Colorado Womenâ€™s Leadership Forum Summary Report 2012 Hosted By: Senator Michael Bennet In Partnership With:
Created by Alchemy Consulting: The Art of Transforming Business, A Women-Owned Company
Report Contents Letter from U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet-------------------------------------------------
Roundtable Summaries and Suggestions - Entrepreneurs & Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation------------------------ Tax Policy to Grow the Economy---------------------------------------------------- Supporting Military Women and Veterans------------------------------------------ Creating Opportunity for Women of Color----------------------------------------- Building a Better Health Care System While Reducing the Deficit-------------
6 8 10 12 14
Conclusions and Next Steps--------------------------------------------------------------------
Appendices: Participant List-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Participant Materials Sent in Advance of the Forum---------------------------------------- 20 References----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
March 1, 2013
Dear Colorado Women’s Leadership Forum Attendees: Thank you for participating in the Colorado Women’s Leadership Forum. You helped make the day a huge success. As you know, last October, over 130 women from around the state came together to talk about how we foster an environment in Colorado that continues to advance and create new opportunities for women in the state. Through your discussions on tax policy, entrepreneurship, health care, veterans and communities of color, you were able to develop policy recommendations that serve as the beginning of a road map for how we work together to advance opportunities for women and families throughout Colorado. The following document provides a summary of the discussions that occurred at the forum. I hope you are able to take a few moments to read the overview and reflect on the conversations of the day. Over the next few months, my office will revisit this report often as we work to align our actions with the suggestions presented by the Roundtables. Your suggestions will guide our next steps as we seek to safeguard Colorado’s future for all. Our office hopes that this is only the beginning of a working relationship that will help take the best ideas from Colorado back to Washington. I learned a great deal from listening to the discussion, and I hope you found the day to be as educational as I did. Thank you again for your participation and for sharing your ideas. I look forward to our continued work on these issues.
Michael F. Bennet United States Senator 3
Executive Summary Last October, Senator Michael Bennet, the University of Denver Women’s College and Alchemy Consulting hosted our first annual Colorado Women’s Leadership Forum. The Forum brought together more than 130 business, political and community leaders from around the state to discuss the challenges and opportunities in further supporting an environment in Colorado that fosters opportunity for women in the state. The forum addressed five broad themes in a roundtable format, including: Preparing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs and Leaders: This Table discussed ways to identify advancement opportunities for female entrepreneurs and leaders living, working and hiring in Colorado. The Table found that creating more opportunity for female entrepreneurs in Colorado meant: (1) encouraging the growth of women-owned small businesses; (2) promoting female leadership in organizations and government; and (3) supporting the pipeline of younger women into leadership positions. Tax Policy to Grow the Economy: This Table discussed the tradeoffs that Congress should consider as it addresses the “fiscal cliff” and focused on the effects that different approaches to deficit reduction will have on women in our local communities and businesses. The participants agreed that stable and sustainable fiscal and tax policies are essential to the growth of women-owned businesses, and they made several recommendations on how to achieve a balanced and manageable policy. Supporting Military Women and Veterans: This Table discussed how to better support military women and veterans living and working in Colorado. The participants discussed how the role of women in the military is rapidly evolving and examined how a swelling veteran population may impact systems of care in our communities. The participants concluded that we should proactively address the needs of our female service members and veterans through public education, and provide new opportunities for education and employment and by acknowledging the unique challenges associated with transitioning out of the military. Creating Opportunity for Women of Color: This Table focused on further developing an environment in Colorado that advances opportunities for women of color and recognizes family as integral to that environment. The Table’s recommendations emphasize the importance of uniting women of color in pursuit of creating more economic opportunity, preserving and creating opportunities in education and aligning federal programs with local need. Building a Better Health Care System While Reducing the Deficit: This Table explored opportunities to lower costs across the health care system. Their recommendations included encouraging and allowing for local innovation, aligning financial resources to save money over the long term and supporting the medical workforce.
In the following pages, there are numerous policy options to address each of the challenges outlined above. Though each of these policy options is worthy of consideration, they might not all have our unanimous support. We should use this document as a starting point for continued discussion on the merits of pursuing each option as we work towards building the right environment in Colorado for women and families to thrive.
