Pam Habner on Making Business More Inclusive

Author and Activist Spotlight, Suzanne Grandt

Lending and U.S. Branded Cards at Citi are headed by Pam Habner. These organizations have a history of successfully launching products and features that meet the changing needs of the company’s customers. One of those innovative products was Citi’s Custom Cash Card. This was designed to reward all who use it and change their shopping behaviors. The chosen name feature enables the cardholders to use their self-identified chosen first name. This can be done without the necessity of a legal name change. Pam Habner is known for discovering opportunities in each challenge to provide a more inclusive business culture.

Initiatives That Matter

Habner is determined to use her influence to champion topics that matter. She has dedicated herself to helping create a more inclusive and equitable culture. Habner believes leaders can make a significant difference by taking a stand on specific social issues.

Powerless

One thing Habner refuses to do is feel powerless. She feels every situation provides a special opportunity. When she is facing a difficult challenge, Habner focuses her energy on things she can control. She will try to discover the silver lining in any situation.

Power Icon

Pam Habner’s power icon is Michelle Obama. Habner believes Michelle Obama is authentic, strong, passionate as well as confident. She feels Michelle Obama lives her values, and she finds that very inspiring. Habner regularly borrows Michele Obama’s words of wisdom with her nine-year-old twin boys. One of her favorites is “when they go low, we go high.”

Feeling Powerful

There are certain things Habner likes to wear when she wants to feel powerful. She will channel the wardrobe of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It is from a time when the Supreme Court Justice had her nomination announcement and confirmation hearing. Habner wears cobalt blue. She feels it is fierce, bold, and bright. Habner’s power anthem is Respect by Aretha Franklin.

Pam Habner has a proven track record as a leader who is forward-thinking as well as inspiring. She has a history of guiding her teams to develop products that are client-centric. These are products that meet the financial needs of all people in unique and creative ways. Habner is in charge of the Citi Thankyou Rewards platform. This provides customers with innovative lending solutions. It also focused on providing an overall positive credit card experience for customers.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.com

How Companies Can Avoid Animal Rights Litigation

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

Some people support consuming animal products, and others do not, but many agree that animals should get dignified treatment even if keepers slaughter or get products like milk from them. Animal rights organizations like ALDF are doing their best to halt this trend by litigating cases to stop abusive practices and establish justice for animals within the legal system.

Train Staff on Animal Welfare Laws

It is essential for organizations that deal with animals to train staff on the correct ways to treat them. Emphasis should be on employees at factory farms as 97% of the 10 billion animal torture and killing cases each year happen here. It was worse when Covid-19 struck when farms killed animals that they could not sell at the markets en masse. These animals died through gruesome slow-killing methods like gassing and smothering.

Every day there are countless incidents of needless harm to animals by individual workers. Each account gets more gut-wrenching than the previous. Some farming organizations warn farmers that they should train employees and inform them about proper animal treatment. Unfortunately, many frame the information in a manner that helps them to avoid animal rights litigation. They should start mentioning more about the well-being of animals instead of training employees to escape the scrutiny of animal rights litigants and belittle their work.

Observing 28-hour law

America, since 1873, has had a 28 Hour law requiring drivers of vehicles carrying animals for slaughter to stop every 28 hours. The purpose is to let the animals have time for eating, drinking, and exercising. The law does not apply when animals access food and water in a vehicle. Birds are also exempt. Another way to avoid litigation is by adhering to the Humane Slaughter Act that recommends stunning animals before killing them to minimize pain.

Avoid Humane Washing

Humane washing is marketing that convinces sympathetic consumers that a company sells products derived through ethical or sustainable methods than conventional brands. Animal rights organizations investigations reveal that some companies are putting labels with terms like responsibly raised or natural, yet they subject animals to inhumane practices. Abusive practices like crowding animals or forcefully impregnating cows to keep them producing milk throughout are frequent at companies engaging in humane washing. The best practice is to treat animals humanely for their products to be genuinely humane without false terms on labels.

Meat product corporations, puppy mills, research laboratories, and zoos have a responsibility to start treating animals well to avoid animal rights litigation.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.org

The Impact of Supporting Women-Owned Businesses

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

Women empowerment has proven vital in the progressive aspect of any social construct. The spilling effect of women’s economic empowerment is reduced unemployment rates, growth of economies, spirited communities, and gender parity in commerce. Currently, there are nearly 13 million women-owned businesses positively impacting the state’s economy.

The 2019 American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report noted that women-owned businesses grew twice as much in three years, with black women-owned firms making a 43% growth. With an increase in startups comes new job posts and, subsequently, the increment in job opportunities. The rise in businesses owned by women of color led to approximately 2.4 million new jobs generating $422.5billion in revenue.

The last five years have seen many women start side hustles as they explore their entrepreneurial spirit. The possibility of creating more without any limitation opens a world of significant advancement. Thanks to the influx of knowledge in many social media outlets, these women do not necessarily need a four-walled room to get an education. We attribute these growth statistics to minority women whose businesses have gone up by 33% in three years.

