March marks an opportunity to participate in two significant celebrations: Women’s History Month and B Corp Month. On social media, the companies and business owners I follow use the time to spotlight crucial elements of progress, collaboration, and impact. It’s an opportune time to reflect on the strides made in gender equality, sustainable business practices, along with how far we still have to go.

For this month, I want to highlight the other women-owned and B Corp companies I have started new collaborations with to showcase not only the history of these movements but the future.

Women’s History Month: Honoring Trailblazers and Driving Change

Women’s History Month serves as a tribute to the contributions of women throughout history and contemporary society. It’s a time to acknowledge the achievements of trailblazers who have broken barriers, shattered glass ceilings, and paved the way for generations to come.

In the realm of business, women have played pivotal roles in shaping industries, driving innovation, and fostering inclusive workplaces.

One innovation that has served me well during the pandemic and beyond comes from a certified WBE company, Sugarwish.  Sugarwish allows you to send someone an email that you’re thinking of them, then THEY pick a gift or treat that is sent to them at home.  Sometimes, you want to send a small pick me up but finding their address, particularly when many people went remote, introduces a friction that slows me down so that I can miss the moment. With Sugarwish,  I can instantly send a celebration or sympathy note and the recipient can privately enter their information.

I found out that Sugarwish was certified when they sent out an email on International Women’s Day and I was thrilled, along with being a little bit more likely to send a treat from them in the future.

My Women’s History Month

A beige background with a graphic of diverse group of women in silhouette. Above the images are the words. It's about more than a fair paycheck. Equity Pay Day is March 12, 2024.

Women’s History Month is not just about celebrating past accomplishments; it’s also about recognizing the ongoing struggle for gender equality and advocating for positive change. Despite significant progress, women still face barriers to equal representation, pay equity, and leadership opportunities in many sectors.

Four smiling women in front of a big screen with the word EmpowHER behind them

On March 7, the day before International Women’s Day, I spoke at EmpowHER, an event hosted by Maryland Women’s Business Development Center which featured local resources for women business owners.  With my friends Deena Parker from WBEC DMV and Laura Gutierrez from the Comptroller of Maryland, we outlined the benefits, processes and ways to leverage the different women’s business certifications that are available.

Although the attacks on diversity and inclusion are making news, many organizations from the government to the private sector are committed to diversity and sustainability in their supply chains.

A zoom screen with a uniform black background and 10 speakers on the screen.

On International Women’s Day, I had the opportunity to speak at the Global Chamber of Business Leaders’ annual International Women’s Day virtual conference titled, “Exclusively About Inclusivity: Speaking On Solutions (SOS).

With my colleagues from the Association of Business Women in Commerce and Industry (ABWCI), I spoke about the importance of inclusion for people with disabilities and got the chance to shout out one of my favorite organizations, Disability:IN.

And we’re only halfway through! I’m headed to the WBENC National Conference next week and had the opportunity to speak on a WBEC -DMV panel on how to prepare.  I look forward to connecting in real life with a lot of the business owners I’ve only seen via zoom in the past year.

B Corp Month: Empowering Businesses for Good

B Corporations, or B Corps, are a new kind of business entity that balances purpose and profit. These companies are certified by the nonprofit B Lab for meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. B Corps operate with the belief that business can be a force for good, not just profit.

B Corp Month celebrates the growing community of businesses committed to using their power and influence to create positive social and environmental impact. These companies prioritize people and planet alongside profit, embedding sustainability and ethical practices into their core business models.

A black background with the words B Corp Month 2024 and then the words Working Together. The logos for two B Corps appear Happy and 12PointFive and the whole image is surrounded by arrow signs.

So Happy Together!

One example of the B Corp community in action is the work I did for Happy.   Happy Ltd is a multi award-winning B Corp, offering workplace consultancy, leadership, personal development, and IT software training. Their aim is for your people to find joy in at least 80% of their work!

Happy and 12PointFive found each other in the B Hive, a list serve for B Corps. From there they contracted with 12PointFive on a project that wrapped up in January. It was a thrill and an honor to be trusted with this exceptional group to highlight their skills.

Partnership and Social Impact: Bridging the Gap

The convergence of Women’s History Month and B Corp Month highlights the synergy between gender equality and sustainable business practices. Both movements emphasize the importance of partnership, collaboration, and collective action in driving meaningful change.

Women-owned and led B Corps exemplify this synergy, embodying the principles of empowerment, equity, and sustainability. These businesses prioritize diversity, inclusivity, and social impact, recognizing the interconnectedness of gender equality and sustainable development.

By championing partnership and social impact, women-owned B Corps inspire others to follow suit, demonstrating that business can be a force for positive change. Together, we can build a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable future for all.

Working toward the future

I have been really impressed with the B Corp community. Since becoming certified in October of 2023, I have met a wonderful community through We The Change, the women’s network of women-led B Corps, I worked with Happy, and I partnered with another WBENC and B Corp certified company to help companies on their sustainability journey.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month and B Corp Month, I’m pleased to honor the achievements of women past and present, and recommit ourselves to creating a world where businesses prioritize people and the planet alongside profit. Through collaboration, innovation, and a shared commitment to social impact, I look forward to working with these companies and others to make a bright future for women.