WB banner

August Observances

National Breastfeeding Month: What to Expect When You're Expecting

maternity image of woman

Do you know what to expect from your employer when you’re expecting? The Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and Wage and Hour Division will be co-hosting a series of events on maternal health and pregnancy protections. If you're an expecting or new parent, you'll learn what laws safeguard you in the workplace and how to assert your rights to your employer. 

We developed an interactive map with information on federal and state-level employment protections for pregnant or nursing workers. Use the map to find out what protections exist in your state. 


Women's Equality Day

historic image of women

More than 102 years ago, the U.S. ratified the 19th Amendment, allowing some American women the right to vote for the first time. While this was a milestone, Black women didn't secure this same right until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. This month we commemorate the advancements we've made over the years, while outlining strategies to ensure future progress for all.

Women in Apprenticeship & Nontraditional Occupations Grant Award

 WANTO Grant Awards in Chicago

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor awarded $3.4 million in funding through its WANTO grant program to help recruit, train and retain more women in pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeship programs, as well as in sectors with low female employment. The 2022 WANTO grants will support five organizations in Arizona, Illinois, New York, Virginia and Washington working to increase women’s participation in fields such as finance, technology, construction, manufacturing, energy and transportation.


woman working in a workshop

85th Anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act
On Aug. 16, 1937, Congress passed the National Apprenticeship Act (NAA), also known as the Fitzgerald Act, to support workers in the skilled trades and promote fairness and safety for apprentices. This law formally established the Registered Apprenticeship Program and put in place regulations to protect apprentices from racial, gender and other forms of discrimination.


National Dialogue: Advancing the National Apprenticeship System
As we celebrate the 85th anniversary of the National Apprenticeship Act, the Department of Labor is working to expand apprenticeship programs to new industries and increase Registered Apprenticeship participation from historically underrepresented populations. DOL invites you to join a national online dialogue and share your ideas on ways to amplify the reach and availability of inclusive apprenticeship, as well as address any barriers to their success.


120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint
The departments of Labor and Commerce are running a 120-Day Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint to use Registered Apprenticeships to build a skilled, diverse cybersecurity workforce. RAs are a proven earn-as-you-learn model and a pathway to good quality, high-wage jobs.

Data & Stats: Parents Employment Updates

family with mother father and child

Mothers’ overall employment rate remains 1.6% below their February 2020 rate, while fathers’ employment has fully recovered. Black mothers’ employment has had a slower recovery at 4.8% below February 2020 levels. Since the start of the pandemic, women in service occupations and part-time workers have experienced the most employment losses; these jobs are more likely to be poorly compensated and lack paid leave and telework options.

Labor Day 2022

labor Day 2022 Graphic

This Labor Day, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is eager to share how the department is celebrating the strength of America's workers while promoting good jobs and providing the tools and resources they need to succeed. 


Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge Center
The Department of Labor recently launched the Worker Organizing Resource and Knowledge (WORK) Center, which is a one-stop shop for information and resources on unions and collective bargaining for workers, employers, unions, government agencies, students and anyone interested in unions and collective bargaining.


In Case You Missed It

equity in focus panel

If Not Now, When? Prioritizing Equity in Our Economic Recovery, by Wendy Chun-Hoon, Women's Bureau Director
Excerpt: "That conversation with Kimber and the other women I met in Birmingham reinforced the fundamental issue we’re working to address in this moment at local and federal levels: how we can continue to center equity for those most impacted by the pandemic to ensure their financial recovery and overall wellbeing."

New Federal Programs & Resources

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Do you have a Federal student loan, and have you made 120 monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while employed full-time by a qualifying employer? If so, you may be eligible for the Department of Education's PSLF program.


New Suicide Hotline: 988
The Department of Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline connects individuals experiencing suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress to a network of trained counselors 24 hours, 7 days a week.

We Want to Hear from You!

Tell us your story graphic

“Occupational segregation” is the gendered sorting of men and women into different types of jobs. It leads to women being overrepresented in certain jobs, which are generally valued and compensated less than male-dominated jobs.

We’ve heard from many working women about their experiences with gendered job expectations, the challenges they face at work, the support systems that help them thrive, and the policy changes that would help them succeed.  

Follow the Women’s Bureau on Twitter: @WB_DOL

group of professional women

The Women’s Bureau has championed the rights of working women and served as a convener of conversations critical to an equitable economy for women for more than 100 years.

Follow us at @WB_DOL to view our #ThrowbackThursday series highlighting pioneering women, and to learn more about the latest research, initiatives, policies, and updates related to working women and their families.