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New Englanders Have Their Say

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 2:55 PM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles welcomes the attendees at the White House Summit on Working Families Massachusetts Regional Forum in the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass. Photos by Katherine Taylor for U.S. Department of Labor. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The issue of working families can pack a room in Massachusetts. About 300 New Englanders met in Cambridge on May 19 for a forum on working families, one of five regional forums leading up to the June 23 White House Summit on Working Families. Speakers included Betsey Stevenson of the President's Council on Economic Advisers, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Katherine Clark. Each spoke of the long-standing need to address pay inequity, provide paid sick leave and embrace family, employer and economy friendly policies. Lyles said: "Removing the barriers that keep our best talent from participating fully in our workforce is key to ensuring that all American businesses can compete in the 21st century." Attendees heard from a small business owner who has successfully implemented such policies and a Rhode Island legislator who championed the passage of temporary caregiver insurance.

Learn More About the Summit
View the Slideshow
Watch the Video Excerpt

Oregon Forum on Apprenticeship

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM EDT

Betty Lock (center), Region 10 administrator for the Women's Bureau with apprentices in the highway and bridge construction field who completed pre-apprenticeship training through Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.'s Pathways to Success program. Click for a larger photo.

Women who work in highway and bridge construction joined with apprentices at a Women's Bureau's Seattle Regional Office roundtable during the Portland Women in Transportation Conference on May 16 in Portland, Ore. The roundtable was part of an effort to learn more about women entering into apprenticeships for nontraditional occupations. During the roundtable, Seattle Regional Administrator for the Women's Bureau Betty Lock talked with the women about their motivation to enter into an apprenticeship in the transportation industry, as well as their experiences in the field.

Voices of Women on Careers

Posted on April 02, 2014 at 10:56 AM EDT

Participants at the roundtable discussion on non-traditional careers and occupations hosted by the Women's Bureau on March 14 included civil engineers, transportation planners, faculty, career executives and female students, many of whom are shown here. Photo credit: Cal Poly Civil Engineering Student Kaylinn Roseman.

Women comprise 13.7 percent of civil engineers and 15.6 percent of transportation, storage and distribution managers, where wages are approximately twice the median annual earnings of all women. Other transportation occupations, such as drivers, truck and tractor operators, rail road conductors and yardmasters, pay significantly higher than the more traditional occupations available to women without advanced education. To learn from the experiences women face in non-traditional careers and in the transportation field, the Women's Bureau is hosting a series of roundtable discussions. The most recent took place on March 14 at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Participant feedback is helping complement a national research project by the Women's Bureau that aims to highlight the voices of women in non-traditional careers.

View the Slideshow
Learn About Leading Occupations for Women

Connecting With Customers

Posted on February 04, 2014 at 10:40 AM EDT

From left to right, Human Resources Center Director Sydney Rose, Women's Bureau Acting Director Latifa Lyles, Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen and  Mine Safety and Health Administration Assistant Secretary Joe Main engaged in a discussion about the importance of customer service at the Labor Department. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner Erica Groshen, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main, and Women's Bureau Acting Director Latifa Lyles spoke to approximately 200 people at the department's Customer Service in Action Town Hall on Jan. 29. The discussion was moderated by Human Resources Center Director Sydney Rose. Groshen, Main and Lyles highlighted examples of how the department continues to prioritize customer service to the public and discussed strategies for creating a more positive experience for the department's customers. Main reflected on the tragic Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in 2010 and how his agency handled the challenge. "Families first," Main simply stated. Accuracy, courtesy, efficiency and effectiveness are the department's core values for customer service.

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50 Years of the Equal Pay Act

Posted on February 04, 2014 at 10:36 AM EDT

"Today we reflect on the plight for equal pay still faced by women of all backgrounds, even after 50 years." Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Lucia Bruce shared these words on Jan. 18 at the Asian-American Women Coalition's program in Philadelphia, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. Attendees learned about the bureau's equal pay tools, resources and apps. A collaboration between AAWC, the Women's Bureau, PECO Energy Company and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the program focused on topics including negotiating tips, confronting stereotypes, Asian women pushing through the bamboo ceiling, and working with city government to change and make new rules.

