Friday, June 11, 2010

The Women's Bureau Turns 90!

This week, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) celebrates the 90-year history of the Department of Labor Women’s Bureau. Since its establishment in 1920 the Women’s Bureau has advocated for the economic security of working women and their families. WOW is privileged to work with and is currently funded by the Women’s Bureau in two key projects advancing employment opportunities for women: the Women’s Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Occupations (WANTO) program and the Green Jobs for Women Initiative.

WANTO funding allows WOW to provide technical assistance to employers and unions who place women in apprenticeships that are in non-traditional occupations, such as construction and carpentry. As we know, women are segregated into occupations that do not always provide self-sustaining wages, such as construction, which few women choose as a career path. In fact, according the Department of Labor, in 2008 one-half of all working women were clustered into just 25 occupations. The WANTO program is a vital component to the success of women who decide to enter non-traditional industries.

Additionally, WOW, in collaboration with Public Policy Associates, Inc., is developing, “A Woman’s Guide to Green Jobs” report to provide women in the workforce with information on professional development and training opportunities in the green jobs sector and on hiring needs and challenges in the current economy. Content for the guide was collected through a series of roundtable discussions hosted by the Women’s Bureau at various sites nationwide.

WOW is just one of the many organizations that have benefited from the establishment of the Women’s Bureau, not to mention the millions of women who profited from its advocacy efforts around the Fair Labor Standards and Equal Pay Acts. In the years to come, we look forward to working with the Women’s Bureau in its continual efforts to ensure economic security for women.

-Alisha Howell
Communications & Program Coordinator
Elder Economic Security Initiative

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