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Celebrating Women's History

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 11:01 AM EDT

At the "Making Women's Rights Real" women's history month observance in Boston were: (left to right) Diane Hammer of Simmons College; Lydia Edwards of Equal Justice Works; Sheila Katzman, chair, Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women for New York City; Anjali Sakaria, legislative director for Sen. Dan Wolf and Jacqueline Cooke, regional administrator for the Women's Bureau.

In March, the Women's Bureau is celebrating at Women's History events across the country. On March 10, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles delivered the keynote address at the 6th Annual Wisconsin Alliance for Women's Health Summit in Madison. Lyles' speech touched on issues affecting working women, including paid leave, pregnancy accommodation and non-traditional occupations. At Boston's Simmons College, Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Jacqueline Cooke participated in "Making Women's Rights Real" on March 6. Attendees representing more than 50 organizations included Big Sister of Boston, Girls LEAP, YWCA Boston and Science Club for Girls.


Focus on California Women

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 10:59 AM EDT

A diverse panel of women leaders, including the department's Women's Bureau San Francisco Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz (next to speaker) attended the release of the 2015 Report on the Status of Women in Pasadena, California, on March 4.

The San Francisco regional office of the Women's Bureau joined the Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women on March 4 to discuss the release of the "2015 Report on the Status of Women in Pasadena." Written by Mount Saint Mary's University, the report found that women in Pasadena enjoy better earnings compared to other California women and, on average, earn 91 percent of men's annual wages. Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz noted that Pasadena women have much higher levels of education other women in the state, which has helped open the highest paying jobs to them and narrowed the wage gap. The report also addresses housing and homelessness concerns, women veteran issues, domestic violence and human trafficking.


Remembering A. Philip Randolph

Posted on March 13, 2015 at 10:55 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles (right) and A. Philip Randolph President Clayola Brown at the 50th Anniversary of the A. Philip Randolph Institute commemoration.

Community leaders and labor activists from Delaware to New England gathered in Boston Feb. 27 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the senior constituency group of the AFL-CIO. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles joined Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Mass. AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, and APRI President Clayola Brown at the special commemoration of the statue of A. Philip Randolph, the organizer and first president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Lyles addressed the group that evening at the "Keeper of the Flame Award" dinner, remarking: "This historic milestone is an opportunity to note the many African American women trailblazers in both the civil rights and labor rights movement who are often missing from documents of history and acclaim."


The Case for Global Paternity Leave

Posted on January 05, 2015 at 9:56 AM EDT

Director of the Women's Bureau Latifa Lyles (right) joined Jake Brewer of Change.org and Barbara Wankoff at an event exploring paid leave policies benefits, titled Where's Your Daddy?

Families shouldn't have to choose between caring for a child and providing for that child, observed Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles at an event on global paternity leave hosted by New America Foundation CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter and co-sponsored by Promundo. The event in Washington on Jan. 28 explored how paid leave policies benefit children, families and the bottom line of both businesses and countries. "We know that when men take leave the culture of the organization tends to have a more positive outlook as it is related to paid leave," said Lyles. The panel included Barbara Wankoff of KPMG and Jake Brewer of Change.org and was moderated by journalist Liza Mundy, who is also director of the Breadwinning and Caregiving Program at New America Foundation.


Pregnancy Protections at Work

Posted on January 05, 2015 at 9:52 AM EDT

Employment Protections For Workers Who Are Pregnant or Nursing Map.

More than 600 people from across the nation participated in a Jan. 27 webinar entitled "Know your Rights: Employment Protections for Pregnant Workers." In her opening remarks, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles showcased an interactive map that shows which states offer employment protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Sarah Crawford from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Melissa Josephs from Women Employed and Dina Bakst from A Better Balance also presented. Topics included updated enforcement guidance of pregnancy protections and the EEOC's focus on pregnancy protections, the recent enactment of the Pregnancy Fairness Law in Illinois, and similar pregnancy laws in Delaware, New York City and other localities.


Engaging Girls in STEM

Posted on January 05, 2015 at 9:44 AM EDT

Director of the Women's Bureau Latifa Lyles (center) joined Karen Peterson of the National Girls Collaborative Project (right) as moderators of a working group tasked with generating ideas for a portal specifically designed to help young girls interested in working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The working group was comprised of leaders in education and workforce development like the President, CEO, & Chief Inspiration Officer at Innovative Learning Concept Dr. Angelique Tucker Blackmon (left).

