News and Events
Posted on Decenber 01, 2015 at 9:49 AM EDT
Providing older women with the tools they need to enter or re-enter the workforce was the focus of a Women’s Bureau event held on Nov. 21 at Wiley College in Marshall, Texas. Wiley College is an East Texas organization that serves older workers, and the “50+ Women2Work Conference” provided participants with a wide range of job readiness skills, including tips for accessing training for new professions, best practices for filling out online job applications, and reinforcing good interviewing techniques. Conference speakers also presented information on best practices for managing finances and resources to help older women become entrepreneurs. Read more on Older Women Workers and Economic Security.
Advancing equality for women, girls of color
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 10:54 AM EDT
A summit on advancing equity for women and girls of color brought together academics, members of the private sector, government officials and philanthropists at the White House on Nov. 13. Headlining the event was the release of a White House report which identifies five data-driven issue areas where interventions can promote opportunities for success at school, work and in the community. The White House also announced a $100 million, 5-year-funding initiative by Prosperity Together, a group of women’s foundations, formed to improve the economic security of low-income women. Women’s Bureau Director Latifa Lyles participated on a panel called “Prosperity and Promise: Economic Opportunity in the Next Decade,” where she discussed women in the workforce, apprenticeship opportunities and paid leave. The summit, hosted by the White House Council on Women and Girls and the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University, included remarks from Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Employment and training policy symposium
Posted on November 24, 2015 at 10:50 AM EDT
Representatives from the Chief Evaluation Office and theWomen’s Bureau participated in the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Annual Conference in Miami on Nov. 13. The symposium, the largest of its kind, brought together a diverse group of academics, program evaluators and other policy professionals to discuss emerging research on employment and training, education, health and housing. The department’s presentations included sessions on employment policy during the Great Recession, the effectiveness of Workforce Investment Act programs, the impact of worker protection programs, and new research on state paid family leave programs.
Women’s Bureau’s Regions Celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 12:31 PM EDT
The U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau participated in many events across the country for National Apprenticeship Week. In Washington, DC the Women’s Bureau co-hosted a Discussion on Women in Trucking with the U.S. Department of Transportation. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Public Engagement and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Labor’s VETS and Office of Apprenticeship and representatives from private industry exchanged ideas and best practices to recruit and retain women in the transportation fields.
In Boston, the Women’s Bureau and Office of Apprenticeship co-hosted A conversation on Women in Apprenticeship. Public sector leaders from U.S. Department of Labor, EEOC, and state, city, and county officials discussed examples of successful apprenticeship programs and some challenges women still face in entry and retention in many occupational fields. Regional Administrator Jackie Cooke also introduced the Women’s Bureau’s new resource, a Women Build, Protect and Move America portal. This portal provides a repository of information for women job-seekers and service providers in the construction, transportation and protective services career fields.
In Lowell, MA the Women’s Bureau and the Greater Lowell Workforce Investment Board convened a roundtable discussion focused on Apprenticeships in Manufacturing. Representatives from the manufacturing industry and from federal, state, and local agencies discussed the expanding role of apprenticeships in the Massachusetts workforce, particularly in the Lowell area. Participants heard from Women’s Bureau Program Analyst Angela Rizzolo, an Office of Apprenticeship grantee, and the state’s Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and Department of Career Services.
In Berkeley, CA the Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz spoke at an open house called Celebrating Women in Apprenticeship, which showcased the federal role in promoting apprenticeship and enforcing equal employment opportunity for women and minorities within the building trades. In addition, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and key state agencies, including the California Division of Apprenticeship Standards and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls shared state and local efforts to bring more women into apprenticeship. Important voices from the advocacy community highlighted model programs and shared perspectives on the power of apprenticeship to change women’s lives, including Tradeswomen, Inc., Equal Rights Advocates and female apprenticeship coordinators from the Operating Engineers and the Alameda County Building Trades.
In New York City, the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) hosted a forum titled Advancing Women in the Trades: Building on Success at 7 World Trade Center. The forum included panels and presentations by regional construction and union leaders. Former apprentices also shared their experiences and successes in moving from apprentice to local leader. The forum was followed by a site visit of 4 World Trade Center and the Fulton Transit Center as well as an open house at NEW’s training facility. The event was attended by about 150 people and focused on increasing the presence of women in the trades. Grace Protos, Mallory Trachtenberg, and Grace Ahrens attended on behalf of the Women’s Bureau.
In Denton, TX, Women’s Bureau’s Program Analyst Dolores Bischof attended at an open house hosted by Power Line Holdings (PLH) Group at Northwest Lineman College. The event featured a presentation about PLH Group’s Registered Apprentice Program, as well as a facility tour and special breakout sessions where attendees heard about program start up and programs offered, and had a chance to interact with current and former apprentices.
