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Advancing the role of women in technology and business remains top of mind at BT
(3 July 2015)
BT’s Julie Bloecher joined Congressman Don Beyer to introduce new bill to support women in leadership positions
Julie Bloecher, Security Solutions Director for BT Global Services and Chair of Women in Technology’s The Leadership Foundry recently joined Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) as a member of his newly-formed Executive Women's Council for the introduction of a new bill that would allow federal employees to invest in businesses with women in leadership positions.
Congressman Beyer announced the initiative during a press conference with the goal of promoting women’s economic empowerment through the Gender Diversity Investment Act (GDIA). GDIA is estimated to allow the 1.9 million federal employees currently enrolled in the Thrift Savings Plan to invest their retirement savings in companies with a committed history to gender diversity, all without any additional federal funding.
The proposed bill is one example of steps being taken by many advocates to the show the bottom line benefits of women in leadership positions. Research shows that companies with more women in senior management and leadership roles outperform companies that fail to utilize women leaders. Research also shows that gender enlightened companies score higher when being evaluated on organization, leadership, accountability and innovation. Investing in companies with proven histories of empowering women has emerged as a successful business strategy that drives positive economic outcomes.
Bloecher aided in the discussion by sharing research from WIT that showed women held only 12.5 percent of board positions at the 78 Maryland-based public companies, 11.2 percent at the 110 Virginia-based public companies and 13.5 percent at the 15 Washington D.C.-based companies.
WIT’s training and mentoring program, The Leadership Foundry, is designed for senior-level female executives who are interested in joining a corporate board of directors.
The message is clear: gender diversity is good business,” said Bloecher. “Programs like The Leadership Foundry are helping to draw attention to this issue and create dialogue around gender diversity. Representative Beyer’s bill is a positive step towards bringing business more actively into the conversation."
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