Entrepreneurs and Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation Roundtable Summary By the Numbers Women are major drivers of Colorado’s economy: There are approximately 173,000 privately-held women-owned firms that generate roughly $25.3 billion in sales in Colorado. Between 1997 and 2012, a majority of women-owned firms in the US grew at nearly 1.5 the rate of all US privately held firms.1 Women are earning nearly two thirds of all associate degrees and 57% of all bachelor’s degrees. Women are now earning more graduate degrees than men.2 If women entrepreneurs in the U.S. held as much capital as men, they would add an estimated 6 million jobs to the economy in five years — 2 million of those in the first year alone.3 However, women still earn less, own fewer businesses and hold fewer leadership positions: Currently, working women across all ages earn about 77 percent of what their male peers earn. This gap emerges immediately after obtaining a college degree, despite the fact that women continue to graduate at a higher rate (both from undergraduate and graduate programs). Prior to the 2012 election, women accounted for only 17 percent of the members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, despite constituting 56 percent of voters. On a global scale, the U.S. ranks 71st out of 189 countries in terms of the proportion of women in their national legislatures.4 Women fill 41 percent of Colorado’s legislative seats, ranking the state highest in the U.S.5
The Entrepreneurs and Leadership Roundtable focused on identifying advancement opportunities for female entrepreneurs and leaders living, working and hiring in Colorado. The table found that creating more opportunity for female entrepreneurs in Colorado meant: (1) encouraging the growth of women-owned small businesses; (2) promoting female leadership in organizations and government; and (3) supporting the pipeline of younger women into leadership positions. (1) Supporting Women Owned Small Businesses Evaluate and Streamline Barriers to Federal Procurement Contracting: Currently, women business owners who are seeking access to federal procurement contracting must prove their “disadvantaged status” and face contract award price limits. The table participants believed that these requirements may be onerous enough to create barriers for women in certain industries. The committee should review the requirements and find ways to streamline them to encourage more women-owned businesses to compete for federally-funded opportunities.
Incentivize the Funding of Women-Owned Small Businesses: The group recommends supporting legislation that would permit federal contracting officers to award sole-source contracts through a non-competitive process to small businesses that are owned by women who are economically disadvantaged or who own businesses in certain industries where women are considered underrepresented among owners. Facilitate Easier Access to Capital: Like businesses all over Colorado, many women-owned start-ups are struggling to find the capital they need to grow. Colorado continues to compete for venture capital funds that go directly to the coasts, bypassing the middle of the country. Access to venture capital isnâ€™t just a problem for businesses owned by women, this is a problem throughout our multi-state region. The table recommends facilitating better access to venture capital for women-owned businesses.
(2) Advocate for Women in Leadership Positions Make the Business Case for Women in Leadership: Research shows that increasing the representation of women on corporate boards is related to a greater return on investment capital. Gathering additional data that continues to make the case for the benefits of hiring women will provide the necessary evidence to counteract the negative stereotypes and biases that may exist.
(3) Inspiring the Next Generation Identify Opportunities for Mentorship: Successful women are often strong motivators for young women just starting their careers. They also can serve as a guide on how to get into a leadership role. We must all take responsibility for teaching the next generation of women how to lead through the establishment of more mentorship opportunities. Put Our Resources in the Right Place: We need to make sure there are resources dedicated to funding those programs that have been proven to serve as a foundation for leadership, including funding for sports participation and young entrepreneurship instruction.
Tax Policy to Grow the Economy Roundtable Summary By the Numbers The Congressional Budget Office reported that the U.S. economy would slide into a recession as a result of the tax increases and spending cuts that may go into effect in January 2013. CBO estimates that the economy would shrink by 0.5 percent in 2013 in part as a result of these policies, and predicted that this “contraction of the economy will cause employment to decline and the unemployment rate to rise to 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.” With the current fiscal system in the United States, the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction was charged with finding a way to reduce the nation’s long-term deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. The economic downturn has been particularly difficult for state, county and local governments that are trying to provide services to their communities with less tax revenue.6
The vision for the Tax Policy to Grow the Economy Roundtable was to have a robust conversation about the tradeoffs Congress must consider in addressing the long term and economic implications of the debt-deficit (a.k.a. “fiscal cliff”). Participants focused on the effects that these reforms will have on women in our local communities and businesses. The Roundtable participants suggested that Congress needs to pass a balanced plan to address the deficit and fiscal cliff, that we need more certainty in government policy and that we need to make smarter investments in workforce development. (1) A Balanced Plan to Address the Deficit and Fiscal Cliff: Pass a Balanced Plan: The group agreed that even though cutting taxes will raise the confidence of the business community and encourage private spending, tax cuts would not necessarily stimulate growth. The group wanted a balanced and sustainable approach to deficit reduction that will enable us to address the challenge over the long term. The bipartisan group of participants agreed that any final package should include both revenue and mandatory spending reductions. Prioritize Federal Investment by the Return on Investment: The group supports prioritizing our federal investments based on the return we get on our investment. They believed that the return on investment be measured by the overall impact on median family income. Make the Tax Code More Fair and Efficient: Increase revenue by reforming the tax code, making it more efficient and equitable, broadening the tax base, and removing unnecessary exclusions, exemptions and credits in order to ensure that the effective rates are closer to the nominal rates. 8
(2) Certainty in Government Policy Provide a Stable Regulatory Environment: The uncertain fiscal environment is exacerbated by what seems like a constantly shifting regulatory environment. The Colorado federal delegation and the Administration should work together to ensure that regulations stay stable and reasonable over the long term.
