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Pay, Paid Leave Discussion

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:41 AM EDT

Women from across the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts participated in an Oct. 17 roundtable where participants addressed the importance of pay transparency, paid leave to care for children and aging parents, and assistance for immigrants who speak English as a second language. The roundtable was hosted by Rep. Niki Tsongas at Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen. Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jacqueline Cooke discussed the work of the bureau, women's pay and the minimum wage.

Encouraging Female Programmers

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:37 AM EDT

Cal State Fullerton students Maira Ahmad and Noemi Quezada won the grand-prize in the Natural Disaster Challenge for their app "Missing You" to help family and friends find each other when separated in times of crisis, at the 2014 International Women's Hackathon at California State University San Marcos.

In an effort to promote leadership and increase the representation of women and girls in computer science and programming, the Women's Bureau's San Francisco Regional Office joined 11 local organizations in hosting the 2014 International Women's Hackathon at California State University San Marcos on Oct. 11 in San Marcos, Calif. The hackathon was part of a number of events convened by Microsoft Research. Approximately 60 girls ages 16 and older participated in the 12-hour event, designing websites, games and apps to address climate change and disaster response. Despite making up 47 percent of the U.S. labor force, women hold only 23 percent of computer programming jobs.

Women's Leadership Program

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:33 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jackie Cooke (left), Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick and Susan Adams from the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University following the meeting of the Massachusetts Women's Leadership Fellowship.

The inaugural fellows of the Massachusetts Workforce Women's Leadership Fellowship Program met with Gov. Deval Patrick, Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jacqueline Cooke, and Susan Adams of the Center for Women and Business at Bentley University in Waltham on Sept. 30. The fellowship was created to expand access to opportunities for women leaders in government and the private sector. During the meeting, Cooke highlighted the recent Women's Bureau Forums on Working Families and the White House Summit on Working Families, and commended the governor and the university for creating the program. Cooke called it "a win for the women, a win for the commonwealth, a win for participants' future employers, and a win for the economy."

Learning About the Pay Gap

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:31 AM EDT

Students, staff and faculty gathered in Chicago on Sept. 24 to learn about the struggle for equal pay in the American workforce at a discussion panel hosted by the Women's Bureau in collaboration with Loyola University Chicago's Gannon Center for Women and Leadership. Participants learned about the pay gap between men and women as well as strategies they can use to narrow the gap in their careers. "Many students don't realize the wage gap continues to affect their generation," said Melissa Wojnaroski, a Women's Bureau program analyst. "We want them to know what they will be facing when they graduate, and what they can do to change it."

Trauma Guide Workshop

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM EDT

Veterans services specialists, university administrators and representatives from more than 10 area colleges and universities met at City Colleges of Chicago on Sept. 25, to participate in a workshop based on the Women's Bureau's Trauma Informed Care Guide. The half-day workshop gave participants the opportunity to discuss strengths, challenges and best practices. "Though many join the military as a way to move their careers forward, sadly, women veterans age 25 to 34 face higher unemployment rates than their civilian counterparts. We want to change that," said Women's Bureau program analyst and workshop facilitator Melissa Wojnaroski. "Creating a stronger network of trauma-informed supports within our university systems can help ensure women veterans are able to successfully complete their education and transition into the civilian workforce."

Older Workers Roundtable

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:27 AM EDT

As the number of older women in or seeking to re-enter the workforce increases, the Women's Bureau is looking at the unique issues facing them. The WB's Dallas office, in collaboration with the Women's Center of Tarrant County, convened the latest in a series of roundtables on the issue in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sept. 25. Organizations on aging, women's advocates, academics and local workforce representatives came together to discuss the needs this population faces on a local level. "Identifying the characteristics of older women workers, barriers and challenges they face, and resources and strategies for overcoming such barriers is the first step in working together to better assist their clients," said senior program analyst Dolores Bischof.

Google + Hangout

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:25 AM EDT

Image representing the paid family and medical leave programs.

Learning about participants' experiences in the Women in Transportation internship program, and how involvement has influenced career trajectory, was the objective of a Google+ Hangout organized by the Women's Bureau's New York office and the Department of Transportation on Sept. 25. DOT started the internship program in 2011 to encourage young women to pursue careers in transportation. Participants highlighted mentorship by transportation internship supervisors in helping to positively shape the internship, and facilitate personal and professional growth. The Women's Bureau aims to help women prepare for and advance in non-traditional, high-growth and higher-paying jobs such as in the transportation industry.

Employ an Older Worker

Posted on October 30, 2014 at 10:22 AM EDT

Image representing the paid family and medical leave programs.

As part of National Employ an Older Worker Week, a roundtable was held in San Diego on Sept. 23 to help increase awareness of this segment of the labor force and the experience they bring to their jobs and careers. Co-hosted by the Jewish Family Service of San Diego and Boardroom San Diego, the event featured Women's Bureau program analyst Kelly Jenkins-Pultz, who offered a demographic snapshot of older workers in San Diego County. Other participants, including local officials from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, addressed the unique challenges that older workers face and discussed a number of proven strategies to better overcome and conquer those obstacles.

