Women's Equality is Good Business

By Cynthia DiBartolo
June 12, 2013



   Gender based inequality is a moral issue; it's also bad economics. There is no question that providing equal opportunities for women is critical to New York State's economic future. In order for business, labor and our state to prosper, we must work together to improve the workplace for women.

   The women of this great State of New York collectively have 10 million voices and it is time to turn up the volume. As an owner of a business, Tigress Financial Partners (www.tigressfp.com), an  Executive Board Member of the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY)  and as Chairperson of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce,  it is incumbent upon me to be part of this historic initiative that will effectively work to break down barriers to women's full participation in society and seek to create a sustainable meritocracy in business.

Actress Cynthia Nixon
& Cynthia DiBartolo

   New York has long been a model for equality and fairness on several issues including women's rights, and it is fitting that we lead the way with ground breaking legislation.

State Sen. Liz Kruger
& Cynthia DiBartolo

Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver
& Cynthia DiBartolo

   Companies that succeed in promoting women to the most senior levels of business tend to perform better than companies that do not. Additionally, companies that invest in women benefit because they attract and retain qualified employees, which increases productivity and reduces costly turnover. These businesses prove to be stronger companies and better long-term investments.

   Gender parity is good business, and executives must frame equality as a strategic imperative. Increasing women's economic participation by improving the workplace and enhancing their efficient productivity will dramatically impact the competitiveness and growth of our companies and the economy of New York.

   Clearly, holding back half the population behind actual or perceived barriers, fosters a toxic environment that leads to a deficit in educational and fair job opportunities, unequal wages, let alone the inexcusable underlying violence and oppression. This is not just morally reprehensible; it's bad economics.

Senate Minority Leader
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
& Cynthia DiBartolo


   When women control the critical aspects of life, such as jobs, housing, personal health choices, they better participate in the social and economic life of the State. There is no question that providing equal opportunities for women is critical for our State's economic future. We must have our voices heard above those who  hurt our progress in the name of free market capitalism. I am a capitalist. I own my business. Ensuring gender equality does not seek to destroy capitalism; rather, ensuring gender equality seeks to change the priorities of business goals. Moreover, gender equality is not a zero-sum equation: Women are already powerful. We only need, deserve and demand an equal playing field to unleash our formidable force.

   Haven't women been talking about this for decades already? Yes, we have. While some individual companies have done a stellar job obtaining real measurable diversity and inclusion, sadly the overall progress in the Corporate Sector as a whole has been painfully slow -- at the current rate of change it would take women executives more than 70 years to reach parity.

   Therefore, I am thrilled that New York State is about to make history with the first law to take advantage of this convergence of economic trends, extinguish the barriers that perpetuate discrimination, and harness the power of women for sustainable business growth. We join Governor Andrew Cuomo, labor unions and advocacy organizations, as we understand that together we are the future for our daughters, we are the change for mothers and sisters and we are part of building a better and stronger New York for all of us.

Cynthia DiBartolo is CEO of Tigress Financial Partners (www.tigressfp.com), an  Executive Board Member of the Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY)  and as Chairperson of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.


Dear Fellow New Yorker,

Governor Cuomo, joined by members of the Women's Equality Coalition, introduced legislation to end discrimination and inequality based on gender and to restore New York as a leader in women's rights.

This Women's Equality Act includes the following 10 points:

*    Achieve Pay Equity

*    Stop Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces

*    Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys' Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Case

*    Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws

*    Prohibit Employers from Denying Promotions or Hiring Based on Family Status

*    Prevent Landlords from Denying Housing to Qualified Tenants Based on Source of Rent Funds

*    Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence

*    Stop Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All

*    Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Law

*    Protect a Woman's Freedom of Choice

Click here to read an op-ed by the Governor outlining the Women's Equality Act.

Over the years, New York has fallen behind as a progressive leader on women's rights. By enacting this vital legislation, we will return New York to its rightful role as a beacon of equality.


The Office of the Governor







4 West 43rd Street, Suite 405
New York, NY 10036
www.balconynewyork.com (212) 219-7777

Lou Gordon, Director





Alan Lubin, Co-Chair Labor
Robert M. Hayes, Co-Chair Business, Sr. VP, Universal American Corp.
Catherine M. Abate, Co-Chair Non-Profit, President/CEO, Community HealthCare Network

Executive Board

Anthony Potenza, Executive Director, New York Labor Health Care Alliance
Anita Kartalopoulos, Partner, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP

Cynthia D. DiBartolo, Tigress Financial Partners
Mark Jaffe, BALCONY Treasurer; President, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce
Bruce Ventimiglia, Saratoga Capital Management

BALCONY Support Team

Lou Gordon, BALCONY Director
Richard Winsten, Counsel, MSEK
Stuart Marques, BALCONY Writer
Diane Masters, BALCONY Director of Special Projects
Katie Brandenstein, BALCONY Events Consultant
Elizabeth Eames, BALCONY Writer and Researcher
Kevin R. Weaver, Web Master and Computer Consultant

BALCONY is a 501(c)(4) non-profit. Contributions are not tax deductible and BALCONY makes no political endorsements nor campaign contributions.