Diversity is instrumental in substantial growth; yet while recognized among communities and even in the business sector, inequity muddies the waters for businesses seeking government contracts.
Among the businesses that receive $660 billion in government contracts each year, the distribution of contractual awards reflects a sharp contrast in equitable distribution.
The most common ethnicity of government contractors is white (77.4%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (14.4%) and Black or African American (3.5%).
LGBT government contractors only make up 8%.
Further, female government contractors earn only 89 cents for every $1 earned by males.
The benefits of government contracts for private businesses include securing more work and bolstering revenue. However, the bidding process is not always cut and dry, especially for members of marginalized business groups.
Nazeera Dawood, cofounder and CEO of Vendorship Inc., which specializes in assisting businesses to identify and secure government contracts, is a proponent of equal rights.
“That means helping our diverse group of talented clients win lucrative opportunities as government contractors,” she said.
The company advocates for clients and guides them through the maze of red tape.
The lack of equity among government contract awardees stems from factors including unfamiliarity of the process of doing business with the government, cultural inhibitions, absence of a competitive proposal and no track record. Additionally, small businesses belonging to minorities often lack the in-house resources, hindering their response to government contracting opportunities.
“We want to live in healthy, thriving and vibrant communities run by informed, efficient government entities on all levels, enabled by local and hyperlocal talent and innovation,” Dawood said. “All ethnicities, genders and geographies must be championed for resulting in collaborations with qualified, educated professionals and companies to secure these lucrative opportunities.”