Paid Leave Analysis Grants

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 1:517 PM EDT

Image representing the paid family and medical leave programs.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and Employment and Training Administration today awarded $500,000 to assist the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Montana and Rhode Island in funding feasibility studies on paid leave. The studies will inform the development or implementation of paid family and medical leave programs at the state level. For more information, please see the press release.

Outreach in Queens

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 9:59 AM EDT

Congresswoman Grace Meng (center) is joined by representative from the Women's Bureau, the Wage and Hour Division, the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights and the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs for an outreach event in Queens, N.Y.

The Women's Bureau brought together the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other federal and state agencies for an outreach event in Queens, N.Y., on Sept. 4. The purpose of the event, hosted by Rep. Grace Meng, was to advise community members about their labor rights. "The event was critical in reaching out to underserved populations and making sure that the federal government delivers assistance to every part of New York," said Gillian Gutierrez, a program analyst with the Women's Bureau.

Manufacturing and Women

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM EDT

Gloria Steinem (fifth from the right) poses with staff from the Women's Bureau at the White House Summit on Working Families.

Leaders representing manufacturing companies, state and federal government, educational institutions and community-based organizations met at the New Haven Connecticut Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 27 in New Haven, Conn. The roundtable discussion focused on the need for more women business owners and more women in advanced manufacturing positions. Co-hosted by the Women's Bureau and the New Haven Manufacturers Association, facilitators included Jerry Clupper, NHMA executive director, and Jacqueline Cooke, Women's Bureau regional administrator. Also in attendance was Sen. Chris Murphy, who highlighted the newly enacted Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and recognized the STEM Academy for middle school students in Monroe, Conn., as a worthwhile program that engages students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and manufacturing at a young age.

Breaking Down Barriers

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM EDT

With the goal of identifying issues that women in the region face in the transportation industry, the Women's Bureau continued their outreach on this issue, hosting a roundtable in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 27. During the "Women in Transportation" roundtable, representatives from local organizations including Public Works of Kansas City and K.C. Area Transportation Authority discussed challenges that exist for women considering employment in the industry. The discussion concluded by addressing how these barriers could be reduced. The group identified the need for more role models, dispelling stereotypes and better outreach programs for young women. "These local conversations are critically important to helping groups identify solutions to the challenges that exist for women" said Grace Protos, acting regional administrator.

• Learn About the Women's Bureau

Women in Transportation

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:23 AM EDT

Women make up nearly half of the labor force, but hold only a small portion of the often in-demand and higher paying jobs in the transportation industry. On Aug. 21, the Women's Bureau held a webinar with Women's Transportation Seminar entitled "Women in Transportation Careers: Obstacles and Opportunities." The webinar brought together more than 100 transportation industry professionals interested in increasing the presence of women in the field, as well as women considering entering a career in transportation. Representatives from the aviation, railway and highway industries discussed best practices for recruitment and retention of women, along with associated challenges and opportunities.

Older Women and Work

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:25 AM EDT

A series of roundtables in Wisconsin and Minnesota united community leaders, organizations on aging, women's advocates and academics to discuss older women and work. The discussions, from July 21 to 23, identified key obstacles women face in an aging workforce and specific initiatives and supports that could help address them. "These discussions help to better understand local-area issues related to this population and provide a pathway to collaborative work to help reduce some of the barriers," said Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Grace Protos. The events were hosted by the Women's Bureau, Wisconsin Women's Commission and Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women.

• Read the Fact Sheet

Students Focus on Equal Pay

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 10:28 AM EDT

The Women's Bureau hosted a group of high school students from the Young Women's Leadership Institute, a summer leadership program for high school girls at Barnard College, on July 9 at the bureau's New York regional office. The students, who are rising juniors and seniors, learned about the issue of equal pay, and how the wage gap will impact them as they enter the workforce. The students also learned about the work the government is doing to address the issue of unequal pay and fight pay discrimination.

• Learn About Equal Pay
• Visit the Women's Bureau Website

Resources for Working Families

Posted on July 03, 2014 at 12:13 PM EDT

Gloria Steinem (fifth from the right) poses with staff from the Women's Bureau at the White House Summit on Working Families.

Since the June 23 White House Summit on Working Families, the Women's Bureau has introduced new resources to help working women. Among them is an online portal that connects women at any career stage with relevant tools, data, resources and publications developed by the department. Another is an online map that provides federal- and state-level statutory information on employment protections against pregnancy discrimination and for nursing mothers, as well as contact information for related state government offices.

• Visit the Women's Bureau Website
• Get Resources for Working Women
• View Employment Protections Map

AAPI Roundtable in Philadelphia

Posted on July 03, 2014 at 1129 AM EDT

Department of Labor agency representatives hosting a breakout session on worker's rights at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Regional Interagency Working Group Roundtable on June 26 in Philadelphia.

Seeking to build relationships between the federal government and the Asian American Pacific Islander community, the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders held a Regional Interagency Working Group Roundtable on June 26 in Philadelphia. Breakout sessions covered immigration and worker's rights, as well as major issues and setbacks affecting the AAPI community. Participating agencies included the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Women's Bureau, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Public Affairs, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and the Employment and Training Administration.

Read About the White House Initiative