Gov. Polis, Sen. Danielson, Rep. Duran talk with local women business leaders

Roundtable discussion took place Sept. 4

Posted 9/9/19

Meagan Moodie, co-chair of the public policy committee for the Colorado Women's Bar Association, believes a woman should not have to choose between being an awesome mom to be an awesome business …

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Gov. Polis, Sen. Danielson, Rep. Duran talk with local women business leaders

Roundtable discussion took place Sept. 4

Posted

Meagan Moodie, co-chair of the public policy committee for the Colorado Women's Bar Association, believes a woman should not have to choose between being an awesome mom to be an awesome business leader.

“There should be more support for women in the workforce, in general,” Moodie said. “We have a lot to bring to the economy. Women staying in the workforce is better for the state overall.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, joined by Sen. Jessie Danielson, D-Jefferson County, and Rep. Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge, hosted a roundtable discussion with local women business leaders on Sept. 4 in Wheat Ridge.

The purpose of the discussion was to hear ideas on what can be done to remove some of the barriers woman-owned businesses face, Polis told the event's attendees, and to learn about some of the challenges female entrepreneurs face.

Eleven women business owners attended the event, representing a variety of businesses ranging from a solar energy equipment supplier to a brewery. Eight other attendees included men and women from various economic development organizations and business associations, among others.

Some of the discussion was about addressing child care needs, maternity leave and the recently-passed equal pay act.

"When we learn more about the challenges facing Coloradans, we can find solutions – and that is exactly what we did this past session," Danielson said. "We heard stories of people struggling to afford healthcare and women getting paid less than their male coworkers for the exact same work. So, we passed legislation to tackle the high cost of healthcare and make sure that women get equal pay for equal work." 

The conversations were thought-provoking, said Heather Callender-Potters, vice chair and chief business development officer for the Jeffco-based PharmaJet company, because all the women came from a diverse set of backgrounds.

“Local business leaders who are women are impacted by state legislation,” Callender-Potters said. They are “equally given the opportunity to help craft legislation that provides a support system for woman-led or woman-owned businesses.”

Both Danielson and Duran said they feel the roundtable discussion was a success.

"Listening gave us insights on biases in the business world, especially for women of color, lack of representation for women of color, networking challenges, limited access to funding, lack of mentorship, childcare, healthcare and social expectations," Duran said.

"In my opinion, women owning their own businesses are creating jobs, increasing economic stability for our communities and become examples of leadership for our next generation of young girls, while crossing over all socio-economic backgrounds." 

Colorado is an entrepreneurial state, Polis told the Golden Transcript following the discussion.

“Innovation is key for our continued success,” he said, adding that “great ideas came from the discussion.”

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