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Mothers and Families: Mother’s Day Data Findings

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We released new data that show the impact of COVID-19 on women’s employment in the U.S. According to the research, COVID-19 has significantly affected mothers’ employment. In April 2020, employment declined by 15.7% among mothers with children under the age of 13, compared with a 9.6% reduction among fathers. Two years later, fathers’ employment has fully recovered while mothers’ employment remains 2% below pre-pandemic levels.

Website Updates – WB recently published updates to our Mothers and Families page, including a new graphic on childcare-related work disruptions using recent Census Bureau data:

New Resource – In coordination with the department's Wage and Hour Division, we recently released a resource on workplace protections for nursing mothers. Did you know the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to provide eligible employees with reasonable break time to pump breast milk for a nursing child for one year after the child’s birth?

Funding Opportunity Announcements

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Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Grant ProgramApply through June 20, 2022 | Earlier this month, we announced a funding opportunity of $3.4 million for up to nine grants to attract and retain women in Registered Apprenticeship Programs and industries where they are underrepresented such as manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and healthcare. The WANTO grant program supports community-based organizations to recruit, train and retain more women in Registered Apprenticeships and nontraditional occupations.


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Fostering Access, Rights and Equity Grant Program Apply through July 1, 2022 | We recently announced a funding opportunity of $2 million for up to eight grants to help women who are paid low wages learn about and access their employment rights and benefits. Administered by the department’s Women’s Bureau and the Employment and Training Administration, the Fostering Access, Rights and Equity (FARE) grants are designed to support non-profit organizations that connect women workers to services, benefits and legal assistance.

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month

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Building Legacy Together: Our Communities’ Journey of Strength and Resilience – In honor of Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month, WB Chief of Staff Nikkilia Lu penned a blog about her father, who came to the United States as a Vietnam War refugee 40 years ago. Her experiences with racism and discrimination while living in mostly white communities led her to a career in public service and a calling as an advocate for racial, gender and economic justice.

Observing Mental Health Awareness Month

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Mental Health and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Did You Know? If you work for an FMLA-covered employer and are eligible for FMLA leave, you may take leave if you are unable to work due to a serious mental health condition. The FMLA ensures job-protected leave for physical and mental health conditions you and your family members may be facing.
To learn more, check out these resources:

Migrant Women in the Workplace: Mental Health Roundtable – On May 26, WB Director Wendy Chun-Hoon took part in a dialogue with Ramona DeLoera (Florida), Cinthya Be (California) and Lila Ortiz (Oklahoma) about their personal challenges and experiences as migrant farmworkers. This roundtable, organized by nonprofit group Justice for Migrant Women, commemorates the launch of the Healing Voices program, which provided services to farmworkers in the wake of COVID-19.

May Events and Partnerships

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On May 25, WB participated in a webinar cohosted by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education to discuss Registered Apprenticeships as a way to address the early care and education (ECE) workforce shortages.


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On May 25, WB Director Chun-Hoon joined Yellow Corp. & Women in Trucking to discuss roadblocks to women’s participation in the trucking industry.


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On May 19, WB Senior Advisor Gayle Goldin shared remarks at a press event about the importance of paid leave. The event celebrated Maryland and Delaware passing paid family and medical leave laws. Read our recent blog on the importance of paid leave: 


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On May 18, WB Director Chun-Hoon delivered remarks about the impact of gender and racial inequality on women workers and the union advantage for women/women of color at UAW’s (International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America) biennial National Community Action Program Conference. The event theme was “Creating A Path Forward.” Attendees honored the Flint Emergency Brigade by wearing the iconic red beret for the conference's annual Odessa Komer Memorial Women's Breakfast.


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On May 16, WB Director Chun-Hoon, Regional Administrator Gina Rodriguez, and Program Analyst Debby Pascal met with Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Illinois Director of Labor Jane Flanagan and WANTO grantee Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT) to talk about prioritizing equitable workforce development and job quality in the implementation of federal investments through the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


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On May 11, WB Director provided a keynote address titled “Bridging Opportunity Gaps” at the Reimagining Women in the Bioengineering, Technology, and Data Science Ecosystem Virtual Summit hosted by the NIH Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers.

Webinar Series: Equity in the Workplace

WB kicked off a webinar series that explores issues of equity in the workplace. These discussions present the latest research, best practices, and leading voices dedicated to improving opportunity, wages and working conditions for women. Check out the themes and topics of the first three webinars and see our Upcoming Events for the next installation in the series.

  • May 11: What Does Equity Look Like for Military Spouses?
  • May 18: Protecting Pregnant and Nursing Mothers
  • May 25: Advancing Equity for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Women

Upcoming Events

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Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Trucking through Registered Apprenticeship

  • Wednesday, June 1, 1:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Equity in the Workplace: The Power of Trans Inclusion in the Workplace

  • Tuesday, June 21, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

Equity in Focus: Building a Diverse, Inclusive Clean Energy Workforce

Wednesday, June 29, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. ET | REGISTER

We Want to Hear from You!

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"Occupational segregation" is the gendered division 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 supports that help them thrive, and the policy changes that would help them succeed.  

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 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.