As more and more people pay attention to the importance of women in the workplace, businesses with a strong history of female leadership are increasingly acting as role models for others. One such business is IC System, an accounts receivable company that has long valued the high-profile roles of women in its everyday operations. With the recently announced renewal of that company’s certification as a women-owned business, now is a great opportunity to take a closer look at the company and its high standards.
The renewal of the certification by IC System was conducted through the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which is the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. It also casts itself as a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs that promotes innovation, opens doors, and creates partnerships that fuel the economy.
The certifications disbursed by the organization, known as Women-Owned Business Enterprise Certifications (WBEs), are given only to companies that can demonstrate that they’re at least 51% owned by women and that women are influential in daily operations and management. WBEs are audited by the California Public Utilities Commission, which also works to maintain a directory containing all certified vendors.
That IC System is recognized as a pioneer in its work to empower women throughout its operations should come as no surprise to those familiar with the company’s history. Founded in 1938 by Ruth and Jack Erickson, the company would continue to be run by Ruth for many decades. From the company’s headquarters just outside of St. Paul, Minnesota, she worked tirelessly in all aspects of the business to further its success. One example of this dedication is her constant effort to promote the company in person to local enterprises. As many businesses at that time had a need for a company that could help them collect on past-due accounts, she showed the value she could offer during these in-person visits (Bloomberg).
Along with Ruth’s unfailing determination to roll up her sleeves and get to work, her contributions to the company often stemmed from her vision to move its operations into the future. This knack for finding opportunity often manifested in her relationship with technology. After years spent personally writing collection letters on typewriters, she invested in an early computer system for the office to streamline the process and cater to the ever-increasing client demand. IC System was the first company in the industry to adopt these practices, and its example would soon help to transform the way collection agencies conducted their business.
This knack for forward-thinking business ideas manifested again later in Ruth’s tenure as company owner. With a strong belief in the importance of referrals to show businesses that her own company was a reputable and reliable partner, she conceived of the idea to partner with professional organizations that could then recommend her company to their members. An innovative idea at the time, it would eventually lead to over 1,500 organizations recommending IC System as their accounts receivable company of choice. Many of these organizations still partner with the company today, underscoring the lasting impact of Ruth Erickson and the prowess she brought to all of her duties within the company.
With Ruth’s enduring legacy in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the influence of women in IC System’s executive roles is as strong as ever. A family-run operation that’s now in its third generation of family leadership, the company often turns to women in the Erickson family to guide its operations. Barbara Erickson, the company’s chairman of the board, was recently quoted in a press release. “I am pleased to announce that we have renewed our WBE certification, which is highly regarded by many of our clients and prospective clients,” she said.
CEO John Erickson, Jr. underscored this sentiment when he said that “this certification stands proudly alongside IC System’s other qualifications and accreditations. These include being nominated as a Top Workplace by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2017 and 2018, [its] security certification as a PCI DSS version 3.2 service provider, [its] compliance with HIPAA, and many more.” Erickson also stated that “having the WBE certification is very valuable, and [the company takes] great pride in being recognized as a women-owned business.”
Of course, IC System also employs many women who are not a part of the Erickson family. These women contribute enormously to the workplace culture and operations of the company. A prime example of these contributions comes from Michelle Dove, who serves as the General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of the company. In light of the recent certification renewal, she highlighted some of the steps taken by the company to foster female participation in its operations, stating that the company “has a long history of strong female leaders. Today, [its] workforce is 67% female.” Dove also discussed how the award “recognizes the talented women in [the] organization who are committed to [its] core values and the success of the company.”
With a consistent focus on the importance of diversity of opinion for the successful operation of a company, IC System has shown time and again that it is a leader in empowering the voices of women in its workplace. The recent renewal of its WBE certification is just one indicator in a long list that shows others throughout the industry just how strongly this commitment manifests in its daily actions. As it has done in the past, the company is highlighting some of the many reasons it has become a popular choice for those seeking to partner with progressive voices in the world of business.
More about IC System on https://www.youtube.com/user/ICSystem1938