In Philadelphia, the Women’s Bureau Program Analyst Rose Holandez spoke at an open house at the Finishing Trades Institute and at the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund’s Career Fair, which featured guest speakers and previous apprentices.
In Portland, OR the Women’s Bureau’s Regional Administrator Betty Lock spoke at Oregon Tradeswomen’s Women in Apprenticeship Day Recognition Event which brought together industry employers, public officials, and pre-apprenticeship students at the Sheet Metal Institute training center.
In Seattle, the Women’s Bureau’s Regional Administrator Betty Lock attended the South Seattle College Apprenticeship Open House which provided an opportunity for the Women’s Bureau to build a relationship with the new grantees of an American Apprenticeship Initiative Grant to fund the Advanced Technology Apprenticeships in manufacturing and marine engineering project.
A boost for women’s economic security
Posted on November 09, 2015 at 1:22 PM EDT
Women’s Bureau Deputy Director Pronita Gupta and Wage and Hour Division Deputy Administrator Laura Fortman traveled to Augusta, Maine, on Oct. 16 for the Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security. Hosted by the Maine Women’s Policy Center, the event aimed to build support and action for a variety of public policies to increase women’s economic security, including paid family leave, paid sick leave, and increasing the minimum wage. Gupta made a case for taking the lead on leave, offering encouraging examples of progress from New England – Rhode Island has just one of three state paid-leave programs nationwide, and Connecticut and Massachusetts offer paid sick leave programs. Additionally, the Women’s Bureau has supported the efforts of four New England states with paid leave analysis grants in 2014 and 2015. “A big part of economic security is having the peace of mind in knowing that you won’t lose your job or forgo your income if you have to take time off to have a child or care for a loved one,” said Gupta. Fortman spoke at a session titled “Policy in Action: Ensuring the Laws Work for You.”
Economic security summit in Vermont
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 3:16 PM EDT
In a day of policy discussions that could improve the economic well-being for working women and their families, Women’s Bureau Director Latifa Lyles addressed an audience of more than 150 individuals from government, business, nonprofits and colleges at the Vermont Women’s Economic Security Summit on Oct. 8 in Montpelier. Lyles spoke about a range of initiatives that strengthen economic security for working families, including the importance of paid family and sick leave. She emphasized that, as one of the eight recipients of this year’s paid leave analysis grants, Vermont can serve as a catalyst for progress on paid leave both locally and nationally. The event was sponsored by the Vermont Commission on Women and the Vermont Women’s Legislative Caucus.
Pay disparity among Latina population
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 3:23 PM EDT
Hispanic women represented 1 in 7 women in the labor force last year, yet they tend to have less favorable outcomes than Hispanic men and non-Hispanics. On Oct. 8, the Women’s Bureau participated in a panel discussion in San Jose, Calif., about the gender wage gap among Latinas. During her presentation, regional administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz noted that occupational segregation, educational attainment and lack of benefits are factors that contribute to the wage gap among this group. “On an annual, national basis, Latinas earn just 55 percent of the wages of white men, and 87 percent of the wages of Hispanic men,” Jenkins-Pultz said. A screening of “Made in L.A.,” a documentary highlighting economic challenges facing Latinas working in the garment industry, followed the panel discussion.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated in RI
Posted on October 22, 2015 at 3:26 PM EDT
The Women’s Bureau organized two events in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month at the campuses of Nowell Leadership Academy in Providence and Central Falls, R.I., on Oct. 13 and 14. Partnering with the Rhode Island YWCA and the Leadership Academy – which provides quality educational opportunities for at-risk students, the bureau facilitated two panel presentations by successful Latina women in business, government, law and social work. Among the speakers, Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea described her history-making career trajectory as the first Latina to be elected to her position.
$1.55 Million in Paid Leave Analysis Grants Awarded
Posted on October 15, 2015 at 10:49 AM EDT
The Women's Bureau recently announced $1.55 million in grants to eight states and localities to study the feasibility of developing and expanding statewide paid family and medical leave programs.
The 2015 Paid Leave Analysis Grants awardees are:
- The State of California, Employment Development Department
- The Montgomery County Office of Legislative Oversight, Maryland
- The New Hampshire Employment Security
- The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
- The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training
- The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability
- The Vermont Commission on Women
- The Washington State Employment Security Department
This investment builds on the $500,000 in paid leave analysis grants awarded in 2014 to the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Montana and Rhode Island, and represent a key deliverable and action item announced at the June 2014 White House Summit on Working Families.
