A group of white female business owners are threatening to file a discrimination suit against the state of Washington after a study concluded that they are no longer discriminated against.
According to a study released early last year by the Washington State Department of Transportation, white female business owners are awarded enough contracts to be excluded from the state’s list of minority-owned businesses.
But Women in Highway Construction argues that discrimination is alive and well in the state.
“Oh my gosh yes. They (men in the industry) don’t want to talk to you, they don’t want to deal with you, they’re very uncomfortable dealing with you,” said Colleen Hallett, who owns Mobile Electrical Distributors in Seattle. “I have salesmen come in here and bypass me and go straight to my male employees even though I’m the boss.”
The disparity study found that other minority groups continue to suffer “substantial disparities,” including businesses owned by African American, Asian-Pacific Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and South Asians.
The report concluded that White female business owners are no longer subject to the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, a set of codes that requires contractors to hire minority-owned businesses to complete a certain percentage of projects.
WSDOT has recommended the U.S. Department of Transportation to remove white women from the DBE program after 31 years on the list of minority-owned businesses. “The study revealed that Caucasian-women-owned firms actually received more contract dollars than expected,” WSDOT Assistant Communications Director Kris Rietmann said.
“Lacking evidence of discrimination against Caucasian-women-owned businesses in the local marketplace, WSDOT cannot include them in contract-specific DBE goals.”
Thoughts on the lawsuit?
Should white female business owners have been on the list in the first place?
Sound of below!