Industry: Concept good, but results lacking

Thursday - 7/21/2011, 9:31am EDT

Penny Pompei, national executive director, Women Construction Owners and Executives.

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The federal government has had a goal to award five percent of its procurement dollars to women-owned small businesses. But until February 4, contracting officers couldn't reserve those deals for competition. The Federal Drive learned how that rule is working from Penny Pompei. She is the national Executive Director of Women Construction Owners and Executives.

She tells the Federal Drive that while the concept is good, smaller attached orders such as a mandate for work to be carried out by union employees may keep it from being successful.

"It makes it significantly more difficult for a non-union signatory company to bid on a federal project," Pompei said. "It's very difficult for our women-owned companies to get in there and figure out how to do these projects."