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Governor's Subcabinet on Business Diversity

Supporting small and minority, women’s and veteran-owned businesses in state contracting is a priority for Gov. Jay Inslee and the state of Washington. Small businesses are the backbone of the state economy – about 99 percent of state businesses are small. Washington small businesses also employ 1.3 million workers, which is about 51 percent of Washington’s total workforce. Many of these businesses are women-, minority- and veteran-owned. Ensuring these businesses have contracting opportunities gives Washington state government access to a wider array of business solutions, helps drive innovation and strengthens our economic growth. Successful small businesses led by minorities, women and veterans help make our economy and our families more resilient – strengthening our communities and improving the quality of life for all Washingtonians.

“As governor, one of my top priorities is to foster a strong economy that works for everyone. That means more opportunity, greater prosperity and a better quality of life for all.”-Gov. Jay Inslee

Subcabinet Formed

Washington’s diversity is one of its greatest economic and cultural strengths, yet for fiscal year 2018 only 3.6 percent of the nearly $5 billion that the state spends with the private sector is with small businesses owned by women, minorities or veterans. We need to do better. Diversity in state contracting is good business and good for the state. That’s why Gov. Inslee formed the state’s Business Diversity Subcabinet.

Work phases

⇒ Phase 3: Implementation (We are Here)

Phase 2

  • Conducting the Disparity study. The study will provide valuable information about how state government is doing when it comes to including minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses in contracts and purchasing.>
  • Technical Teams are working on:
  • 10 Action Teams are creating guides to improve the state's diversity framework based on the Attorney General opinion.

Phase 1

The work the Subcabinet did during its first phase was not very visible – but the work was necessary to lay the foundation for meaningful change. Foundational work included:

  • Employing a multi-agency Scrum team to conduct community listening sessions, diagnose problems and recommend actions to address issues (August through November 2015).
  • Clarifying available data, data gaps, and challenges in data analysis.
  • Designing and launching a disparity study, with the up-front assistance of an advisory group to define the study’s scope.
  • Requesting an Attorney General’s opinion to gain a better understanding the state’s legal framework.

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