March 9, 2023

BLOG | EDA Celebrates Women’s History Month

Through the end of March, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) joins other Department of Commerce bureaus observing Women’s History Month.

Women’s History Month is a time to recognize generations of trailblazing women who have helped propel the United States’ political, social, and cultural progress. At EDA, it is also a time to celebrate the contributions made by women in building a strong and vibrant American economy. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women-owned businesses had an estimated $1.9 trillion in receipts, 10.9 million employees, and generated more than $432 billion in annual payroll during 2020, the last year for which data is available.

With equity as the leading investment priority at EDA, we are committed to extending the promise of American prosperity to historically underrepresented groups. This includes investing in initiatives designed to generate new economic opportunities for women in the United States.

Highlights of recent EDA investments include:

  • Quality Jobs for Women. Across the United States, EDA investments are creating pathways to good jobs for women. For instance, in St. Louis, EDA support is expanding the work of Rung for Women, a workforce intermediary that convenes training partners and advanced manufacturing employers to accelerate the number of women in careers in location-based data.
  • Circa 1965, two working with electrical components at the Airpax plant in Cambridge, Maryland.
    In this photo, circa 1965, two women are pictured working with delicate electrical components at the Airpax plant in Cambridge, Maryland. Infrastructure to support siting and construction of the plant was financed with a $660,000 loan from the Area Redevelopment Administration, predecessor to today’s EDA.
    Accelerating Opportunities for Female Entrepreneurship. Through the University Center economic development program, EDA is supporting the University of Florida’s Collaboratory for Women Innovators, which is working to “inspire, educate, and empower women to attain leadership in all phases of the innovation lifecycle” through networking events, mentorship programs, and startup resources.
  • Knowledge Sharing. EDA’s recent grant to the New Growth Innovation Network launched Equity Impact Investments, a program working to develop and deliver resources that support economic development organizations in effectively serving underrepresented populations, including women.

“For nearly 60 years, EDA has been at the forefront of supporting economic empowerment and equity for women,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “With an unprecedented number of our senior leadership positions held by women, I’m proud that today’s EDA is not just supporting women, but is also giving them a seat at the table where decisions about strengthening America’s economic future are made.”

Follow EDA on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn throughout the next month for updates on EDA observances and activities in celebration of Women’s History Month.