Impact Sciences is excited to announce that Owner and Managing Principal Jessica Kirchner Flores has been elected to serve as President of the National Association of Women Business Owners Los Angeles chapter (NAWBO-LA) with her official installation slated for July 2019.

As the current President-elect and chair of the Advocacy Committee, Jessica plays an integral part in fulfilling NAWBO-LA’s mission to support business owners through education, networking, and social events and, in the process, advance women to positions of influence professionally, socially, and politically.

When the organization sponsored SB 826: Women on Corporate Boards, NAWBO-LA played a key role to help build awareness and support for this important piece of legislation that requires gender diversity in corporate boardrooms. Now with the legislation passed, NAWBO-LA’s mission has shifted to assisting corporations with its implementation.

As part of that work, Jessica highlights NAWBO’s approach to breathing life into SB 826. “What that’s going to look like,” Jessica explains, “is reaching out to companies that don’t have women on their boards and making them aware that there are plenty of women who are capable of serving.”

A key idea of the legislation is to create a cascading effect for helping women not just on corporate boards but also within business in general. Under Jessica’s guidance, the Advocacy Committee is taking an extra step forward by developing a pathways program to serve as a pipeline for women to make their mark with lucrative positions on corporate boards that have traditionally been held by men.

Jessica Kirchner Flores with Assistant Secretary of  the Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs Michelle S. Guida and  NAWBO-LA President Schenae Rourke (right to left).

Among other influential moves for NAWBO, the Advocacy Committee has a particular focus on the California Supreme Court ruling in the Dynamex Decision, which seeks to restrict the use of independent contractors in California. Under Jessica’s leadership, the committee is investigating how the court decision affects small businesses and women business owners in particular.

“Small business owners are going to be impacted by it,” she says while expressing concern for the many women business owners, like herself, who rely on independent contractors to deal with the unpredictable nature of consulting.

Jessica knows first-hand of the difficulties that women business owners face, especially when it comes to applying for the myriad certifications and designations. With regard to the women business enterprise (WBE) certification, Jessica is a strong proponent but cautions against using it as a crutch. She acknowledges the advantages to being WBE certified, but ultimately believes it is good work that builds strong business relationships. “I think it opens the door, a crack,” says Jessica about the WBE certification, “but you really need to be proactive to get in that door and make something of it.”

Curious about the best way to get involved with NAWBO? It’s simple. “Join!” says Jessica.

From monthly Connects events to special panels led by high-achieving professional women (and men), NAWBO’s calendar is full of opportunities to join a community of forward-thinking women business owners. When it comes to topics, there are few that NAWBO won’t explore. “It’s really diverse,” says Jessica about NAWBO’s line-up of events, “but I feel like it’s a diverse group of women—everyone has different interests.”

On her involvement with NAWBO-LA, Jessica believes that having the opportunity to meet other women business owners has helped her to see the tremendous amount of female talent in the Los Angeles area. “I’m always inspired by the women I meet at NAWBO events,” she says, “I hope I help other NAWBO-LA members by sharing knowledge, resources, and information. We are all so much stronger when we work together.”

For more information about NAWBO’s Los Angeles chapter and upcoming events, visit them online at https://www.nawbo.org/los-angeles.

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