Read About Equal Pay

Focus on Workplace Flexibility

Posted on November 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT

Ana Victoria Fortes (left), Region IX Program Analyst to the Women's Bureau, takes questions and directs audience members to resources following the discussion of U.S. Department of Labor resources on accommodating workplace flexibility. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The Women's Bureau, represented by Region IX program analyst Ana Victoria Fortes, took part in a panel on Nov. 13 addressing San Francisco's recently adopted Family Friendly Workplace ordinance. Fortes spoke on employer best practices for workplace flexibility. The panel addressed questions on implementation, enforcement and the scope of San Francisco's new policy. Members of various industries attended the event, including individuals from the labor standards legal community and small business representatives.

Learn about Workplace Flexibility Resources
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Read the Fact Sheet

Learning and Succeeding

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 9:40 AM EDT

Left to Right: Massachusetts State Sen. Joan B. Lovely; North Shore Community College Interim President Janice Forsstrom; North Shore Community College Alumna Dawn Karolides; American Association of University Women President Patricia Fae Ho; and Women's Bureau Administrator Jacqueline Cooke at the 'Women in Community Colleges:  Access to Success' forum. Click for a larger photo.

Community colleges play an important role in improving economic prospects for millions of women each year. On Oct. 28, North Shore Community College in Lynn, Mass., hosted a forum examining that role. Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jacqueline Cooke addressed approximately 50 people at the "Women in Community Colleges: Access to Success" forum, noting that 72 percent of Massachusetts jobs will soon require some post-secondary education. The bureau planned the event with the American Association of University Women, NSCC and the Essex County Commission on the Status of Women.

Older Women Roundtable

The panelists of the Older Women Workers Roundtable, including experts from academia, research institutions, activist groups, and federal government gather for a photo. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM EDT

In an effort to bring attention to the unique challenges facing older women in the workforce, the Women's Bureau held a roundtable on Sept. 27 at department headquarters in Washington, D.C. Acting Director Latifa Lyles pointed out that, although workers 55 and older are less likely to become unemployed than younger workers, those who do are likely to remain so for a longer period. "Older workers tend to... see their financial circumstances decline, [and] many go without medical care," said Lyles. The roundtable united subject experts from research institutions, advocacy organizations, universities and federal departments, and covered topics including retirement, financial needs specific to older women, and age and gender discrimination.

View the Slideshow

Green Career Options in Boston

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM EDT

Attendees continue the dialogue after the roundtable adjourns. View the slideshow for more images and captions.

The Women's Bureau's Boston regional office held an Aug. 21 roundtable focusing on career opportunities for women in the green and clean energy fields. It brought together 35 representatives from government, academia and business plus students and job seekers. Speakers outlined innovative efforts such as the University of Massachusetts' green internship program, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's use of paid internships. Attendees shared their personal stories of how they obtained their jobs in the green and clean energy sectors, and several participants expressed interest in mentoring and networking for advancement in green careers.

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Download the Green Jobs Guide

Serving Women Veterans

Posted on August 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM EDT

Staff from the Women's Bureau and Volunteers of America pose with boots donated and decorated by women veterans. The boots, collected by Volunteers of America, are a growing monument to the contributions made by women in the military and the unique experience of women veterans. Click for a larger photo.

Through training workshops in Missouri and Michigan, the Women's Bureau offered guidance on its Trauma-Informed Care Guide for those who provide services to women veterans. Interactive training with local service providers in Lansing, Mich., on Aug. 7 and at offices of the United Way in Kansas City, Mo., on Aug. 13 provided organizations an opportunity to assess how their agencies rate in their readiness to serve women veterans. Bureau staff then led exercises to help participants identify organizational strengths, weakness and next steps to enhance services. Each organization developed a plan to improve staff training and services for women veterans. A Stand Down for Women Veterans will take place on Sept. 16 in Lansing.

Read the Trauma Guide

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