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles joined White House representatives and those from the Department of Education and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality at an event focused on engaging girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The event, "Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and Career and Technical Education" at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 15, brought together 140 education and workforce development leaders to share best practices. After opening remarks from Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president, the event included a series of group discussions. Lyles joined Karen Peterson of the National Girls Collaborative Project to moderate a working group tasked with generating ideas for a portal designed to help young girls interested in STEM fields.


Students Weigh Wage Gap

Posted on December 08, 2014 at 11:33 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles addresses the first biannual New England Women's Policy Conference in Boston on Nov. 7.

New York University students preparing for post-college careers attended a recent panel discussion on solutions to the gender wage gap. With guidance from the Women's Bureau, the NYU-based Feminist Society presented "Bridging the Gap" on Dec. 1. "The wage gap affects you starting with your first job after graduation," said Susan Chittooran, a Women's Bureau program analyst. "The wage gap is relatively small when you're young, but over time it adds up. By retirement, women have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages over their lifetime." Panelists from academia, government, advocacy, and career counseling came together to discuss historical perspectives around women's employment and the current state of the wage gap in the United States.


Women Preparing for Success

Posted on December 08, 2014 at 11:31 AM EDT

More than 150 women attended the Pacific Northwest Women's Conference focusing on "preparing for success in career, home and life" on Nov. 18 and 19 in Seattle. Staff from the Women's Bureau's Seattle Regional Office conducted a 90-minute workshop on workplace flexibility at the event, which was sponsored by the Federally Employed Women Pacific Northwest Region. "Workplace flexibility strengthens employee loyalty and productivity as it enables balance in work and family obligations," said Women's Bureau Regional Administrator Betty Lock. During the workshop, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided information about equal pay and protections under the Equal Pay Act.


Balancing Work and Family

Posted on December 08, 2014 at 11:27 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles addresses the first biannual New England Women's Policy Conference in Boston on Nov. 7.

"It's an economic imperative to ensure that women can fully participate" in the economy, said Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles during a discussion titled "The Homemaker Mystique." Lyles participated in a panel discussion held by the New America Foundation's Breadwinning and Caregiving program on Nov. 13 in Washington, D.C. Panelists explored the challenges that working families face in balancing work and home life, including finding time away from work to provide care, and the stigmas that parents face when they do take time off. Lyles talked about the department's work to support working families, such as the #LeadOnLeave campaign. New America Foundation president Anne-Marie Slaughter gave welcoming remarks at the event, and celebrity chef Cat Cora delivered a keynote address.


Finding the Performance Edge

Posted on December 08, 2014 at 11:22 AM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles addresses the first biannual New England Women's Policy Conference in Boston on Nov. 7.

The performance edge enjoyed by companies with a high commitment to workforce diversity was the topic of conversation at a gathering of corporate human resource directors from across the San Diego metro region on Nov. 12. Women's Bureau San Francisco Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz led the discussion, sharing demographic data that projected large increases in San Diego County's proportion of older workers, especially older working women, Hispanic workers and veterans. The University of California San Diego Human Resources Leadership Program hosted the meeting, and participants discussed policies and programs that drive both employee engagement and corporate profitability.


Women's Policy Conference

Posted on November 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM EDT

Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles addresses the first biannual New England Women's Policy Conference in Boston on Nov. 7.

"Working families struggle to survive in workplaces with an antiquated notion of working women," said Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles as she spoke about equal pay, paid leave, and affordable, quality child care at the first biannual New England Women's Policy Conference in Boston. The event, held on Nov. 7 and co-hosted by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, drew approximately 375 people.


Women in Transportation

Posted on November 17, 2014 at 12:18 PM EDT

The Women's Bureau, along with the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, co-hosted a roundtable discussion on Oct. 31 to address challenges and barriers confronting women in the transportation industry. The program focused on promising practices for informing and connecting women to careers in transportation, as well as policies and programs that support the advancement of women in this industry. Lucia Bruce, regional administrator in Philadelphia, echoed the sentiment shared at the roundtable. "Now there needs to be a national education and awareness campaign to entice and recruit younger women into the variety of transportation occupations," she said. "An education and awareness campaign would help all women realize that non-traditional occupations for women can lead to better economic stability."


Addressing Challenges for Women

Posted on November 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM EDT

Ana Fortes, program analyst, Women's Bureau, addresses the Pacific Gas & Electric Company's Women's Network Employee Resource Group.

Many of the disparities that women face are often more pronounced for women of color. Addressing those disparities was the topic of a panel discussion in which Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles participated on Nov. 12 at the White House. The panel was part of an event held by the White House Council on Women and Girls for its new report, "Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity." Opening remarks were delivered by Tina Tchen, executive director of the White House Council on Women and Girls. Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett closed the event with an armchair conversation.


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