Holly Kaplansky said the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners is not only an organization in which women network and conduct business with one another.
“We also are an organization with a significant public policy position, dealing directly with and representing all of the women business owners in New Jersey to state legislators,” Kaplansky, president of NJAWBO, said.
That is why the longest-standing women business owners’ organization in New Jersey invited Hester Agudosi, chief diversity officer with the New Jersey Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to speak at NJAWBO’s recent annual spring luncheon about upcoming opportunities with the state.
“There is now a concerted effort by the administration to make concrete structural changes to ensure we have a greater and more robust engagement with women- and minority-owned businesses,” Agudosi said.
After being appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy last year as New Jersey’s first chief diversity officer, Agudosi said one of the first things she did was assess all the state departments and agencies regarding their work with women- and minority-owned businesses.
“What I found is that there have not been significant gains since a statewide disparity study was conducted over a decade ago,” she said. “When it comes to state contracting, the number of women-owned businesses …