WITI Promotional Article
Article written to coincide with the launch of the WITI Marketplace, a directory of women-owned and women-friendly small businesses and services. Appeared in the Dec. 2, 2003, issue of the "WITI Strategist", WITI's semi-monthly newsletter. Also appears on WITI's site.
Creating our own Economy

Perhaps you've noticed a trend? WITI hosted An Evening With Tom Peters, and we learned how "Women Rule." Women are the power behind 83% of all consumer purchasing decisions and a growing number of corporate choices. Women are more intuitive and work more willingly with collaboration, two traits required by the economy of the future. However, the recently launched WITI Watch confirms that corporate America is still not taking seriously the contributions or potential of women. Women hold less than 15% of board chairs in Fortune 500 companies, most of them at toy and cosmetic companies.

It's time to start taking charge, initiating the changes we want to see, doing something about "the way things are" and helping each other in the process. Women's groups can lament about the dismal statistics (only 2% of the top business echelon are women) and glass ceilings, but no number of symposia, scholarly papers or political statements are going to change anything. Change comes from individual decisions to act, to use our business and consumer dollars to support women-owned businesses and companies whose actions (not press releases) clearly indicate a commitment to making women equal partners.

Think of a stream of water. It can be channeled, controlled, made to serve the will of another. It can also burst a dam and be a force for change, reshaping the entire landscape. What kind of impact could we as women make if we burst the dam? Consider what might happen if each of us decided we were no longer willing to support companies whose antiquated policies and practices continue to leave us outside the boardroom. What might change if each of us did everything possible to support and fuel the success of businesses that applaud and delight in the contributions of women, businesses that are committed to recognizing women as natural leaders and team members who will deliver noteworthy accomplishments?

WITI is interested in finding solutions to the challenges we face, not in complaining about what isn't working and what hasn't changed. We want to focus on what can work, what must change. Why spend our precious time being mad when anger won't sustain the changes we want; feminists have been mad for decades or centuries, depending where you mark the beginning of feminism. If the economy is not working, let's create our own!

That's what the WITI Marketplace is all about, creating our own economy. Open for the participation of all WITI members and for browsing by everyone, the Marketplace is one way WITI is creating change. All the businesses in the Marketplace support WITI and its mission. Anyone who comes to the Marketplace can be confident they are supporting women-friendly businesses and enabling the creation of a more egalitarian economy, one that recognizes the contributions of all its participants.

The WITI Marketplace is a wonderful opportunity to support women-owned and women-friendly businesses. Shop here for the holidays and birthdays; hire the services being offered. Give these businesses a chance to prove that they want to be and offer the best. If you are a WITI member and own your own business, register your business in the WITI Marketplace today. Do you know someone with a woman-owned or women-friendly business? Encourage her to register as well. Help us get the word out to attract customers and support for the businesses listed.

The WITI Marketplace is an opportunity to make a difference and use our dollars to support women and companies that support women. We cannot wait for the changes we want to happen; we must wrest control from the status quo and reshape the world. Our decision to make a conscious effort to buy products and services in the Marketplace is an important step towards reshaping the our future.

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