Encouraged by the government-wide performance metrics, the Small Business Administration’s FY2015 report card shows that prime contracting goals across socioeconomic categories. The good news, the federal government spending more for small businesses and has reached an all time high at 25%. But there is more to the story.
Since 1994, the Women Owned Small Business goal has been 5% goal for WOSBs has been in place and since at least 2008, campaigns have aimed to bridge the gap. It wasn’t until 2014 when WOSB became eligible for awards, which was an important means of gaining momentum in the federal marketplace. It wasn’t until FY2015 that the 5% goal was met for the first time. While recognized as a win, there are still significant disparities, namely the fact that businesses owned by women are underrepresented.
Based on a 2016 report by the Department of Commerce, it was revealed that woman-owned businesses are 21% less likely to win federal work compared to their male counterparts. Later in the year, another report from Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) analyzed WOSB victories on multiple award contracts (MACS) and the results confirmed the imbalance.
Known by many names, MACs put competing firms against each other and the Government chooses multiple winners. However, winning a MAC doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll go on to win any work, but you can’t win any work without first winning the MAC. Of those analyzed, WOSBs won roughly 20% of task order dollars in comparison to the 5% of overall federal spending. Potentially, MACs can be the force that levels the playing field for WOSB.
What are your thoughts on the idea that businesses owned by women are underrepresented? Weigh in in the comments below!
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