(3) Enhance Education, Training and Workforce Development Emphasize the Need for Associates Degrees and Skilled Labor: The recent emphasis on 4-year degrees has shifted focus away from the great need for two-year degree professionals and skilled laborers. We can promote the advantages of these career opportunities by raising awareness about this need, changing perceptions of skilled workers and promoting trade schools and online certification programs. In addition, improving financial literacy among individuals will assist us as we work towards building a more responsible and sustainable future. Target New and Future Investments in Workforce Development Based on the Expected Return on Investment: There are a number of job training programs currently available in the United States. At the national level, we need to identify which programs are effective and working successfully, continue to invest in those, and discontinue programs with poor outcomes.
Supporting Military Women and Veterans Roundtable Summary
By the Numbers There are currently over 403,000 women service members in the Armed Forces and in the Reserves and National Guard. As the military continues to open occupational opportunities for women, they will continue to make up an increasingly larger share of new recruits.7 In 2009, women comprised 8 percent of the total veteran population in the United States (more than 1.5 million). By 2035, they are projected to make up 15 percent of all living veterans.7 In Colorado alone, there are more than 38,000 women veterans. In 2009, working-age women Veterans had higher labor force participation than nonVeteran women, but younger Veterans (17 to 24 years old) were at a 50 percent higher risk of unemployment than non-veteran women.7 Military sexual trauma (MST) is widespread– an estimated 20 to 48 percent of women veterans have been sexually assaulted and up to 80 percent have experienced sexual harassment.8
The vision for the Military Women and Veterans Roundtable was to identify challenges and opportunities to provide a higher level of community awareness and support to military women and veterans living and working in Colorado. The Table discussed the changing roles of military women and the effects the increasing veteran population will have on communities and systems of care. The Table believes we can proactively address the needs of our female service members and veterans by addressing employment and education disparities between veterans and civilians and by acknowledging the unique needs associated with transitioning out of the military.
(1) Incentives for Hiring Veterans Create Tax Incentives for Small Businesses Who Hire Veterans: Small businesses respond to the financial benefits tax incentives yield, potentially increasing the pool of available jobs for all veterans. This group recommends working with small to mid-sized businesses, to identify an incentive plan to improve hiring and retention of women veterans in jobs over the long term.
(2) Facilitating a Smoother Transition Out of the Military Start the Process While Veterans Are Still in the Military: Translating military skills and providing career development while still in the military will ease the transition for veterans from the military to civilian life. This Table recommends gathering data from women veterans and examining “case studies of success” to identify factors that contribute to successful transitions.
Provide Collaborative Care: We need to focus resources on better understanding the unique mental and physical conditions associated with traumatic brain injuries, while also working to proactively address issues related to military sexual trauma. Continuity of care is a recognized strength of a comprehensive care model. Identifying strengths and areas of improvement within our current care systems, as it relates to the specific needs of women veterans, will help ensure the robust continuity of care to which all our service members and veterans deserve. In Colorado, The Peak Military Care Network (PMCN), based in Colorado Springs, was established to ensure that all former and current members of the military and their families receive the highest standard of care for their behavioral health, social services and community integration needs. Additionally, The Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans, locally known as Welcome Home Montrose, is a community initiative based in Montrose, Colorado collaborating across all sectors of the community to build a “no barriers” environment providing jobs, homes, services and recreation for every wounded warrior of America’s Armed Forces. Both of these initiatives are working as collaborative efforts in their communities, serving the health and social needs of service members and veterans, while also working to build community models that can be adapted and replicated in other communities. Better Identification and Adjudication of Sexually Based Crimes: Roundtable participants encourage keeping pressure on the Joint Chiefs of Staff for continued training for all military branches and the timely adjudication of sexually based crimes. Build a VA for the 21st Century: This group advocates that the VA continue to update and expand VA effectiveness, capacity, capability and efficiency to better deal with the changing needs of current veteran populations.
(3) Raising Community Awareness Better Educate the Civilian Population: This Table supports better education of the civilian population regarding the different types of active service members (including army reservists and guards) and the changing perceptions of who is a “veteran.” Participants recommend a coordinated effort to help the broader community understand and benchmark the state of women veterans by county in Colorado. Coalition for Veteran Success: The continued educational success of service members and veterans can be fostered by developing a coalition among state colleges and universities to identify best practices across public and private institutions, whose mission is to support and expand opportunities for the veteran population. This Table recommends the creation of a “community” to meet and understand the needs of women veterans in order to develop a method of collaboration across all disciplines (e.g., medical, educational, etc.). Develop a Set of Best Practices for Hiring Veterans: Highlighting best practices for businesses that are looking to hire veterans will help ensure that veterans are successful when they join the workforce.
