Business WomanAre Women a Minority? And does it matter?

Receiving the designation as a minority owned business can come with advantages, particularly when it comes to government contracting. I’ll go into more details of government contracting at a future date, but today we’re going to pick on women. So, let’s address the question: Are women a minority?

First, let’s talk about the definition of minority. Minority status refers to a group of individuals who are underrepresented in the population. Technically speaking, women represent approximately half the population (at least in the United States). So, it’s difficult to call them minorities in the general sense. However, minority can also refer to status. If for say Group A (despite their ratio of representation in the population) is subordinate to Group B, Group A could be considered a minority.

In the world of business, particularly government contracting, minority status refers to individuals who fit into one of two categories: economically or socially disadvantaged.

Economic Disadvantage – Money poor, government rich

Qualifying as an economic disadvantage minority owned business is typically a case by case situation. This typically involves a review of the majority owner’s personal financial information, as well as a statement explaining the economic disadvantage. One caveat of this designation is the individual must already be designated as socially disadvantaged, which I’ll discuss next.

Social Disadvantage – More than skin deep

When it comes to social disadvantages, it typically refers to ethnicity. For government contracting, those who are African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans fit into the category as a rule. However, even those who don’t identify with those ethnic groups may still be able to receive a the minority owned business status, if they can show evidence. This clause is where women might find themselves receiving the minority owned business status.

Some industries are heavily dominated by men. For example, the trucking and oil industries tend to be male dominated fields. As such, a women opening a business in those fields may find they face social disadvantages and/or even discrimination. In this case, they may find themselves qualifying as a minority owned business under the federal government’s definition.

Government Procurement Word CloudIt’s good to be a woman

If you are a women, but don’t qualify as a Minority Owned Business, there are still other opportunities and resources available in government contracting. For example, there is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) designation, which gives women business owners an advantage in some contracting situations.

So, that’s the answer to the question of women being a minority.

I talked a bit about government contracting, also known as government procurement, but I didn’t go very deep into details. Mostly because I’m curious to know what you all thing without receiving too many details.


So, what type of services do you or would you see yourself offering to the government?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]