Representative Don Beyer and Bloomberg Chairman Peter Grauer Launch Initiatives Promoting U.S. Competitiveness with Women’s Economic Empowerment
“Women are the backbone of our economy, and it is time Congress had their back,” Rep. Don Beyer said today as he announced a “Men for Women” House Caucus to promote economic growth through women’s empowerment.
Forty percent of American households with a child under the age of eighteen depend on a woman’s salary as the sole or primary source of income. Women are estimated to make more than seventy percent of all retail purchasing decisions. Women investors are the fastest growing sector making investments on Wall Street.
“As workers, consumers, and investors, women drive the economy,” Beyer added. “Congress is still eighty percent male. This caucus will support initiatives to unleash the power of women to further drive growth -- for the sake of our economic success we will be working to overcome obstacles which hold our economy back.”
The caucus of male members of the U.S. House will introduce and promote policies to further full economic parity and participation of women. It is aimed at taking full advantage of female labor participation and the dividends of making U.S. companies more balanced in their leadership.
“The Men for Women House Caucus exists to empower women in the economy,” said Beyer. “It will sponsor legislation, convene stakeholders, and communicate the economic imperative of moving to greater parity.”
Nearly a century after women earned the right to vote, America still has a gender pay gap, a glass ceiling, and other obstacles to equal economic inclusion.
“These deficits in economic equality represent an opportunity for economic growth – when women succeed, our economy succeeds,” Rep. Beyer added.
A member of the Joint Economic Committee, Beyer pointed to just-released findings by McKinsey and Company that efforts to advance women’s economic equality could improve global GDP by 12 trillion dollars. In the U.S. since the 1970s, female labor participation has accounted for fully a quarter of total GDP growth.
The first caucus initiative announced today is a Corporate Gender Diversity Resolution supporting market-based efforts to boost the participation of women in leadership. A 2012 study by Credit Suisse showed companies with more women on boards were more profitable. The resolution cites private efforts to commit companies to expanding leadership teams to include women.
Beyer was joined by Peter Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg LP and Founding Chairman of the U.S. 30% Club. The Club is a group of business leaders committed to better gender balance at all levels of their organizations through voluntary actions. The club launched in 2014 with an aspirational goal of achieving 30% women on S&P 500 boards by the end of 2020. Today, there are 49 U.S. chairman and CEO members committed to using a range of levers to achieve meaningful, sustainable change. Member Chairmen and CEOs include Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway, Mike Fucci of Deloitte, Larry Fink of BlackRock, Clarke Murphy of Russell Reynolds Associates, and Ursula Burns of Xerox.
Recently, Beyer introduced the Gender Diversity Investment Act, legislation which would allow federal workers to allocate a portion of their 401K accounts to index funds comprised of companies which have substantial numbers of women in leadership positions.