Posted on October 15, 2015 at 11:03 AM EDT
Black women in the labor movement: The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Women’s Bureau and Blacks in Government-DOL chapter hosted a briefing with the authors of And I Still Rise: Black Women Labor Leaders-Voices, Power, Promise – a report on black women’s leadership in the labor movement. Authors Kimberly Freeman Brown and Marc Bayard shared insights into winning organizing strategies, ways to build power by linking arms with others and the value of opening opportunity to black women in nontraditional fields. The findings were gathered through first-person interviews and a national online survey. Two of the women featured in the report, published by the Institute for Policy Studies, joined the briefing to share their stories –Wilna Destin, housekeeping organizer, UNITE HERE in Orlando, Fla., and Talisa Hardin, chief nurse representative, National Nurses United, in Chicago.
Posted on October 15, 2015 at 11:05 AM EDT
Women’s Bureau delegation to Philippines: Pronita Gupta, deputy director of the Women’s Bureau, was part of a 20-person U.S. delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Women and the Economy Forum Sept. 15-18 in Manila, Philippines. Gupta met with senior staff, including Assistant Secretary Gloria Tango, at the Philippines Department of Labor and Employment, where they exchanged information about work-family topics such as paid leave and skills-training issues such as the role of apprenticeships. The APEC Women and the Economy Forum is focused on integrating women more fully into APEC economic planning and policy development. A number of critical initiatives led by the U.S. were highlighted at the forum, and the Bureau of International Labor Affair’s Healthy Women, Healthy Economies Policy Toolkit was unveiled.
Women’s Bureau at the Black Women’s Task Force Conference
Posted on September 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM EDT
Deputy Director of the Women’s Bureau, Joan Harrigan-Farrelly, traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to deliver the keynote address to more than 200 attendees at the Black Women’s Task Force Conference. Her Sept. 4 keynote highlighted some best practices for improving women’s earning power, including: creating access to high-growth occupations with higher earnings, raising the minimum wage, and ensuring equal pay. After all, Farrelly remarked, “When women succeed, America succeeds.”
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day across America
Posted on September 04, 2015 at 10:37 AM EDT
To commemorate the 95th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Equality Day, the Women’s Bureau took part in several events throughout the country. In San Francisco, the Santa Clara County Office of Women’s Policy and the Family Friendly Workplace Collaborative hosted a luncheon on Aug. 28. Earlier that day, an equal pay news conference featured several speakers, including Elmy Bermejo, regional representative for the Secretary of Labor. In Kansas, the Women’s Bureau hosted events with the American Association of University Women on Aug. 25 and 26, highlighting the gender wage gap, occupational segregation and the need for more young women in STEM fields. And in Boston, Diane Balser of Boston University recounted the ongoing fight for gender equality. Christina Eckenroth, lead workforce development specialist in the Employment and Training Administration, spoke of her experiences as a working mother in the federal government; and Carol Monteiro, regional executive with the Department of Health and Human Services, described her career advancement from entry-level employee to an executive position.
Women leaders advise mayors
Posted on July 20, 2015 at 10:14 AM EDT
The Women’s Bureau joined the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, an advisory agency, and It’s Time Network, a women’s empowerment group, to facilitate a discussion on women’s economic security. The June 18 gathering coincided with the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, also hosted in San Francisco. Women’s Bureau Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz led a roundtable of women leaders from corporations, nonprofits, universities and public sector agencies. The discussion concluded with a recommendation that the mayors host women’s economic summits to promote prosperity and foster collaborative efforts to boost equality for women and girls nationwide. “It is our hope that this recommendation is widely implemented to provide new venues for women to build their leadership skills and take an active role in improving economic opportunities for women and families,” Jenkins-Pultz said.
Paid leave effort gets $1.25M to study expansion in U.S
Posted on June 22, 2015 at 11:08 AM EDT
The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that $1.25 million will be made available to research and analyze how paid leave programs can be developed and implemented across the country. The department's Women's Bureau will administer the funding opportunity.
In Support of Older Americans and Their Caregivers
Posted on June 04, 2015 at 9:58 AM EDT
The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security. To recognize these historic initiatives, the White House has hosted a series of events under the umbrella of the White House Conference on Aging focused on improving and advancing the quality of life for older Americans. After convening regional events in Tampa, Phoenix, Seattle and Cleveland, they most recently hosted an event in Washington, D.C., on May 18 that focused on the role and importance of caregivers. Supporting Older Americans and Their Caregivers brought together advocates, caregivers, researchers and policymakers. As a member of one panel, Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles discussed the importance of improving the standards for caregivers — raising their wages, establishing overtime protections, improving retirement security, and granting access to paid leave and other workplace flexibility options. "Culturally, how we value care workers is something we have to continue to address," she said. Lyles was joined by officials from the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services, the VA Caregiver Support Program, and the Office of Personnel Management to discuss policies and programs driven by federal agencies that provide support to caregivers.
