mentorship sessions, workshops, and meetings with top investors.