Creating Opportunity for Women of Color Roundtable Summary By The Numbers: By 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States.9 Women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and Black women and Hispanic women earn even less (70 cents and 61 cents, respectively).10 Almost two million firms are majority owned by women of color, generating $165 billion in annual revenue and employing 1.2 million people.11 Of the 246 mayors of cities with populations over 100,000 in 2009, six are women of color. At the state level, women of color make up less than 5 percent of the 7,382 state legislators, and only 2 percent of the 314 statewide elected executives.12 The number of master’s degrees earned by women of color doubled from 1997 to 2007, and the number of doctoral degrees they earned increased by 63 percent over the same time period.13
The vision for the Creating Opportunity for Women of Color Roundtable was to further develop an environment that advances and creates opportunities for women of color and their families who are living and working in Colorado. The Table’s recommendations emphasize the importance of uniting women of color in pursuit of creating more economic opportunity, preserving and creating opportunities in education and aligning federal programs with local need. (1) Preserve and Create Opportunities in Education Prioritize Federal Funding to Preserve and Increase Educational Opportunities for All Communities: The Table emphasized that education is the only path out of poverty for some women so federal funding must focus on maintaining and growing educational opportunities for communities of color. Participants recommended the continued support for PELL Grants, supporting summer nutrition programs for low-income students, encouraging young women of color to pursue fields such as science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and championing comprehensive immigration reform. Focus on Early Childhood Education: The Table recommended continued emphasis on a sustainable and equitable foundation for children through early childhood education policies (focusing on 0-5 years). The Table recommended quantifying the economic value of these education proposals and the economic burden to our federal budget if they are not implemented to help make the argument for continued funding. Leverage Public/Private Partnerships in Order to Support Job Preparedness and Career Opportunities Beyond the Classroom: Enhancing educational opportunities may also take the form of leveraging partnerships between public and private organizations. By fostering relationships between businesses and educational institutions, we can further expand learning 12
opportunities for younger students. Allowing students to work in non-profit organizations through work-study programs or increasing funding for paid fellowships will help ensure that students, from all backgrounds, are able to gain valuable experiences and engage with mentors beyond the classroom. (2) Align Federal Processes with Community Need Align Certain Federal Processes With the Needs of Diverse Communities: The Table recommends looking at increasing flexibility around the usage of TANF funds, simplifying small business procurement standards and allowing grant writers to be paid through grant proceeds as three ways to help streamline federal processes to better serve communities of color. Increase Mentorship Opportunities: Across all communities, there is a clear need for mentorship and networks. Table participants stand ready to unite on these common issues as we seek to increase opportunities for women of color, their families and the next generation of leaders.
Building a Better Health Care System While Reducing the Deficit Roundtable Summary By the Numbers: Women make approximately 80% of health care decisions for their families, and are the most likely to provide care for an ill family member.14 If current laws remain in place, spending on the major federal health care programs alone would grow from more than 5 percent of GDP to almost 10 percent in 2037 and would continue to increase thereafter.15 Even as this shift towards providing preventive care occurs, we also recognize that federal health spending is expected to increase from 25 percent of total federal spending to about 40 percent by 2037. Reasons for this increase include an aging population, increased spending on health care technologies and higher costs associated with treating chronic diseases.16 Altogether, the aging population and the rising cost of health care would cause spending on major health care programs and Social Security to grow from more than 10 percent of GDP today, to almost 16 percent of GDP 25 years from now. 15
The vision for this Roundtable was to explore opportunities to lower costs across the health care system. The Table identified potential challenges created as our country faces the growing expense of health care, specifically programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while trying to get our nation’s debt and deficit under control. Their recommendations included encouraging and allowing for local innovation, aligning financial resources to save money over the long term and supporting the medical workforce. (1) Encouraging and Allowing for Local Innovation by Cutting Red Tape Encouraging and Allowing for Local Innovation: The Table emphasized the importance of the federal government providing more flexibility at the state level, which would allow health care services to continue to be innovative at the community level. Keeping care within communities helps maintain consistency in terms of quality and access. The Table recommends increasing state flexibility by allowing states to file comprehensive state-based health care plans with the federal government. These plans will include budget and health metrics, through which local communities can be innovative as they work to meet their stated health targets. Modernize Federal Regulations in Medicare and Medicaid: With the existing demands on the health care system, the federal government must also continue to focus on creating uniformity around regulations and coordinated care, particularly for Medicare and Medicaid.
