Trump & Trudeau on Women in Business

Today President Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held an important meeting with leading female CEOs from both the U.S. and Canada.  The summit included Ivanka Trump who has been influential in promoting women in business for several years.  According to AP reports, the group covered access to maternity leave and childcare, recruiting and retaining women in the workforce, and how to support women entrepreneurs. The duo of heads of state also announced the creation of the United States Canada Council for the Advancement of Women Business Leaders-Female Entrepreneurs.

I am encouraged by the President’s comments following this meeting.  He expressed appreciation for the inherent value of women in the workforce and a made a commitment to address the barriers faced by women entrepreneurs.  Such barriers include access to capital, access to markets, and access to networks. Research has consistently demonstrated that businesses work better when they include a critical mass of women. In the field of entrepreneurship and business ownership, recent survey data reveals that of the nation’s 30 million businesses in 2012, more than a third were women-owned. However, those women-owned firms tended to be smaller than those owned by men and accounted for only 4.8 percent of total receipts. By unlocking the potential of these female business owners, we stand to improve women’s lives and kickstart economic growth.

It’s important for our success as a nation to level the playing field for women. The Women2Women Policy Agenda calls for changing expectations by educating girls for leadership and success. Bringing girls together with high-achieving women improves perceptions of female leaders and weakens stereotypes about gender roles. Teaching leadership skills to girls at an early age empowers them to be better communicators and decision-makers, and makes it more likely that they successfully handle the challenges of relationships, finances, and work.
It is also essential to introduce workplace flexibility standards that empower women to build successful careers and strong families. Despite all of the amazing progress women have made, in many households the duty of raising a family still largely falls on mothers. Women should not have to choose between their jobs and their families and should not be sidelined in the business world for wanting to start a family.

With today’s meeting, two major nations reaffirmed their commitment to advancing gender equality in the workplace and demonstrated that these efforts are of importance at the highest levels of government.  I look forward to our Main Street Republicans working with the Administration to bolster women’s role in business and strengthen our economy.