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Dear Friends of the Women’s Bureau,

Many of you took time in March to join in discussion with the Women’s Bureau and colleagues from across the Department of Labor about what collective action we must take in this moment to reverse the detrimental employment and economic impacts the pandemic has had on women, specifically women of color.

We want you to know we’ve heard you, and we redouble our more than 100-year commitment to advocate for equality and economic security for working women and their families. The Women’s Bureau is well positioned to address the pandemic’s impact on women in the workforce, specifically women of color, by simultaneously addressing underlying inequities driven by occupational segregation and the lack of workplace and discrimination protections.

The Women’s Bureau understands a full economic recovery will ensure that the most vulnerable workers, many of them women, have the resources they need to return to full participation in the workforce. To achieve this, the agency will focus its research, policy analysis, grantmaking, and education and outreach on addressing equity in wages and working conditions in sectors where women, especially women of color, are overrepresented, and it will connect women to good jobs through apprenticeships and other career pathway models. Our analysis will focus on what works for the most marginalized workers, and will inform policy areas, including wages, the right to organize, equal pay, paid leave, access to child and elder care, and fair scheduling. Other policy areas will include unemployment insurance and protecting workers from discrimination based on pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

We look forward to working with you every step of the way. And we’re not wasting any time – check out our funding announcement (below) for the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program, which seeks to address the significant underrepresentation of women in apprenticeship programs and in high-growth, high-wage Science, Technology, Engineering and Math-related (STEM) occupations. 

Wendy Chun-Hoon
Women’s Bureau
U.S. Department of Labor

Funding Alert: $3.5 million for Organizations Supporting Women in Registered Apprenticeships and Nontraditional Occupations

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The U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau announced $3.5 million in grant funding to encourage women’s employment in Registered Apprenticeship programs and nontraditional occupations such as those in the manufacturing, cybersecurity, and health-care industries.

The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant program will award up to 10 grants to community-based organizations to recruit, mentor, train, and retain more women in quality Registered Apprenticeship programs and nontraditional occupations.

Apply by June 4, 2021.

Share Your Story with Us

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The Women’s Bureau has been collecting stories from women to hear about how they are navigating work, family, and the economy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic--their struggles, their coping strategies, and their ideas about what would help them succeed.

Please consider sharing your story with us, so we can continue to create an economy that works for women. 
Hear from women who have already shared their stories: Ashley Bostick, member leader with 9to5 Georgia; Christina Hayes, volunteer for Mothering Justice; Nour Quytan, restaurant worker with the Restaurant Opportunities Center; Rev. Harriet Bradley, health care worker; and Daniella Knight, part-time worker and mom.

Women’s Bureau in the News

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Check out some of the recent media coverage featuring Women’s Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon:

IRS: Tax Credits for Employers Providing Paid Leave for Covid-19 Vaccinations  


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Paid leave can help women keep the jobs they need while taking care of themselves and their families. President Biden and the Internal Revenue Service announced a tax credit in the American Rescue Plan that will offset the cost of providing paid time off to get or recover from a Covid-19 vaccination, available to employers with fewer than 500 employees.

ODEP: Spotlight on Women with Disabilities

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The Office of Disability Employment Policy released a report highlighting women with disabilities in the labor market, and how they have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Topics covered in the report include: disability prevalence, poverty, employment trends, educational attainment, job characteristics, accommodations in the workplace, mental illness and health insurance coverage.

Department of Labor Hosts Open Dialogue to Ensure Equity in Employment for People with Disabilities from Historically Underserved Communities

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Co-hosted by the Women’s Bureau, Office of Disability Employment Policy, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the department will use the input respondents provide during this campaign to help identify strategies for dismantling systemic barriers to employment and participation in workforce services that people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds, communities, and identities face.

The dialogue will also help DOL formulate future programs and funding opportunities that respond to the needs of people with disabilities, including people with mental-health conditions and those recovering from long-term effects of Covid, who are from diverse backgrounds, including communities of color, religious minorities, LGBTQ+people, and rural communities; and those otherwise affected by persistent poverty or inequality.




Worker.gov is now available in Spanish

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Worker.gov was created by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide information about worker’s rights and common workplace concerns. This site is not intended to be comprehensive, but it includes a compliance-assistance tool that covers various topics and labor laws enforced by several federal agencies, including DOL. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics Releases New Data on Women and Families

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released the 2020 edition of “Women in the labor force: a databook.” The databook contains a comprehensive summary of women’s involvement in the labor market and earnings in 2019, including breakdowns by key characteristics, such as demographics, occupation and industry, hours of work, union membership, veteran status, disability, and presence and age of children. It also includes trend data going as far back as 1948 for certain indicators.   

BLS also released its Employment Characteristics of Families news release with annual averages for 2020, including statistics for unemployment, employment, and labor-force participation by marital status, sex, race, and presence and age of children.

Census Bureau: Women’s Business Ownership in America on the Rise

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New analysis of the Census Bureau’s Annual Business Survey (ABS) shows that the number of women-owned employer firms in 2018 reached 1.1 million, marking a 0.6% increase from 2017. These women-owned firms represented 19.9% of all firms that employed people in the U.S. in 2018, and employed more than 10.1 million workers with an average annual payroll per employee of $38,238, compared with $54,114 on average for workers of all firms.  

Follow the Women's Bureau on Twitter: @WB_Dol

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The Women’s Bureau has championed the rights of working women and served as a convener of conversations for the past 100 years.

Follow us at @WB_DOL to view our #FridayFirsts series highlighting pioneering women, and to learn more about the latest research, initiatives, policies, and updates related to working women. We look forward to continuing the thoughtful conversations on Twitter that we've had with our stakeholders for the last 100 years!