For decades, Jelmar’s been known as the company that can help you with just about any household cleaning need—whether it’s shower head lime deposits, barbecue grill grease, or even that funky-smelling mystery stain on your living room carpet. (Don’t worry, we don’t judge.)

 

But as amazing as Jelmar cleaning products are, it isn’t just what’s in our bottles that matters, but also what’s on them—like the Women Owned logo.

 

So what does that little symbol mean, exactly? Jelmar’s president is the third generation in her family to lead the business—and the first woman. We wanted to celebrate that milestone in our history by becoming certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise. That meant an in-depth review of the business and a site inspection to confirm that we’re at least 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman. It’s quite a meticulous process.

 

But that raises the question: why go through so much just to get certified? Why does it matter?

 

Part of the answer is that we know it’s important to you, our customers. While we value all our customers and know that both men and women buy and use our products, research shows that in many American households, women are increasingly making many of the everyday purchase decisions. And, oftentimes, these influential women consumers naturally trust women-owned businesses.

 

But there’s an irony to the fact that despite women’s power as consumers, they still have so little representation as board members, CEOs, and other positions of power at the companies that make the products they buy. In fact, today only 31 percent of all privately held firms are women-owned. In the cleaning products industry, Jelmar’s president is unique as a woman business leader, so our pride in her accomplishment comes with some frustration that there’s still so much work to be done to elevate women in business.

 

The Women Owned logo is a step in the right direction. This recognizable symbol makes it easy for consumers to identify products from the women-owned businesses they want to support.

 

While we think that’s pretty exciting, we do occasionally hear the argument that if we want to promote equality, women-owned businesses shouldn’t be singled out. But think of it this way: women-owned businesses are growing at one and a half times the U.S. national average, and they contribute over 1.5 trillion dollars to our economy. Plus, women-owned businesses employ workers around the world at every stage of the production process, enabling women’s economic mobility on a global scale.

 

In other words, support women-owned businesses, and you’re supporting families everywhere.

 

So that little symbol on our products tells a big story. And while we’ll never lose our passion for making great cleaning products, we also hope our success will inspire up-and-coming women entrepreneurs to pursue their passions—and turn them into thriving businesses.