New York Disparity Study Reveals Need for Change

Image from LAND sds

Image from LAND sds

March 28, 2013

The continued struggle for inclusion is not at an end. Some cities are doing better but not yet has equity or parity been achieved. The disparities among women and people of color are still fraught with challenges, hurdles and disproportionate access to capital, opportunities and C-Suite negotiations, as well as continued developmental work that breeds wealth, capacity and expansion. Studies on  disparity bring working information to engage in stakeholder and shareholder engagement. The report “A Survey of New York City’s Minority and Women Business Enterprises and a Roadmap for Economic Growth” bring voice to the persistent issues reported by Scott Stinger Manhattan Borough President.

“New York City’s procurement system is an immense economic machine —over $10 billion a year spent on everything from paper clips to paving stones, as well as a full spectrum of professional services and capital construction. With its size comes enormous power to boost New York City’s economy, strengthen small businesses, and promote equal economic opportunity in all communities.”

The goal is to integrate green procurement which supports inclusion and a hardy supply chain integration. Green procurement allows procurement professionals to optimize processes and systems in buying nad procurement.

“This report outlines the findings of a first-ever survey of some 500 city-certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs), a statistically-significant sampling with a margin of error +/- 4 percent. The survey lays bare on-the-ground experience of many of these entrepreneurs, who often struggle to navigate the Byzantine procurement process and remain underrepresented in securing city contracts. The report highlights these challenges and provides detailed recommendations for further reform of the City’s M/WBE program.”

“New York has by far the most minority-owned businesses of any city in America—over 403,000—accounting for over 40 percent of all businesses in the City and seven percent of minority-owned businesses nationwide. Women-owned businesses account for nearly one-third of all New York City firms. Immigrants are major contributors in New York City’s economy, making up 44 percent of all workers and 46 percent of the incorporated self-employed.”

“The diversity of New York City’s business community is critical to our economic success. M/WBEs aren’t just a critical component of the City economy; they are increasingly a driver of its growth. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2002 Survey of Business Owners, minority-owned firms grew by 30 percent from 1997-2002, compared to a 10 percent increase for all firms. Despite the successes of minority- and women-owned businesses, they continue to face barriers in the marketplace. M/WBEs remain underrepresented in government contracts and disadvantaged by a lack of access to capital and bonding.”

“In an effort to spur economic growth, promote equal opportunity for M/WBEs, boost innovation, and combat chronic unemployment in many of our communities, federal, state and local governments across the nation have employed M/WBE programs to increase access to government contracts. New York City’s M/WBE program—also known as Local Law 129—was signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg in 2005 and updated in January 2013. Nevertheless, despite significant growth in the number of city-certified M/WBEs.”

Further, women and people of color are challenged to have capital conversations that produce asset building contracts. The mere use of term minority equates to smaller or othered. The work of this study is one voice on the disparities that continue to exist. In consideration, the economic shakeout is generating a greater divide reducing access and economies of scale that create competitive advantages. The role of sustainability is to drive inclusion for intelligence and economic amplification for a better world.

By Dr. Tyra Oldham, LAND sds


LANDsds Sustainable Voice is a news platform to share interconnected ideas, innovation and observation-The Nexuses.

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Posted in Business, Corporate, Economics, Ecosystem, Education, Equity, Global, Inclusion, Innovation, LAND sds, Organizational Change, Sustainability, Sustainable Voice, U.S., Women
2 comments on “New York Disparity Study Reveals Need for Change
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