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Women’s Bureau at the Black Women’s Task Force Conference

Posted on September 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM EDT

Women’s Bureau Deputy Director Joan Harrigan-Farrelly (left) and management consultant Quiana Dickenson addressed the Black Women’s Task Force Conference.

Deputy Director of the Women’s Bureau, Joan Harrigan-Farrelly, traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to deliver the keynote address to more than 200 attendees at the Black Women’s Task Force Conference. Her Sept. 4 keynote highlighted some best practices for improving women’s earning power, including: creating access to high-growth occupations with higher earnings, raising the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay. After all, Farrelly remarked, “When women succeed, America succeeds.”

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day across America

Posted on September 04, 2015 at 10:37 AM EDT

Jacqueline Cooke, Women’s Bureau regional administrator; Diane Balser, co-director of Boston University’s Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Carol Monteiro, regional program manager, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

To commemorate the 95th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day, the Women’s Bureau took part in several events throughout the country. In San Francisco, the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy and the Family Friendly Workplace Collaborative hosted a luncheon on Aug. 28. Earlier that day, an equal pay news conference featured several speakers, including Elmy Bermejo, regional representative for the Secretary of Labor. In Kansas, the Women’s Bureau hosted events with the American Association of University Women on Aug. 25 and 26, highlighting the gender wage gap, occupational segregation and the need for more young women in STEM fields. And in Boston, Diane Balser of Boston University recounted the ongoing fight for gender equality. Christina Eckenroth, lead workforce development specialist in the Employment and Training Administration, spoke of her experiences as a working mother in the federal government; and Carol Monteiro, regional executive with the Department of Health and Human Services, described her career advancement from entry-level employee to an executive position.

Women leaders advise mayors

Posted on July 20, 2015 at 10:14 AM EDT

Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz (speaking) highlighted the need to take an active role in improving economic opportunities for women and families during a roundtable discussion with women leaders in San Francisco on June 18.

The Women’s Bureau joined the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, an advisory agency, and It’s Time Network, a women’s empowerment group, to facilitate a discussion on women’s economic security. The June 18 gathering coincided with the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, also hosted in San Francisco. Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz led a roundtable of women leaders from corporations, nonprofits, universities and public sector agencies. The discussion concluded with a recommendation that the mayors host women’s economic summits to promote prosperity and foster collaborative efforts to boost equality for women and girls nationwide. “It is our hope that this recommendation is widely implemented to provide new venues for women to build their leadership skills and take an active role in improving economic opportunities for women and families,” Jenkins-Pultz said.

Paid leave effort gets $1.25M to study expansion in U.S

Posted on June 22, 2015 at 11:08 AM EDT

Margaret Kabat, acting national director, Caregiver Support Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (left) and Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles participate in a panel on caregivers and older Americans at the White House, May 18.

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that $1.25 million will be made available to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The department's Women's Bureau will administer the funding opportunity.

In Support of Older Americans and Their Caregivers

Posted on June 04, 2015 at 9:58 AM EDT

Margaret Kabat, acting national director, Caregiver Support Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (left) and Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles participate in a panel on caregivers and older Americans at the White House, May 18.

The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. To recognize these historic initiatives, the White House has hosted a series of events under the umbrella of the White House Conference on Aging focused on improving and advancing the quality of life for older Americans. After convening regional events in Tampa, Phoenix, Seattle and Cleveland, they most recently hosted an event in Washington, D.C., on May 18 that focused on the role and importance of caregivers. Supporting Older Americans and Their Caregivers brought together advocates, caregivers, researchers and policymakers. As a member of one panel, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles discussed the importance of improving the standards for caregivers — raising their wages, establishing overtime protections, improving retirement security, and granting access to paid leave and other workplace flexibility options. "Culturally, how we value care workers is something we have to continue to address," she said. Lyles was joined by officials from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, the VA Caregiver Support Program, and the Office of Personnel Management to discuss policies and programs driven by federal agencies that provide support to caregivers.

• Learn About the White House Conference on Aging
• Visit the Women's Bureau Web Page

Older Women Mean Business

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 2:01 PM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles delivers remarks at an Older Women's League event at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C., May 6.

