Dear Friends of the Women’s Bureau,
I am honored to serve the Biden-Harris Administration as the 20th director of the Women’s Bureau. For 10 years, I’ve advocated for both paid family medical leave and sick and safe days, access to child care and good wages, and working conditions. Through Family Values @ Work, a national network of grassroots coalitions, I’ve learned how certain policies can make a difference in workers’ lives. I’m excited and humbled to advance this work with the agency during a critical time in our country’s history.
I’m thrilled to work alongside Analilia Mejia, who joins the Women’s Bureau as deputy director. Analilia is a longtime activist for workers’ rights and a union organizer and previously worked as national political director for Senator Sanders’ presidential campaign. She has an interest in the role that labor policy and unions play in the lives of workers, particularly women and workers of color. The Obama administration recognized Analilia as a “Champion of Change” for her work advancing paid leave.
Like many of you, we feel the pressures of this pandemic; working from home, caring for elderly parents, and supporting school-age children.
As we reflect on the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Bureau, we take pride in the policy changes initiated and promoted on behalf of working women. However—as the pandemic has made clear—we know significant work remains. COVID cracked open the last artifice of an economy propped up by the undervalued labor of women, specifically women of color, and the structural racism that’s led to the overrepresentation of women and workers of color in low-wage and low quality jobs. We understand now is the time to deliver solutions to these problems.
As we celebrate Black History Month and look forward to Women’s History Month, the Women’s Bureau will work to ensure total inclusion and equality for women and people of color who have been on the front line and hardest hit by the pandemic. To truly strengthen our workplaces and economy, we must ensure they “work” for all of us. The Biden-Harris Administration has committed to worker rights, building economic stability for families, and resetting the playing field for women in the workplace. Now is the time to address equity in wages; disrupt occupational segregation; increase access to paid leave, child and elder care; and add good jobs to build the economy we all need to thrive.
At the Women’s Bureau, we have a terrific team of optimistic and future-focused people. We are quickly learning from each other and are ready to meet this moment. I look forward to working with all of you as we embark on this journey.
U.S. Department of Labor
Blog Post: Helping Black Women Reach Their Full Potential in the Workplace
Women’s Bureau Deputy Director Joan Harrigan-Farrelly published a blog in honor of National African-American History Month engaging the theme, “Black Family: Representation, Identity, Diversity.” This blog post highlights how the pandemic has exacerbated the economic disparities faced by Black families, specifically Black women.
Read the blog post here
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event: The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community
The Women’s Bureau Deputy Director Joan Harrigan-Farrelly was the keynote speaker for BLS’ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. event titled “The Urgency of Creating the Beloved Community.” This event highlighted what our beloved community has been through in the past year with the onset of the pandemic and how it has shown us the shortcomings in our struggle for equity and equality.
Joan discussed how Black women and men have been among the most affected groups in the labor force due to Covid-19. In particular, she honored the work of essential and front-line workers, many of whom are women. Joan concluded her speech by emphasizing how intertwined Dr. King saw the fight for labor rights and racial justice.
“As we celebrate Dr. King this year, the urgency of creating a beloved community and striving for the progress and upkeep of a fair and equitable society has never been more imperative. We have seen divisions and unimaginable loss in our community over the last year, but we have also seen acts of kindness, support, and love in our communities that allow us to maintain faith and hope in the future.”
DOL Blog: A More Inclusive Economy is Key to Recovery
DOL Chief Economist Janelle Jones published a blog highlighting the impact the pandemic has had on Black women. She discussed the disproportionate impact on Black working women in employment losses, labor-force participation, and the earnings gap, and stressed the need for inclusivity as the economy recovers.
Read the blog post here
Invitation: Webinar on U.S. Department of Education Child-Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Grant Program
On March 3 at 1 p.m. ET, the Women’s Bureau, the White House HBCU Initiative, and the DOL Office of Federal Contract and Compliance (OFCCP) are hosting an information session with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the CCAMPIS grant program. This program supports the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child-care services.
This webinar is aimed at individuals who represent an institution of higher education and are interested in learning more about how this grant program can help support or establish campus-based child-care programs.
To learn more about the program, visit the Department of Education’s website here
Register for this webinar here
Census Bureau: A New Way to Measure How Many Americans Work More Than One Job
The Census Bureau recently released a paper featuring a new measure of multiple jobholding using data from the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD). The authors found that the share of people holding more than one job in the same quarter has been increasing over the past 20 years, and that women are more likely than men to hold multiple jobs (9.1% and 6.6%, respectively).
The prevalence of multiple jobholding is especially high in a number of sectors with large shares of women: health care and social assistance (16.8%), accommodation and food services (16.7%), and retail trade (14.5%). The authors also found that individuals who hold multiple jobs earn less per quarter from all of their jobs, on average, than individuals who hold one long-lasting, stable job.