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5th in a series
Heidi Hartmann's picture

Ensuring that a growing economy is equitable and benefits all workers is an important policy priority for all elected officials. Given that women’s earnings and economic security are central to the health and well-being of U.S. households and the overall economy, each election cycle presents an opportunity to highlight the policies that would help women have access to the jobs and benefits workers need to ensure economic security for themselves and their families.

This post is the fifth in a series outlining eight key policy priorities that are critical for increasing women’s economic opportunities and securing their futures. This was originally published on the IWPR website.


Entrepreneurship and business ownership can bring women increased control over their work lives and greater financial opportunity and security. While women make up a growing share of U.S. entrepreneurs, with the number of women-owned firms increasing dramatically, the large majority have no other employees and are less likely to hold any intellectual property than men-owned businesses, leading to smaller sales/receipts. Increasing gender and racial/ethnic diversity in patenting, innovation, and commercialization, therefore, is essential to women’s economic security.


Action steps to support female entrepreneurs include:


■ Increase funding and support for programs working to increase gender and racial diversity in patenting, innovation, and commercialization;


■ Support programs that increase girls’ access to STEM and other non-traditional fields;


■ Support improved data collection on women entrepreneurs and patent holders, allowing for disaggregation by gender, race and ethnicity.

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