Since our founding, equallet has promoted women-owned businesses and conscious consumerism with the goal of elevating women's voices. Our vision has always been a world without gender bias, one where everyone’s contributions are recognized equally. We’ve always hoped that, in our lifetime, we’d be able to look out at the world and know that we’ve made an impact on the lives of women - and, through them, society as a whole.

In November, a historic vote happened. More women were elected to Congress than ever before, including the youngest House representative, the first Native American representatives, the first African-American woman Connecticut has ever elected to Congress, and more. Nancy Pelosi, the only woman to ever hold the gavel as Speaker of The House, became one of the few Speakers to reprise her role for a second term.

And the effect is compounding. Deb Haaland, who shares the distinction of being the first Native American woman in Congress with fellow Democrat Sharice Davids, has assembled a support staff that is mostly minorities, fulfilling a campaign promise. Recently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley, have all been appointed to the exceptionally powerful House Oversight Committee, which is the primary investigative body in Congress and is expected to be highlighted repeatedly over the coming year. These diverse women have repeatedly committed to improving lives for working-class individuals, ensuring women’s healthcare, and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.

All this progress is amazing! And it wouldn’t be possible without supporters like our readers, our business owners, our family and friends. We’ve pursued our goal of raising women and women-owned businesses up, in pursuit of finding true equity, because numerous studies have shown that when women and men are treated equally in a society the entire society benefits. The economy grows, education is easier to get, unemployment drops, and so much more.

What we’re seeing in our administrative body is only part of what we need to get true equality in our country, however. While the diversity in Congress is fantastic - and definitely a step in the right direction - our local communities and business owners also need our support. As we work towards our goals, it’s important to look at local and state legislature as well as federal leadership. And it’s equally important, as the economy struggles, to support local women-owned businesses who are leaders in community and minority employment.

Now that elections are over, it’s more important than ever to continue expressing our support for female leaders in our lives. If you can’t afford to shop, attend their events! Like their business pages on Facebook or Instagram. Engage with them. Promote them to your family and friends. Share them with your network and give them the space and opportunity for growth.

And if you do have the ability to support them, do so! Shop with them. Hire them to do your taxes or redesign your living room. Invest in their businesses and give them the boost they need to expand. All change happens from the ground up, and we’re seeing evidence of that in Congress and in local legislature. It’s all because of you.