If we value what
we measure, let’s start measuring…
Interestingly, we cannot find any research anywhere around the globe that has recorded how many women-owned or female-founded businesses exist.
So because we know the value of women starting business - we’re recording and finding the data that will change the status-quo and make agency pitching the meritocracy it should be. It starts here where we’ll develop best practise by creating among other things a global list for clients everywhere to access new agency models they have been relegated to “hidden figures” through mono-lensed industry ignorance.
When a woman starts a business, 39.2% start out believing they are disadvantaged thanks to their gender, having fewer start-up resources and networks to leverage.
Down in Australia, procurement practices across the private and public sector have long been built with the purpose of giving suppliers a “fair go”. The Federal Government instituted initiatives such as the compliance reporting WGEA Act in 2012 to assist this aim of gender-fair procurement.
Change, however, has been glacial across the globe.
Out of USD$15 trillion public procurement opportunities, female-founded business receive only 1% of these funds. Women-owned businesses have to contend with closed networks, established supplier relationships between “mates” and arduous pitch processes that they cannot afford due to low levels of capital increasing their many barriers to participation.
This means that female founders rarely get a chance of getting “on the list” to fairly compete or pitch for big business that could help them grow to the size of their long-established counterparts.
Reform is necessary – now. And that’s why Women With Agency exists.
How we plan to get gender fair procurement reform
In order to be completely transparent, we wanted to share our four-stage plan:
1. Undertake research and launch our findings which will investigate the attitudes in the private and public sector around procuring women-owned agencies and suppliers.
2. Work with local and national Australian government bodies to reform their procurement policies in order to ensure that female-founded creative agencies are given a fair chance of landing supplier contracts and opportunities. There is currently initiatives and legislation that already supports Indigenous, Disability, Multicultural and LGBT suppliers.
3. Encourage and collect information from the women-owned or founded comms agencies throughout Australia to ensure they are aware and included on the WWA female-founders database.
4. Leverage existing global and local networks and relationships with the private sector to invite large corporate entities to pledge their support and commit to implementing gender fair policies and procurement practices for female-founded suppliers by using WWA guides and WWA's databases on pitches and procurement lists.
5. Become a global movement. We welcome all global brands to start implementing this and activate the thinking in their country in their business procurement practise. We are looking for foundation partners to support this initiative. Please get in touch.
We are currently in STAGE 1 so we invite you to:
Help us by joining in on our research study. If you are a marketer, business leader or represent a corporate business, your insights will be extremely helpful in helping us understand the barriers and benefits of gender fair procurement but your information will be kept anonymous.
Pledge your business’ early commitment to take on gender smart and fair procurement policies. Corporate clients we need to hear from you.
Join our database of female-founded businesses and/or share Women With Agency to spread the word. We are looking to secure funding to build this out, or help from anyone who could donate their resources.