(2) Driving Payment Reform by Incentivizing Better Quality Drive Reimbursement Reform by Aligning Financial Incentives with Behaviors that Promote Health: Current payment systems focus on increasing the volume of tests performed per patient through the fee-for-service system rather than paying for better quality outcomes. Highperforming health care systems that have moved towards paying for quality need to be the model for moving federal payment systems away from the fee-for-service system. Colorado has incredible examples of how our nation should coordinate patient care. From Rocky Mountain Health Plans on the Western Slope to the University of Colorado at Denver to Denver Health, Colorado is a leader in efficient patient care that lowers readmission rates and health care costs. Programs like Coloradoâ€™s transitions of care model ensure better patient care for our seniors and their families, and help to lower health care costs by reducing readmission rates at hospitals and ensures timely follow-up care as patients move from one setting to another. Dedicate Federal Resources Towards Integration of Care: This Table recommends that current federal resources should be dedicated toward the integration of all aspects of health and wellbeing, not just providing â€œsick care.â€? Provide Comprehensive End-of-Life Planning: Participants identified that by addressing endof-life care with seniors, and by integrating hospice and palliative care into standard health care delivery models, we can provide better quality of life for end-of-life patients, while also reducing future Medicare costs. Promote Comparative Effectiveness Research and Shared Decision Making in Medicare: This group supports increasing patient engagement, requiring comparative effectiveness research, and reassessing pharmaceutical drug pricing policies for federal programs, allowing us to build a health care system that responds to innovation and has greater accountability towards payers, providers, patients and consumers. (3) Increasing Health Care Access through Smarter Investment Accurately Document Current Health Spending: Provider reimbursements can often drive health behaviors and health outcomes, so effectively documenting current health care spending will aid in the implementation of successful incentive and growth structures. Support the Medical Workforce: The cost of medical education continues to rise, and the financial burdens may be deterring students from pursuing medical education, going into primary health, or practicing in underserved areas. The Table recommended looking at ways to attract more people to the profession, especially in underserved areas.
Conclusions and Next Steps The participants at the Colorado Women’s Leadership Forum covered some of the most important issues facing Colorado and the nation. The conversations were insightful and demonstrated a high level of expertise and breadth of knowledge among participating women. Now, it is time to look towards the future and critically analyze all of the ideas and information that was shared. Thank you to all the participants who completed the follow-up survey by providing feedback on the forum. Your feedback and suggestions will help to shape the 2nd Annual Colorado Women’s Leadership Forum. Many participants have already expressed interest in participating on a planning committee or partnering with our office on the 2013 forum. We look forward to hosting a larger event in 2013 that will be open to the broader public, and expand the types of issues we cover while also focusing more closely on specific topic areas. To complete the survey, visit http://www.bennet.senate.gov/womensforumsurvey. As we plan for the coming year, Senator Bennet and his staff will revisit this report often as we work to align our actions with the suggestions presented by the Roundtables. Our office hopes that this is the beginning of a working relationship that will help take the best ideas from Colorado back to Washington. Thank you for your leadership in Colorado, and we hope you’ll join us in 2013 as we work together to make Colorado a place where women and families continue to advance and succeed.
Appendices: Colorado Womenâ€™s Leadership Forum Attendees Dheman Abdi, Center for African Family Integration Carmen Abeyta, Cinco de Mayo Committee Jennifer Anderson, Denver Options Suzanne Arkle Wilson, Zann & Associates, Inc. Louise Atkinson, Women's Foundation of Colorado Jane Barnes, Centura Health Stacy Baum, Clear Bridge Communications Cody Belzley, Colorado Children's Campaign Sue Birch, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Theresa Blumberg, Women Veterans of Colorado Juana Bordas, Circle of Latina Leadership and Institute of Mestiza Leadership Sara Boyd, CoBiz Wealth Cobiz Financial Charisse Boyd McAuliffe, CSU Institute for Entrepreneurship Jane Brock, Colorado Foundation for Medical Care Alison Brown, Navsys Corporation Sue Brown, Home Health Care Grand Valley Lisa Buckley, Aurora Defense Council/American Automation Building Solutions, Inc. Denise Burgess, Burgess Services, Inc. Anne Campbell, U.S. Air Force Academy Dana Capozzella, Colorado Army National Guard Debbie Chandler, Colorado Springs Health Partners Wendy Chao, Colorado Chinese News Pam Chapman, Vet Center Deborah Costin, Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care Sandra Daff, City of Pueblo Sonja Dahmer, The Home Front Cares, Inc. Audrey Danner, Moffat County Dede de Percin, Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Judi Diaz-Bonacquisti, Metro State University Kelly Dunkin, The Colorado Health Foundation Leslie Durgin, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains Montse Edie-Korleski, U.S. Air Force Heather Ehle, Project Sanctuary Sheri Ferguson, Crawford House Janet Fieldman, Pueblo Community Health Center Stephanie Finley, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Elisabeth Arenales, Colorado Center on Law & Policy Jenifer Furda, Colorado Springs Business Journal Cynthia Gallegos, Focus Points Family Resource Center Lynn Gangone, University of Denver Women's College Lorena Garcia, Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, City and County of Denver Perla Gheiler, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 17
