New Platform Gives Women in Business A New Voice in the 2016 Election

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Women Impacting Public Policy and Personal BlackBox Collaborate to Launch WE Decide 2016 to Give Women in Business a New Voice in the 2016 Election

 Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is excited to announce the launch of WE Decide 2016, a new initiative in collaboration with our partner Personal BlackBox (PBB) which aims to engage women in business in the 2016 election. WE Decide 2016 provides women with an opportunity to privately share their opinions via an array of polls, issues surveys, and discussion questions on the issues that matter most to them, their families and their businesses through our unique online platform.

With female presidential contenders from both the Democrat and Republican parties, the 2016 election is shaping up to be another historic battle in pessimism vs. optimism. According to a national online survey of women in business, three-fourths (75%) of the respondents are dissatisfied with the job that Congress is doing to address issues that are impacting women and women business owners, yet 63 percent are hopeful for the future of our country. However, nearly half (48%) of respondents feel that if a male president is elected, they will not receive the same access to economic opportunities and climate for success as they would if a female president were elected.

WE Decide 2016, in partnership with leading business organizations, aims to educate the candidates, the media and voters on the concerns of women entrepreneurs. Our goal to galvanize more than 100,000 women to take part in the WE Decide 2016 platform to voice their needs, opinions and ideas. We need your help to reach this goal!

Women in business, like you, can visit the WE Decide 2016 website – www.WEDecide2016.org – to unlock your personal polling station and confidentially take quick polls on hot topics from the campaign trail, respond to in depth issue surveys, and participate in our “Tell Us!” section to express your unique perspective on the challenges you face. Participants control their personal data and unlike other polling and survey sites, the information you share with WE Decide 2016 will never be sold to anyone. With the anonymous polling data, WE Decide 2016 will take collective wants, needs and opinions directly to the candidates to influence future policies.

WE Decide 2016 participants can also learn about breaking election news, where the candidates stand on economic issues and get advice on how women can get involved in the political process and become an advocate for the issues impacting their businesses. The WE Decide 2016 Profiles highlight the personal story behind the issues, allowing visitors to hear directly from women in business.

Don’t forget to join us on social media! You can share the results of WE Decide 2016 surveys with candidates and spread the word to your network by utilizing the hashtag #WEDecide2016. Also, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Leveraging insight, secure poll data and user comments, WE Decide 2016 will publish a Women in Business Policy Priorities report prior to the national conventions to encourage political parties and their candidates to prioritize and discuss issues of significance to women entrepreneurs. Make sure your voice is included by participating in WE Decide 2016 today and signing up to receive alerts on new polls and engagement opportunities.

Together. WE Decide 2016.  To learn more and engage in WE Decide 2016, visit wedecide2016.org.

3 Ways Employee Policies Can Protect Your Business

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By Kristen Prinz, Founder and Managing Partner of The Prinz Law Firm

A study by specialty insurer Hiscox was recently published finding that U.S.-based companies have at least an 11.7 percent chance of facing an employment law charge. The study claims that the average cost for small and mid-sized businesses to defend these claims is $125,000. That’s a lot of money. It makes having effective employee policies all the more important.

On November 16, 2015, at 1:00 pm CST, I will be presenting the webinar 10 Employee Policies that Minimize Business Risk for WIPP and the WBDC. Participants will learn about 10 policies that can help businesses avoid the $125,000 average. Here are three ways that these polices can help protect your business:

  1. Address claims before they become lawsuits.

Employee policies can provide employees with an internal method to resolve a potential claim. Businesses can use policies to encourage and require that concerns about discrimination, harassment or even wage issues be reported. Knowing the concerns of your employees puts an organization in a much better position to swiftly resolve an issue that could otherwise become a lawsuit.

  1. Show the government your business is committed to compliance.

Having anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies shows the EEOC that your business has taken a stance against discrimination and retaliation. Similarly, an effective time keeping policy can show the DOL that your business is taking appropriate steps to comply with wage laws. These policies can bolster a defense when an agency audits your business or investigates a claim.

  1. Create a positive workplace culture.

Your business shouldn’t just have policies; it should abide by them and enforce them. Having well publicized policies that demonstrate your business’s dedication to a positive workplace is one of the best ways to deter employment law claims. Employees are far less likely to sue an employer they believe supports and values them.

To learn about the 10 policies that can help your business (i) address claims before they become lawsuits, (ii) show the government your business is committed to compliance, and (iii) create a positive workplace culture, register now for the WIPP and WBDC webinar 10 Employee Policies that Minimize Business Risk.

It’s Time to Lift America’s Ban On Crude Oil Exports

oilby Barbara Kasoff, WIPP President

Since the start of the year, a surprising amount of support on both sides of the aisle to remove the ban on crude oil exports has emerged. Is this a sign that we are entering into a new era of bipartisan collaboration, specifically to form an energy agenda that will improve the nation’s security and get our economy moving again? While that still may be a ways off, it is clear this is one issue that could lead to historic collaboration on energy policies that will benefit American economy.

The 4.7 million businesswomen across the country that our coalition represents believe we can help secure the nation’s economic future through sound energy policies. We believe exporting our abundant energy resources must be a key part of that future and supporting an update in our crude oil export policy is the correct course of action and would allow our country to prosper at its full potential.

According to a report released this week by Margo Thorning, senior vice president and chief economist for the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), and William Shughart a research director for the Independent Institute and J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice at the University of Utah, the economic advantages and geopolitical benefits to lifting the ban on crude are clear.

The paper titled, “The Economic Case for Lifting the Crude Oil Export Ban,” cites the findings from five different studies conducted by various institutions such as IHS, Brookings Institute, the Aspen Institute, ICF International, and Resources for the Future, all of which agree that the case to update this policy is strong. Notably, they all conclude the same three major impacts lifting the ban on crude oil exports would have on the economy and consumers, including: job creation, an increase in U.S. GDP, and a downward pressure on consumer fuel prices.

For example, one of the most recently released studies mentioned in the report – by IHS – estimated that lifting the ban on crude oil exports would generate 390,000-859,000 new jobs annually nationwide and increase U.S. GDP between $86 billion and $170 billion over the next fifteen years.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, who has been one of the biggest champions of an examination of various U.S. energy policies, including the ban on crude oil exports, also noted the economic “no brainer” we are facing, stating, ““the economics are clear… lifting the ban on crude oil exports will benefit consumers.”

In addition to the much need economic stimulus from removing the ban, revising the current energy exports policy specifically with regard to crude oil, also extends U.S. geopolitical influence by strengthening our international trade relationships. Foreign allies would gain access to a stable and abundant source of crude oil that would overall create a more secure market.

Women thought leaders like Dr. Margo Thorning and Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski understand that repealing the ban on crude represents a fiscally responsible strategy to allow the U.S. to utilize our growing energy abundance.  Simply put, to quote Murkowski herself, “It’s time to lift America’s ban on crude oil exports.”