Reverse discrimination is alive and well among large corporations which offer access to women’s businesses that results in a high volume of commerce for female-controlled firms. The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council “Top Corporations” program honors companies for “world-class programs that create level playing fields for women’s business enterprises to compete for corporate contracts.”
“Our Top Corporations are world-class leaders generating growth through partnerships with women’s business enterprises,” said Linda Denny, president and CEO of WBENC. That may be good news for women’s business enterprises, but bad news for companies that compete with them.
The WBENC 2009 list of 21 companies includes:
Accenture, Alcatel-Lucent (ALU), AT&T Inc. (T), Avis Budget Group, Inc. (CAR), Chevron (CVX), Dell (DELL), Energy Future Holdings, Ernst & Young LLP, Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), IBM (IBM), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Manpower, Marriott International, Inc. (MAR), Microsoft (MSFT), Office Depot (ODP), PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Pfizer Inc. (PFE), Shell Oil Company, The Home Depot (HD), UPS (UPS), and Verizon (VZ).
Most of the companies have few women on their board of directors. Pepsi is run by Ms. Indra Nooyi.
A look at the WBENC Corporate Members list shows that the overlap between the winners and the Members is disturbingly high. A number of the winners are also WBENC Board Members. Dues for the Members run between $6,000 and $30,000.
Perhaps the money helps to pay for the awards.
Douglas A. McIntyre