Approximately 80 people gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on May 6 for "Our Women Mean Business: Encore Careers After 40." Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles delivered remarks detailing the department's efforts to help meet the economic needs of women workers. "We must develop and deliver programs that work for women across their lifespans," she said. "As more and more women re-enter the workforce after taking time off for caregiving or embark on their second and third careers, their success is critical for today's working families."

Immigrant Working Women Heard

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 1:57 PM EDT

Regional Secretary's Representative Elmy Bermejo (right) addresses attendees at an immigrant women worker roundtable. Wage and Hour's Jamika Lopez (left) and Geri Yang with Wells Fargo listen in.

To hear and address issues faced by California's immigrant working women, Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz and Regional Secretary Representative Elmy Bermejo traveled from the Women's Bureau office in San Francisco to Fresno for a roundtable on May 4. They listened as 20 advocates, immigrant women workers and federal agencies representing rural communities discussed affordable child care, reliable transportation, job training opportunities and access to federal grants.

Women Building the Nation

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 1:55 PM EDT

The largest gathering of tradeswomen in the world — 1,200 from more than 25 states — convened at the "Women Building the Nation" Fifth National Conference in Los Angeles on May 2. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles was invited to speak by its sponsor, the State Building and Construction Trades Council in Sacramento. In her remarks, she stressed the critical need women have for more opportunities in the trades. These opportunities provide a strategy to lift women out of poverty and help close the gender wage gap, noted Lyles, who also led a roundtable discussion for apprentices, journeyman, elected union leaders and apprenticeship coordinators to discuss the challenges and rewards of good jobs and sustainable careers.

Balancing Work and Caregiving

Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:10 AM EDT

(from left to right) Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of the New America Foundation; Mohamed El-Erian, chair of President Obama's Global Development Council; Sarita Gupta, co-director of Caring Across Generations; Latifa Lyles, Women's Bureau director; and Sheila Lirio Marcelo, founder and CEO of came together to discuss workplace policies at the New America Foundation 2015 Annual Conference.

"It's time we start thinking of workers as people who have families," Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles told the New America Foundation's 2015 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 24. She served on a panel discussing the challenges families face balancing work and the care of their young children and aging loved ones. New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter moderated the panel, which featured Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder and CEO of; and Mohamed El-Erian, Chair of President Obama's Global Development Council.

50+ Women 2 Work

Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:05 AM EDT

At the conference held at Richland College in Dallas on older women in the workforce were: (left to right) Grace Protos, Women's Bureau's acting regional administrator in Dallas; Dr. Kay Eggleston, president at Richland College in Dallas; Pronita Gupta, Women's Bureau's deputy director from Washington, D.C.; Valerie Davis and Dolores Bischof program analysts with the Women's Bureau in the Dallas regional office.

Working women and employment trends were the topics of discussion at three conferences in Dallas in the last two months. Women's Bureau Deputy Director Pronita Gupta used the opportunity to remind attendees that older women need tools to navigate the job market and become more economically stable. Held in collaboration with Dallas County Community College District's Brookhaven College, Cedar Valley College and Richland College, the bureau organized the 50+ Women 2 Work: Ready, Set, Employed conferences, the last of which took place April 29. They brought together speakers on educational opportunities at community colleges, job readiness, applying for a job, interviewing skills, basic finances and fraud/scam awareness and entrepreneurship.

Training and Equity for Workers

Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:02 AM EDT

Participating in a panel at Public Policy Day 2015 in D.C. are: (left to right) Robin Runge, senior policy advisor for the Labor Department's Civil Rights Center; Dr. Avis Jones-Deweever, president and CEO of Incite Unlimited; Seth Galanter, principal deputy assistant secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education; Johan Uvin, acting assistant Secretary, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, U.S. Department of Education; and Pronita Gupta, deputy director, Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor.

