WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau is launching new effort to give more women a leg up in the workforce and try to narrow what data shows is a persistent pay gap between genders.
“It’s a really exciting moment for us and for families across the country,” bureau senior adviser S.J. Glynn said.
She and Bureau Director Wendy Chun-Hoon said that after Congress passed bills investing billions in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy projects, they want to ensure women can snag those jobs, too.
“To be able to move into a career track like that, which is higher paying, better benefits, opportunity to join a union,” Chun-Hoon explained.
To make that happen, she said, the Biden administration is pushing manufacturing companies to offer expansive child care programs because studies show access to affordable child care continues to be a barrier for women pursuing employment.
“We’ve talk to women all across the country that have been in pre-apprenticeship programs or apprenticeship programs and are interested in career in the trades and uniformly, they’ll say it is very hard to find non-standard hour child care,” Chun-Hoon said.
Labor statistics show employment among women is back to pre-pandemic levels.
“But the unemployment rate for Black women is still consistently and persistently significantly higher than for white women,” Glynn qualified.
She and Chun-Hoon said prioritizing child care could help bridge that difference, too.