Nicole Glaros, TechStars Boulder Katie Groke Ellis, The White House Project Sandy Gutierrez, Pueblo Latino Chamber of Commerce Elma Hairston, Dynamic Images Gretchen Hammer, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved Marjie Harbrecht, Health TeamWorks Linda Harmon, Women's Vision Foundation Jackie Harriman, Western Regional Liaison Office Rosemary Harris, Colorado Springs Branch NAACP Khadija Haynes, KKH Consulting Anna Jo Haynes, Mile High Montessori Happy Haynes, Denver Public Schools Carol Hedges, Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute Shawnee Huckstep, TechWise Judi Ingelido, El Paso County Shelly Kalkowski, U.S. Air Force Tanya Kelly-Bowry, University of Colorado Cyndi Koan, Public Service Credit Union Karren Kowalski, Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence Ranelle Lang, Greeley School District 6 Tiffani Lennon, University of Denver Julia Levy, BP Johanna Leyba, University of Denver Marsha Looper, Colorado House of Representatives Peggy Lore, University of Colorado Denver Cheryl Lucero, Hispanic Chamber Education Foundation Donna Lynne, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan for Colorado Tish Maes, Webb International Consulting Denise Maes, ACLU Lilly Marks, Anschutz Medical Campus Donna Marshall, Colorado Business Group on Health Jan Martin, City of Colorado Springs Barbara Martinez, Department of Veterans Affairs Denver Regional Office Dayna Matthew, University of Colorado School of Law Cheryl McClenton, Pueblo Veterans Center Alicia McConnell, U.S. Olympic Committee Carmen Medrano, Pico National Mona Merchant Paula Miller, Pikes Peak Library District Melanie Mills, Higher Ground, Inc. Joanna Murray, Women's Vision Foundation Ami Nawrocki, City of Pueblo Gloria Neal, CBS Denver 4 Keyontha Nelson, University of Denver Amber Nicodemus, Cognogenesis Brrain Center Brain-Injury Resource Research Advocacy & Integration Network 18
Dana Niemela, Department of Human Services Stephanie O'Malley, Office of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock Pam Patton, Colorado Public Utilities Commission Kelly Peters, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation Jenny Pickett, CSU Adult Learner and Veterans Services Maureen Pierce-Smile, AARP Patty Powell, University of Denver, Sturm College of Law Portia Prescott, Prescott Group Yolanda Quesada, Latino Community Foundation of Colorado Holli Reibel, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Nancy Reichman, University of Denver Melissa Reynolds, Diazamed, Inc. Mary Ricketson, University of Denver Julie Rodriguez, Steelworks Museum and CF&I Archives Jessica Sanchez, Colorado Community Health Network Maria Sanchez Nicola Sapp, El Paso County Sally Schaefer, Colorado Health Foundation Tisha Schuller, Colorado Oil and Gas Association BJ Scott, Peak Vista Community Health Foundation Victoria Scott-Haynes, Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated Denver Chapter Christine Shapard, Colorado Cleantech Industry Association Nicole Skogg, Spyderlynk Bev Sloan, The Denver Hospice Catherine Smith, University of Denver Ashley Smith, Office of Senator Mike Johnston Rhonda Solis, Hispanic Women of Weld County Edie Sonn, Colorado Center for Improving Value in Health Care April Speake, The Home Front Cares, Inc. Jessica Sweeney, Paralyzed Veterans of America Gloria Tanner, Former State Senator Faye Tate Wilson, CH2M Hill Trish Thomas, Trish Thomas Consulting Mary Ann Villarreal, University of Denver LoAn Vo, W.G. Nielsen & Co. Carita Watson, IBM Global Services Elbra Wedgeworth, Denver Health Colette West, Global Refugee Center Leanne Wheeler, Wheeler Advisory Group Sarah White, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Penny Whitney, Whitney Electric Christy Whitney, Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado Laura Williams, Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health Faye Wilson Karen Zink, Southwest Womenâ€™s Health Associates
Participant Materials Sent In Advance of the Forum: Entrepreneurs and Leaders: Preparing the Next Generation Using the information and possible discussion topics listed below, we hope to explore and discuss the challenges, opportunities and possible implementation strategies to further develop an environment that encourages and fosters the creation of organizational growth and advancement for female entrepreneurs and leaders, whose success play a vital role in Colorado’s economic future. Possible Discussion Topics
Operating Environment – Are the rules of the game fair and appropriate for your organization? The Colorado Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report reveals overall employment growth in Colorado, but there is uncertainty surrounding the elections and spending sequestration. What’s more, the report shows Colorado leaders’ expectations for national economic growth are declining. However, women entrepreneurs and leaders are in unique positions to influence organizational growth and sustainability. Networking and Partnerships – What can we learn from the “good ol’ boys” structure? When it comes to launching new ventures, employing Americans and generating dollars, women-owned businesses are a boon to the U.S. economy. The Center for Women’s Business Research estimates that there are 223,347 privately-held women-owned firms that generate roughly $37 billion in sales in Colorado. In the nonprofit sector, women make up 45 percent of the CEOs and Executive Directors at the nonprofits that impact our local communities. With this in mind, there is a clear opportunity for a multiplier effect if we can increase the networking and cross-sector partnerships, particularly among women. The Future Looks Bright – How do we develop a strong farm team (the next generation)? In 2012, the Fortune 500 rankings of the largest corporations in the United States, includes a record 18 firms led by female CEOs. This is up from 12 companies in 2011. Though this year marks a new high for female CEOs, women still run just 3.6 percent of Fortune 500 companies. And one in 10 Fortune 500 corporations, have no women on their boards. However, there is a large pipeline of women coming into leadership positions and now women are earning nearly two thirds of all associate degrees and 57% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to undergraduate students. Similarly, women are now earning more graduate degrees than men (earning about 50.5 percent of master's degrees, law degrees, doctoral degrees, and other graduate degrees).