The word on the street adds a lot more perspective to the barriers that these entrepreneurs have to break to make a name in their respective fields. Creating or joining a robust network is constitutive for any entrepreneurial success story. So, its no doubt that even if people are self-taught, they will need a mentor or an advisor to navigate their businesses. A majority of the high-level businesses still subscribe to the philosophy; it’s about who one knows and not what they know. It is difficult to maneuver through the elite networks. To counter this, Addie Swartz, the CEO of reachHIRE, advises women entrepreneurs to place themselves in conferences and women-focused networking events such as Bizwomen events as a start.

While purchasing is the most direct way to support a business, many other background actions can boost an enterprise. If one is also a businessperson, partnering with other women-owned businesses is a great way to start. Someone or an organization in an excellent financial position can provide grants to help sustain a business for a while, or maybe recommend someone’s services is still a great deal. Charitable events focused on empowering women entrepreneurs will provide an invaluable asset: financial literacy and networking opportunities.

It is no doubt that women-owned businesses are disrupting the long-standing traditional ways of doing business. It is, therefore, crucial to supporting them as our communities are highly dependent on them.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.com

How the Pandemic Resulted in a Decrease of Animal Testing

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

Pandemics are a constant threat to humans and animals alike. While scientists have worked feverishly to create vaccines for the most recent pandemics, such as HIV/AIDS, smallpox, and SARS, they have experimented with other methods of control in the past. One method was animal testing. During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, an estimated 21 million animals were infected and killed in the United States alone for this purpose. However, because so many people died from breathing in animal-influenced air, scientists started to think that maybe testing on animals wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Animal testing did not save many lives. Scientists killed about 10,000 monkeys in the 1930s to test for polio and failed to establish a vaccine shortly before the outbreak of World War II (Krauthammer). Additionally, “scientists estimate that more than 100 million animals have died as part of experiments since the mid-20th century,” occurring in the United States and other countries (Krauthammer). Ironically, scientists may have spread the Spanish flu virus in their efforts to conduct animal testing.

During tests done on monkeys at Harvard University and Yale University, researchers “injected the animals with parts of flu victims’ lungs,” which were dissected from people who had died from lung infections (Krauthammer). According to The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the scientists “didn’t realize this would cause them [the monkeys] to be infected and re-infect each other” (Krauthammer).

Even if animal testing had saved lives during the Spanish flu pandemic, it still could not account for 21 million “sacrificed” animals. In response to the pandemic and animal testing, a meeting was held by scientists in Washington, DC, in June of 1922. The United States Congress banned all virus testing on humans and mandated that all test subjects be given anesthesia before undergoing experiments (Krauthammer). While this did not end animal testing in the United States, it did encourage scientists to use more humane methods when studying biological agents.

For new technology or viruses to be studied by scientists nowadays, elaborate and extensive precautions must be taken. To prove that they have already isolated the pathogen and that no other animals will become infected during the study, scientists must keep the virus in a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) laboratory. These laboratories are high-security facilities that are “air-locked and have special venting systems” (Krauthammer).

Furthermore, before doing any research on humans, the National Institutes of Health will conduct animal testing first. This is the Institute’s “guiding principle,” which is intended to ensure scientists that “they have no other choice” (Krauthammer).

Animal testing has a very long history; however, it will never account for all of the lives lost during the Spanish flu epidemic. Therefore, animal testing may seem like a harsh and inhumane research method, but many scientists and government agencies currently consider it the best way to ensure that a new technology or virus will not harm others.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.org

How to Better Support Women-Owned Businesses

Animal Rights, Author and Activist Spotlight, Law, Suzanne Grandt

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, women-owned businesses were the fastest growing sector in the United States. They generated some $1.6 trillion in revenue and employed 9.4 million people.

When the pandemic swooped it swept away more than 50% of sales for 47% of female-owned enterprises. By comparison, 41% of male-owned businesses suffered similar setbacks.

Women-owned businesses will also likely take a longer time to recover for a variety of complex reasons. Whatever the case, there are a number of things individual consumers, government, creditors, and others can do to bolster women-owned businesses, including:

Streamlining Access to Capital

This is a good time to reevaluate our credit systems to ensure that women have access to working capital and funding. That could mean everything from banking and venture capital to government programs, such as the PPP and Small Business Administration grant programs. Bankers also need to back women and recognize the advantages women entrepreneurs bring to the marketplace.

Women Worker Attributes

Even in modern times, women still wear more hats than men. After all, women need to make babies and then have time to nurture them after they are born. It’s a fact that women still handle more domestic responsibilities than their male counterparts. These and other factors are attributes of female employees that must be taken into consideration both when hiring women and by those who would back them financially in business ventures.

Resources and Tax Codes

A report recently issued by Gusto revealed that 27% of women business owners claimed tax credits offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act – but 54% did not. Some did not take advantage of this resource because they did not have an employee that needed sick leave due to illness. However, one-fifth of respondents said they did not know about the program. Thus, women can help themselves by exploring all the options that are available to them. Government agencies that administer the programs should perform more outreach to bring aid to more women-owned businesses.

Networks for Women

Women need to take more power unto themselves by building networks of mutual support and cooperation in the business realm. Networking is a way to connect with sponsors, mentors, sources of capital, and strategic partnerships that can bolster entrepreneurial activities.

This article was originally published on SuzanneGrandt.com