Older Women Mean Business
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 2:01 PM EDT
Approximately 80 people gathered at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on May 6 for "Our Women Mean Business: Encore Careers After 40." Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles delivered remarks detailing the department's efforts to help meet the economic needs of women workers. "We must develop and deliver programs that work for women across their lifespans," she said. "As more and more women re-enter the workforce after taking time off for caregiving or embark on their second and third careers, their success is critical for today's working families."
Immigrant Working Women Heard
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 1:57 PM EDT
To hear and address issues faced by California's immigrant working women, Regional Administrator Kelly Jenkins-Pultz and Regional Secretary Representative Elmy Bermejo traveled from the Women's Bureau office in San Francisco to Fresno for a roundtable on May 4. They listened as 20 advocates, immigrant women workers and federal agencies representing rural communities discussed affordable child care, reliable transportation, job training opportunities and access to federal grants.
Women Building the Nation
Posted on May 12, 2015 at 1:55 PM EDT
The largest gathering of tradeswomen in the world — 1,200 from more than 25 states — convened at the "Women Building the Nation" Fifth National Conference in Los Angeles on May 2. Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles was invited to speak by its sponsor, the State Building and Construction Trades Council in Sacramento. In her remarks, she stressed the critical need women have for more opportunities in the trades. These opportunities provide a strategy to lift women out of poverty and help close the gender wage gap, noted Lyles, who also led a roundtable discussion for apprentices, journeyman, elected union leaders and apprenticeship coordinators to discuss the challenges and rewards of good jobs and sustainable careers.
Balancing Work and Caregiving
Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:10 AM EDT
"It's time we start thinking of workers as people who have families," Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles told the New America Foundation's 2015 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 24. She served on a panel discussing the challenges families face balancing work and the care of their young children and aging loved ones. New America President and CEO Anne-Marie Slaughter moderated the panel, which featured Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder and CEO of Care.com; and Mohamed El-Erian, Chair of President Obama's Global Development Council.
50+ Women 2 Work
Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:05 AM EDT
Working women and employment trends were the topics of discussion at three conferences in Dallas in the last two months. Women's Bureau Deputy Director Pronita Gupta used the opportunity to remind attendees that older women need tools to navigate the job market and become more economically stable. Held in collaboration with Dallas County Community College District's Brookhaven College, Cedar Valley College and Richland College, the bureau organized the 50+ Women 2 Work: Ready, Set, Employed conferences, the last of which took place April 29. They brought together speakers on educational opportunities at community colleges, job readiness, applying for a job, interviewing skills, basic finances and fraud/scam awareness and entrepreneurship.
Training and Equity for Workers
Posted on May 01, 2015 at 11:02 AM EDT
Equity, high-skills training and innovation were the focus of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity's Public Policy Day 2015 on April 22. In Washington, D.C., Pronita Gupta, deputy director of the Women's Bureau, joined a panel that included Robin Runge, senior policy advisor for the Civil Rights Center, and Johan Uvin of the U.S. Department of Education. Gupta discussed the work the Women's Bureau does to ensure that women achieve equity in the workplace through the promotion of jobs in STEM and in non-traditional fields. She also highlighted the department's American Apprenticeship grants, which support quality and innovative apprenticeship programs that lead to high-growth occupations and industries. "Our goal is to increase the number of women in apprenticeship programs and the American Apprenticeship grants are a fantastic way to increase apprenticeship opportunities for women," said Gupta.
Women's Bureau Had A Busy March
Posted on April 08, 2015 at 1:45 PM EDT
For Women's Bureau Director Latifa Lyles, March was packed with speaking engagements and panel discussions nationwide to mark Women's History Month. On March 26, she served on a panel at the Catalyst Women of Color Summit in New York City. The event drew scholars, business leaders and policymakers who offered insight on the advancement of women of color in the workplace. Back in Washington, D.C., the next day, Lyles delivered the luncheon address at the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Summit. In her remarks there, she discussed the advancements made by women of color and the department's efforts on behalf of all working women. Lyles ended March with women leaders from throughout the U.S. government at a Women's Forum roundtable entitled "Breaking Barriers; Building Bridges," sponsored by the General Services Administration.
From Trauma to Work
Posted on April 08, 2015 at 1:41 PM EDT
Community experts on trauma and employment in Alabama met on March 31 in Birmingham at an event co-hosted by the Women's Bureau. Participants at "From Trauma to Employment: Women's Challenges, Barriers, and Successes" discussed the importance of recognizing and responding to all forms of trauma experienced by women and its effects on their ability to attain stable employment. The Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, the University of Alabama, community advocate Sunny Slaughter and the department's Wage and Hour Division partnered on the event.
Celebrating Women's History
Posted on March 13, 2015 at 11:01 AM EDT
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
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
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."