News and Events
New Englanders Have Their Say
Posted on May 28, 2014 at 2:55 PM EDT
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.
Oregon Forum on Apprenticeship
Posted on May 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM EDT
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
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.
Connecting With Customers
Posted on February 04, 2014 at 10:40 AM EDT
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.
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.
Focus on Workplace Flexibility
Posted on November 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM EDT
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.
Learning and Succeeding
Posted on October 31, 2013 at 9:40 AM EDT
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
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.
Green Career Options in Boston
Posted on August 22, 2013 at 9:25 AM EDT
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.
Serving Women Veterans
Posted on August 15, 2013 at 4:17 PM EDT
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.