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Female business-owners in Tucson push for representation

Female business-owners in Tucson push for representation
Posted at 6:51 AM, Nov 23, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — More American women are participating in the workforce than ever before, but working from home in the pandemic might have stalled that progress. The Arizona Tech Council is one of the largest technology-driven trade associations in the United States. It represents a large range of technology companies, many of which are trying to hire more women.

“There’s just not as many female candidates,” said Julie Bonner, Chair of the AZ Tech Council's Women in the Workforce Committee.

Julie Bonner says she’s the only woman in her Tucson tech start-up.

“I think we want a diverse culture in our company and so does this community so I think the challenge is finding women and bringing us together," Bonner said.

Bonner’s also the chair of the Arizona Tech Council’s Women in the Workforce Committee. It’s a group of Tucson women trying to advocate for representation in the workforce.

“That was the most important thing, that I needed to put myself out there and say ‘This is why this role is missing, this is what it needs to look like, and how I can fulfill it,'” said Kate Medicus, CEO of Ruda-Cardinal.

That’s been especially difficult during the pandemic.

“The pandemic has had a tremendous impact on the presence of women and the retention of women, and that worries me,” said Daisy Jenkins, President of Daisy Jenkins and Associates, LLC.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.6 million women left the workforce in the last two years. That’s 400,000 more women than men, and not many are returning.

“Women had to deal with kids out of school, lack of childcare," Jenkins said. "And even though we’ve progressed where there’s a greater presence of women in the workforce, some of the issues are still there.”

That’s why Jenkins and other female leaders in Tucson are recruiting women to their businesses.

“I've always believed, as you climb you have to reach back," Jenkins said. "Because sometimes you need someone who is at the table to speak on your behalf.

Click here to learn more about the Women in the Workforce Committee.