Dear citizens and friends of the Women's Bureau,
Our founders declared, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Over the centuries, the Constitution has been amended and the government has evolved to better meet the vision established in our founding documents. It is with this desire that on June 5, 1920, our nation established the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Women's Bureau is the only agency mandated by Congress to represent the interests of working women and it was established at the Department of Labor for a reason. Work, is the foundation for equality and opportunity, as each individual in their work gains the tools and resources to not just survive, but thrive. Simply, promoting the rights of women and all people to work, and be fairly compensated, is part of promoting the general welfare. This should be celebrated.
However, with social distancing requirements during the coronavirus pandemic, part of this celebration must be postponed. It doesn't seem right to celebrate when the women in essential services cannot join us, nor can online forums do justice for the events that were supposed to take place today in the Great Hall at the Department of Labor.
We look forward to sharing with you opportunities to join us in the 100th-anniversary festivities. In the meantime, please help us celebrate the accomplishments of women and the Women's Bureau digitally.
Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D.
U.S. Department of Labor
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Women's Bureau, Director Laurie Todd-Smith wrote about the Women's Bureau's current agenda.
"As state governments reopen their economies, the Women’s Bureau will focus our studies on child care access and regulatory reforms that can help women return to the workforce. This work is just as important as ever."
Are you interested in how women's participation in the workforce has changed over the last 100 years? Data analysts at the Women's Bureau present the top 10 occupations for women in each decade from 1920 to the present day.
The Women's Bureau's "Our Purpose. Your Work." initiative presents women of all ages with the opportunity to share your work stories and talk about how the Women's Bureau has helped advance your purpose. Throughout our centennial year, we have collected and shared stories to learn how the Women's Bureau's resources and initiatives have made a difference in your life, at work and at home.
The Women’s Bureau has been championing the rights of working women and serving as a convener of conversations for the past 100 years. Today, on our centennial anniversary, we are excited to announce that the Women's Bureau launched its own Twitter account!
Follow us at @WB_DOL to learn more about the latest research, initiatives, policies, and updates related to working women. We look forward to continuing the thoughtful conversations we've had with our stakeholders for the last 100 years on Twitter!
The Women's Bureau is remembering Ruth E. Shinn who was a member of the Women's Bureau team for more than 30 years and served as the Chief of the Division of Legislative Analysis until 1995. A loyal and passionate advocate for the rights and well-being of women in the workplace, Ruth worked at the Women's Bureau during six presidential administrations. She played a key role in the development of legislation for supporting working women, including her work on an interdepartmental project to identify sex discrimination in the federal code and her input on the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Ruth was a "font of knowledge and historical perspective. She could ask the most deep and penetrating questions. She questioned the basis of any and all facts and assumptions," said Harriet Harper, Ruth's colleague and Chief of the Division of Statistical and Economic Analysis at the Women's Bureau until 2002. "Ruth was a mentor and exemplar as well as a friend."