Tax Policy to Grow the Economy Using the information and possible discussion topics listed below, we hope to explore and discuss the obstacles, opportunities and possible implementation strategies to improving and understanding the consequences of these reforms for Colorado.
Possible Discussion Topics
The “Fiscal Cliff”—What are the consequences for businesses and communities? In January, we may face the combination of tax increases and spending cuts, the “fiscal cliff”, as we near the deadline created under the Budget Control Act of 2011. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the U.S. economy would slide into a “significant recession” as a result of these tax increases and spending cuts. CBO estimates that the economy would shrink by 2.9 percent in the first half of 2013 and by 0.5 percent for the whole year. Government Services and Programs—Where can we cut? What do we need? With the current financial system in the United States, the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction was charged with finding a way to slash the nation’s government spending by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. Spending cuts and/or tax reforms will need to occur somewhere. Tax Incentives—What are your priorities? The Federal Government has often used the tax system to partner with the private sector for economic development initiatives. These incentives are also known as “tax expenditures.” A variety of tax expenditures aim to lure or keep companies and sectors within the United States (e.g., manufacturing tax credit, wind production tax credit, oil and gas capital expense tax credit), and provide individuals benefits to support various economic activity (e.g., home mortgage interest deduction, child tax credit, electric car tax credit). In addition, coherent incentives support private investments in specific communities.
Supporting Military Women and Veterans The roles of military women are changing as more women are actively serving and the military continues to open occupational opportunities. The continually changing roles of women in the military, multiple deployments, and the blurring of combat and non-combat operations suggest that future outcomes and needs of these women may be quite different from their predecessors. Along with changing roles of military women, there is an increasing population of female veterans. Currently, women comprise about 8 percent of the total veteran population, but by 2035, they are projected to make up 15 percent of all living Veterans. Over the past year, Senator Bennet convened Colorado Military and Veterans Forums in Denver, Colorado Springs, and rural areas around the state. The goal of these forums was to identify ways to make Colorado the best state for service members, veterans and their families to live and work. The forum brought together a diverse group of stakeholders. The participants of these forums prepared a report “Better Serving Those Who Have Served”, which attempted to identify the major challenges and present specific policy options for consideration. As a follow up to the Colorado Veterans Forum events, Senator Bennet created a Veterans Work Group to serve as a group of community leaders who worked to prioritize the findings in the report. The Group has been meeting over the past year to prioritize and move forward on the recommendations in the report. We are proud of the progress we have made towards meeting those recommendations over the past year. Now, we want to challenge the participants of this roundtable to look at this report through the lens of a female service member and/or veteran. We hope to have a conversation about the progress we have made and what other suggestions you have as we seek to serve our military women and veterans. Using the information and possible discussion topics listed below, we will explore and discuss the challenges, opportunities and possible implementation strategies for reform regarding the changing roles of military women and growing population of women veterans. Possible Discussion Topics
Women Veterans in Transition—Raising Awareness and Educating Communities. As more women veterans return home, we need to work together to find a way to make the transition easier. For example, according to a report released by the General Accounting Office, the number of homeless female military veterans more than doubled from 2006 to 2010. Employment and Career—Putting our Warriors to Work. In 2009, working-age women veterans had higher labor force participation than non-veteran women, but younger veterans (17 to 24 years old) were 50 percent more likely to be unemployed compared to non-veteran women. This data suggests that veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq face greater risk of unemployment than previous generations. Education—Easing Access and Improving Experiences. In 2009, about 284,000 women veterans used their Montgomery GI Bill benefits; this represented about 19 percent of the total population of women veterans. Importantly, women veterans generally have a higher level of educational attainment compared to non-veteran women, but 47 percent of veteran
women list “some college” as their highest level of education compared to 32 percent of nonveteran women. Work/Life Balance—Valuing and Providing Support. Women veterans are often in the position of caregiver when they return home, but (as with their male counterparts) many will find that realigning the work/life balance as a family may not be easy. Research shows that children are especially affected by repeated separations from their parents, and by how well their parent/caregiver has handled deployments. Health Care, Access and Benefits—Distinct Needs of Women. A recent Army task force concluded that the military is falling short in providing equal health care for women who are actively serving in the U.S. Military. Women veterans have unique health care needs compared to their male counterparts. These differences include access to OB/GYN services and breast cancer screenings. In addition, military sexual trauma (MST) is widespread (an estimated 20 to 48 percent of women veterans have been sexually assaulted and up to 80 percent have experienced sexual harassment). Research shows that women with MST are more likely to experience mental health conditions, including PTSD.
