IT'S JUST GOOD BUSINESS is a volunteer-led organization dedicated to engaging the business community on the benefits of civil and equal rights for women. We aim to bring recognition of Virginia business leaders through promotion on this site and through other media sources. Support for passage of the ERA in Virginia in recent polling shows over 80 percent support. The truth is, as far as women have come, there is still a ways to go. Violence against women and sexual discrimination continues to be rampant. Female representation in boardrooms and in government is still minimal. And pay parity has become more important for two earner working families. Why should businesses care about committing to equal pay? Today, women influence 83% of all spending, and four in 10 families are led by female breadwinners. When women have equal pay, their spending power increases.
Today’s ERA does not face the tired arguments from the ‘70’s. Same-sex marriage is legal. American women have served in combat roles in the military since 2013, and a federal judge recently ruled the male-only draft illegal (the case was brought by a men’s rights group, so add that to the list of wild characters here). Our vision is to raise awareness that equal rights for women is just good business. Just Good Business has applied for a 501(c)(4) non-profit Virginia Corporation.
Adele Goodman Clark (1882 – 1983)
was an American artist, suffragist, and founding member of the Equal Suffrage League of Virginia
100 Years since the right to vote
83% of all spending is influenced by women
83% of Virginians support passage of the ERA
60% of those living in extreme poverty are women
2/3 of the worlds working hours are worked by women
57% of women are part of the workforce
47% of the workforce is made of women
4 in 10 families are led by women breadwinners
20% is the average gender pay gap
Women earn 1/10 of the worlds income
1 more state is needed to ratify the ERA
It is important to note that women influence 83% of all spending, and four in 10 families are led by female breadwinners. Women make up 47% of the workforce and yet the pay gap is 20%. Closing that gap will give women more spending power. That is why, we believe supporting women’s equality is just good business.
Support for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment has been a bi-partisan effort . In fact, it was even in the Republican Party platform until 1980, when it was removed at the behest of one activist, Phyllis Schlafly.
The Equal Rights Amendment is a relic of history that is actually more relevant now than it was when it made its debut in 1923, being introduced by the suffragist and leader of the National Woman’s Party Alice Paul. Another 50-plus years would pass, with a few rewrites, to gain enough momentum to finally pass the U.S. Senate in 1972. In order for the ERA to become an Amendment to the Constitution, 2/3 or 38 states need to ratify to make it official. Currently, 37 states have done so – Virginia could put it over the top in 2020!
Statements from 2 Supreme Court Justices – who rarely agree with respect to interpreting the Constitution- agreed that protection for women in the Constitution is not expressly provided.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently said in 2017,"if there is one amendment to add to the Constitution, it would be the ERA. I'd like to tell my granddaughters that they live in a country where men and women are actually of equal stature." She also suggested that “We the People” meant something very different when our country was formed.
And Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016, said in September 2010 "Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't”.
As noted in many articles, women are also already protected, in some sense, by the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment (“nor shall any State...deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”). But the rub is that equal enforcement of any of the existing laws against sex discrimination is not required. That is because sex, specifically, is not a protected category explicitly mentioned in the Constitution the way, for example, religion or race are.
The Violence Against Women Act, passed in 1994, originally allowed women to sue their attackers in federal court. This was an important provision because of wide variations in the way states prosecuted rape and sexual violence cases, said Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Berkeley, law school. The Supreme Court struck down that part of the law in 2000. Many laws against discrimination, including the Civil Rights Act, are based on Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, but the court ruled that did not apply in cases of sexual violence. This would change with an equal rights amendment, he said.
Attempts to remedy the persistent pay gap between men and women have also fallen short because of rulings saying that gaps must be the result of intentional discrimination in order to violate the law and that many differences in pay are the result of factors “other than sex,” advocates say. If a woman doing the same work as a man is hired at a lower salary because her previous salary was lower, courts have ruled that is not pay discrimination, said Jessica Neuwirth, a co-founder of the E.R.A. Coalition. She believes an equal rights amendment would strengthen Congress’s ability to remedy unequal pay.
Susan Platt possesses a unique blend of legislative and political insight, amassed from 30+ years of experience on the national, federal and state levels. She also is host of a weekly radio talk show “PLATT-iTUDES”, based in Richmond, VA on WJFN Radio. She is the only progressive, business woman host in Virginia, whose show is for and about women…. and a few good men.
Her work on Capitol Hill has given her invaluable knowledge and insight into the inner workings of both the House and Senate. And her experience managing campaigns and working for national political Party committees makes her uniquely qualified to successfully advocate for her clients. Ms. Platt has had a diverse client base that has
ranged from new emerging small businesses to international Fortune 500 companies.
During her 2017 statewide primary race for Lt. Governor, Susan organized and campaigned for 4 months (going
against an opponent who had been running for 4 years and nearly won his race at that time) on a quarter of her
opponents’ resources and garnered over 200,000 votes. This is the 5th most votes ever received by a candidate
for Lt. Governor. This experience has only added to her wide range of knowledge of management, legislative and
public relations experience and her tireless campaign stops have given her in-person knowledge of what Virginians all across the state want and need.
Ms. Platt has held a variety of positions in over 15 years working in U.S. House and Senate offices,. The last position held on Capitol Hill was that as Chief of Staff for Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s Senate office thru the 1996 election cycle.
In the political campaign world, Ms. Platt is well-known for her successes on election night, at the federal and state gubernatorial levels. Ms. Platt served as Sen. Charles S. Robb’s (D-VA) Campaign Manager during his successful 1994 bid for reelection against Lt. Colonel Oliver North, bucking the national trend for Republican candidates. For her work on this campaign, Ms. Platt was recognized by the American Association of Political Consultants with a Pollie Award for Campaign Manager of the Year for the 1994 election cycle.
Community and Political Involvement
Board Member – Virginia Tourism Authority (Gubernatorial Appointment - July 2008 – June 2014)
Founding Member – The Farm Team – Grassroots organization dedicated to electing women to elected office in Virginia – www.farmteam.org
Founding Member – EmergeVA – the only statewide organization dedicated to training Democratic women to run for public office
Board Member – OneVirginia 2021 – Bi-Partisan Organization dedicated to non-partisan redistricting legislative Districts
Board Member – NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
Board Member – Bi-Partisan Election Process Improvement Commission – Fairfax County – by special appointment – January 2013 – May 2013
Published Article – “I lost my daughter to addiction: We must act to save others”, Roanoke Times, June 7, 2017