Equity, high-skills training and innovation were the focus of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity's Public Policy Day 2015 on April 22. In Washington, D.C., Pronita Gupta, deputy director of the Women's Bureau, joined a panel that included Robin Runge, senior policy advisor for the Civil Rights Center, and Johan Uvin of the U.S. Department of Education. Gupta discussed the work the Women's Bureau does to ensure that women achieve equity in the workplace through the promotion of jobs in STEM and in non-traditional fields. She also highlighted the department's American Apprenticeship grants, which support quality and innovative apprenticeship programs that lead to high-growth occupations and industries. "Our goal is to increase the number of women in apprenticeship programs and the American Apprenticeship grants are a fantastic way to increase apprenticeship opportunities for women," said Gupta.

Women's Bureau Had A Busy March

Posted on April 08, 2015 at 1:45 PM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles (second on the right) participates in the GSA Interagency Roundtable entitled, "Breaking Barriers; Building Bridges."

For Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles, March was packed with speaking engagements and panel discussions nationwide to mark Women's History Month. On March 26, she served on a panel at the Catalyst Women of Color Summit in New York City. The event drew scholars, business leaders and policymakers who offered insight on the advancement of women of color in the workplace. Back in Washington, D.C., the next day, Lyles delivered the luncheon address at the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Summit. In her remarks there, she discussed the advancements made by women of color and the department's efforts on behalf of all working women. Lyles ended March with women leaders from throughout the U.S. government at a Women's Forum roundtable entitled "Breaking Barriers; Building Bridges," sponsored by the General Services Administration.

From Trauma to Work

Posted on April 08, 2015 at 1:41 PM EDT

Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Lucia Bruce discusses best practices for recognizing and responding to signs of trauma experienced by working women.

Community experts on trauma and employment in Alabama met on March 31 in Birmingham at an event co-hosted by the Women's Bureau. Participants at "From Trauma to Employment: Women's Challenges, Barriers, and Successes" discussed the importance of recognizing and responding to all forms of trauma experienced by women and its effects on their ability to attain stable employment. The Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, the University of Alabama, community advocate Sunny Slaughter and the department's Wage and Hour Division partnered on the event.

Celebrating Women's History

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 11:01 AM EDT

At the "Making Women's Rights Real" women's history month observance in Boston were: (left to right) Diane Hammer of Simmons College; Lydia Edwards of Equal Justice Works; Sheila Katzman, chair, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for New York City; Anjali Sakaria, legislative director for Sen. Dan Wolf and Jacqueline Cooke, regional administrator for the Women's Bureau.

In March, the Women's Bureau is celebrating at Women's History events across the country. On March 10, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles delivered the keynote address at the 6th Annual Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health Summit in Madison. Lyles' speech touched on issues affecting working women, including paid leave, pregnancy accommodation and non-traditional occupations. At Boston's Simmons College, Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jacqueline Cooke participated in "Making Women's Rights Real" on March 6. Attendees representing more than 50 organizations included Big Sister of Boston, Girls LEAP, YWCA Boston and Science Club for Girls.

Focus on California Women

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 10:59 AM EDT

A diverse panel of women leaders, including the department's Women's Bureau San Francisco Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz (next to speaker) attended the release of the 2015 Report on the Status of Women in Pasadena, California, on March 4.

The San Francisco regional office of the Women's Bureau joined the Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women on March 4 to discuss the release of the "2015 Report on the Status of Women in Pasadena." Written by Mount Saint Mary's University, the report found that women in Pasadena enjoy better earnings compared to other California women and, on average, earn 91 percent of men's annual wages. Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz noted that Pasadena women have much higher levels of education other women in the state, which has helped open the highest paying jobs to them and narrowed the wage gap. The report also addresses housing and homelessness concerns, women veteran issues, domestic violence and human trafficking.

Remembering A. Philip Randolph

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles (right) and A. Philip Randolph President Clayola Brown at the 50th Anniversary of the A. Philip Randolph Institute commemoration.

Community leaders and labor activists from Delaware to New England gathered in Boston Feb. 27 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the senior constituency group of the AFL-CIO. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Mass. AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, and APRI President Clayola Brown at the special commemoration of the statue of A. Philip Randolph, the organizer and first president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Lyles addressed the group that evening at the "Keeper of the Flame Award" dinner, remarking: "This historic milestone is an opportunity to note the many African American women trailblazers in both the civil rights and labor rights movement who are often missing from documents of history and acclaim."