We Bought the Table by Ann Lawrence

We Bought the Table by Ann Lawrence

In addition to being the co-founder of Pink51, I am an equity partner in the corporate group of a large law firm.  My favorite part of being a lawyer is solving problems.  A few years ago, I realized I was frequently being asked to speak at a lot of events focused on Women in Corporate America – and why women weren’t succeeding at the rates expected.  Treating this like a typical lawyer, I began to research the issue and problem solve solutions.  But I found that when I was at these events, most people were more interested in talking about the problem rather than finding a way to fix it.

During my research, one of the statistics that struck me was that women account for an estimated 85% of all dollars spent online in the United States. . . 85%. . . I had a hard time understanding why women even had to ask for a seat at the table when it came to Boards of Directors and leadership in US companies – since we were likely the ones that bought the table in the first place.

But, we weren’t using that power to effect change.  If we decided as consumers to focus our spending on companies that promoted women, then we wouldn’t have a problem that needed fixing.  We needed to shift our spending to tell companies that we cared about whether they had women in the Boardroom and in the C-Suite.

So, having identified the problem and a potential solution, I decided to invest some money, find some friends and launch Pink51.com as a platform that promotes the economic empowerment of women and inspires them to build their own empire and drive economic freedom through their spending.

When people ask how I came up with the idea for Pink51, I say it really all started with a handbag.  I wanted to spend my money promoting a company that had demonstrated an interest in promoting women and it was incredibly hard to figure out which businesses had women in leadership.

Pink51 brings transparency to shoppers so they can make an informed choice and we created standards that were practical and easy to achieve.  If a business has a woman president OR two women in C-suite or executive management positions OR 20% of their board membership is women OR they are 50% or more women-owned – then they qualify as PINK.

I am beyond excited that we now have more than 1200 businesses on our site and growing daily.  The mantra of Pink51 is to be relentlessly constructive.  This platform is about empowerment, collaboration, community action and involvement.  We have all the power we need to change the world – we just have to spend it.

-Ann Lawrence