Creating Opportunity for Women of Color By 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority among the general population of the United States and we hope to focus on the importance of economic opportunity for women of color as we continue to experience a challenging economy. More women than ever are now the primary wage earners in households across the country yet men continue to earn higher wages. Research shows that women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and Black women and Hispanic women earn even less. However, women of color currently make up about 33 percent of the female workforce. Almost two million firms are majority owned by women of color, generating $165 billion in annual revenue and employing 1.2 million people. Economic opportunities rise from a strong foundation, partially built in education and in networks of support from the local to federal level. Using the information and possible discussion topics listed below, we hope to explore and discuss the obstacles, opportunities and possible implementation strategies that focus on economic advancement and creating opportunities for women of color. We are interested in extending this lens to discuss the role of education and access to federal resources in fostering this economic advancement. Possible Discussion Topics: How should we support women of color to foster economic success in a changing fiscal environment?
Educational Opportunity—Enhancing Support and Improving Experiences. Women of color have seen the most advances in educational attainment, and women among most racial and ethnic groups are receiving degrees at higher rates than men. But women of color continue to experience setbacks in breaking into more lucrative fields such as science and have lower graduation rates in comparison to Anglo women. Accessing Limited Federal Resources—The Delivery of Services and Grantmaking. With the current financial system in the United States, the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction was charged with finding a way to slash the nation’s government spending by $1.2 trillion over the next ten years. Spending cuts and/or tax reforms will need to occur somewhere. As such, over the last several years the number of organizations, nonprofits, educational institutions and companies applying for federal grants has increased, while the pool of funding has not, making them much more competitive. In addition, there are potential obstacles for small nonprofits and organizations that may not have the resources to devote their time and effort to searching, applying and complying for federal grants.
Building a Better Health Care System While Reducing the Deficit National health spending is projected to continue to grow faster than the economy, increasing from 18 percent of the economy to about 25 percent by 2037. Even with the new health care law, federal health spending is expected to increase from 25 percent of total federal spending to about 40 percent by 2037. Reasons for this increase include an aging population, increased spending on health care technologies and higher costs associated with chronic diseases. Using the information and possible discussion topics listed below, we will explore and discuss the challenges, opportunities, and possible implementation strategies to further develop an environment that encourages, advances, and fosters the creation of new opportunities to lower health care costs across the system and support our nation’s earned benefits programs. Possible Discussion Topics
Health Care Innovations—Investing in Progress. There continues to be progress on innovative payment and delivery reforms in health care, at the state and national levels. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Innovation Center were created to advance innovative approaches and reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Innovation Center includes models of change through Accountable Care Organizations, electronic health records, and medical homes. Challenges in Health Care—Addressing Spending. Even with attempts to control health care costs, the Congressional Budget Office projects that federal health spending may grow from 5.6% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2011 to about 9.4% of GDP by 2035. It is important to identify the contributing factors to this increased spending. Implementation Goals—Creating Actionable Items. The federal government and health care stakeholders continue to look for methods to implement and achieve the goals of increased access to health care, higher quality care, and reducing costs. Moving forward, there will continue to be attempts to realize these goals. What can be done to actually implement these goals, rather than just discussing and proposing ideas?
American Express, The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, October 2012 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, The Condition of Education 2012 (NCES 2012–045), Indicator 48 3 Babson College, The Center for Women’s Leadership, Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2008 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship, 2008 4 The White House Project Report: Benchmarking Women’s Leadership, 2009 5 The Denver Post, Women filling 41 percent of Colorado’s legislative seats, highest rate in U.S., February 2011 6 The Budget for Fiscal Year 2013, Cutting Waste, Reducing the Deficit, and Asking All to Pay Their Fair Share 7 Department of Veterans Affairs, American’s Women Veterans, November 2011 8 Foster, L., & Vince, S. (2009), California's women Veterans: The challenges and needs of those who serve. California Research Bureau, California State Library, www.library.ca.gov/crb/09/09-009.pdf 9 Center for American Progress, Progress 2050: New Ideas for a Diverse America, October 2011 10 National Women’s Center, Equal Pay, http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/employment/equal-pay 11 National Association of Women Business Owners 12 Center for American Women and Politics 13 Center for American Progress, Progress 2050: The State of Women of Color in the United States, July 2012 14 Colorado Indigent Care Program, Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/HCPF/HCPF/1214299805914 15 Congressional Budget Office, The 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook, http://www.cbo.gov/publication/43288 16 Center for American Progress, Cutting Health Care Costs: Leading Experts Propose Bold Solutions, August 2012 2
A summary report from Senator Michael Bennet's 2012 Women's Leadership Forum in Colorado.