US Department of Labor seeks to advance equity for Black women facing lower wages, less opportunity exacerbated by the pandemic
CHICAGO ‒ Those questioning the need for equity among Black women in the workforce should look no further than a 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ survey that found they earn just 63 cents for every dollar white men earn, and that they experienced a nearly 5 percent rate of job loss during the pandemic.
In addition to the pay gap, Black women have had to overcome longstanding inequities in education and the labor market to succeed.
As part of the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to build better jobs and increase pay equity, the department’s Women’s Bureau regional office in Chicago will host a webinar on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon CST entitled, “Advancing Equity for African-American Women in the Workforce.”
Along with presentations from representatives of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Small Business Administration and Chicago Federal Executive Board, the webinar will include discussions about federal resources available to assist Black women in obtaining better job skills, building their careers and exploring avenues to business ownership.
Women’s Bureau partners will share program success stories. Participating partners include Danielle Atkinson, founding director of Mothering Justice; Cherita Ellens, president and CEO of Women Employed; Dorri McWhorter, president and CEO of the YMCA of Metro Chicago; and Nicole R. Robinson, CEO of the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
“The U.S. Department of Labor’s recently announced ‘Good Jobs Initiative’ focuses on connecting the dots between federal agencies, employers and workers. It’s never been more important for us to advance training, employment and return-to-work opportunities that connect women, particularly women of color to higher-wage jobs so that our nation’s economic recovery brings with it greater equity,” said Women’s Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon.
The webinar will feature a panel discussion on programs and resources made available by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Labor agencies Job Corps, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Wage and Hour Division, Office of Apprenticeship, Employment & Training Administration, and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.