Women's Bureau

 

The Women’s Bureau was created by law in 1920 to formulate standards and policies to promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.
The Women’s Bureau establishes and maintains linkage with national, community and faith-based organizations, business and industry, trade unions, research foundations, academic, and Federal, State, and local government agencies in an effort to develop cooperative projects that address the employment and supportive service needs of women.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
17.700
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Labor
Office: Office of the Secretary, Women's Bureau
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
ADVISORY SERVICES AND COUNSELING
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: In FY 2014, the Women's Bureau worked to maintain and develop projects in its effort to promote an environment responsive to the demands and challenges of the 21st Century workforce. As it has for more than 90 years, theWomen'ss Bureau continued efforts to meet its mandate by identifying, researching and analyzing the topics working women care about most; pioneering innovative policies and programs to address them; and enhancing public education and outreach efforts to raise awareness on key issues and developments affecting women in the workforce. The Bureau has worked to level the playing field for all women in the labor force, recognizing that true equal opportunity would have a positive impact not only on women’s own financial stability, but also on the broader economic security of their families and on twell beinging of our nation.
In cooperation with numerous women’s, Federal, state, community, and faith-based organizations, the Bureau worked to conduct research, projects, and outreach on issues of importance to working women, and provide information about women in the labor force to stakeholders and customers. Specifically, the Bureau’s goals focused on reducing barriers that inhibit or prevent women’s access to – and retention in – better jobs; and ensuring women’s fair treatment in the workplace through the following strategies: IMPROVING WORKPLACE PRACTICES AND SUPPORTS In the spring of 2014, the White House, the Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress hosted a Summit on Working Families to focus on creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans. Leading up to that eventWomen'somen’s Bureau convened convened forums and roundtables in cities across the United States. The events brought together high-ranking Administration officials; researchers; advocates; businesses; unions; and federal, state and local elected officials and generated conversations about the challenges working families face, successful business practices, and the administration’s goals for addressing these issues. The Bureau is working with stakeholders to address the issues that face families at all stages of their work lives. PROMOTING GREATER ACCESS TO AND PREPARATION FOR BETTER JOBS FOR WOWomen's Women’s Bureau, through various outreach and research efforts, continued to help women prepare for, participate and advance in, and retain non-traditional, high-growth, and higher-paying jobs. Female-dominated occupations have been found to pay less than male-dominated occupations with the same skill levels, and women have relatively low shares of employment in high-paying jobs such as those in transportation, construction, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. PROMOTING FAIR COMPENSATION AND EQUALWomen'se Women’s Bureau seeks to educate workers on their rights and employers on their legal obligations to ensure fair compensation. Although women earn less than men for reasons such as the lower-paying jobs they traditionally perform, around 40% of the difference in wages remains unexplained. The Bureau is conducting research to identify additional factors that contribute to the wage gap and how to overcome them, as well as look for ways to improve compensation for lower-wage jobs that employ large numbers of women.
PUBLICATIONS In FY14, the Women's Bureau updated its Overview, and published versions of its publication, The Economic Status of Women in Color in Spanish, Vietnamese, and Traditional as well as Simplified Chinese. A publication on the workplace outlook for older women, titled Older Women and Economic Security, as well as infographics on the progress of women in the workforce over the past 50 years and working mothers were produced. The Bureau also continued web updates of key statistics on women workers and maintained an active social media presence with regular blog posts and tweets on issues relating to women and work. Fiscal Year 2015: In FY 2015, the Women’s Bureau celebrated 95 years of efforts authorized by Public Law 66-259, “to formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.”

The mission of the Bureau is to develop policies and standards and conduct inquiries to safeguard the interests of working women, advocate for their equality and economic security for themselves and their families, and promote quality work environments. This mission is critical to addressing the workplace challenges faced by working women as well as advancing the Department’s vision of promoting and protecting opportunity in an economy that includes workplaces free of discrimination, equal pay for equal work, and fair and equitable working environments. In FY15, the Bureau focused on three policy goals: women’s increased participation in demand and non-traditional occupations, fair treatment of women in the workplace, and workplace policies that support working women and their families.

WOMEN’S INCREASED PARTICIPATION IN DEMAND AND NON-TRADITIONAL OCCUPATIONS --
Women’s Bureau research in FY14 identified the transportation industry as an occupation offering high-growth, high-tech, and higher-paying opportunities for women; however a significant barrier in the industry is the lack of family-friendly policies. In FY15, the Bureau developed a toolkit targeted to transportation organizations, technical schools, community colleges, 4-year colleges and graduate schools. The toolkit was designed to provide women with information about transportation career paths, benefits of working in the transportation industry including flexible work arrangements, and information to help promote the career advancement of women.

The Bureau also created a digital clearinghouse to support a repository of information on access to non-traditional occupations, promising industry practices, job and training opportunities, relevant federal and state legislation, projects, and important research and data. A webinar on women in construction provided information on ongoing approaches and strategies for leveraging federal programs for expanding women’s access to jobs in the construction industry.

Focusing on other underrepresented segments of the population of working women, the Bureau also conducted research on immigrant women workers, older women workers, women with disabilities, and women veterans.

FAIR TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE – The Women’s Bureau continued its role as a leading advocate for equal pay for women. In collaboration at both national and local levels with member agencies of the Equal Pay Task Force (including the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and the Department of Justice), the Bureau worked to heighten awareness of the prevalence of the equal pay problem and its adverse effects on individuals, groups, and the national economy. A fact sheet on pay secrecy was also produced, focusing on workplace policies prohibiting employees from discussing how much money they make. The publication explains a 2014 executive order that keeps federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss salaries or compensation information and a federal labor law from 1935 that protects employees who talk about their salaries at work.

WORKPLACE POLICIES THAT SUPPORT WORKING WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES – Building on the 2014 White House Summit on Working Families and the National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility in 2011, the Bureau continued its support of flexible leave policies in FY15. Collaborating with other Department of Labor agencies, the Bureau supported research on the effects of paid leave policies in states through the administration of a Paid Leave Analysis Grant Program. The small grants program was designed to allow states to undertake paid leave research and analysis studies that will allow them to develop and/or implement state leave funds. The Bureau also built on a comprehensive list of federal and state laws providing employment protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing, developing an online map that shows which U.S. states have laws, statutes, and/or interpretive case law that specifically prohibit pregnancy discrimination and/or mandate support of nursing mothers expressing milk in the workplace. A supporting publication was developed to educate employees and employers about low or no cost accommodations for pregnant and/or nursing women workers.

The Women’s Bureau continued work on its survey of working women, which will identify women’s current employment issues and challenges and barriers to economic security. The survey focuses on women’s reason(s) for choosing to exit or not exit the workplace, based on its ramifications for future earnings, leadership opportunities, benefits, etc. The survey results will provide the Bureau with information that will be used to develop a research and policy agenda to better serve working women.

PUBLICATIONS In FY15, the Women’s Bureau produced infographics providing at-a-glance information on First Time Mothers at Work, Black Women in the Labor Force, Asian-American and Pacific Islander Women in the Labor Force, and Equal Pay. Also produced were publications focusing on pay secrecy and women veterans, including a profile on women veterans, a women veteran’s resource directory, and a women veteran’s employment toolkit. Research for publications on worker rights, workplace flexibility, and a handbook on women workers developed in FY14, were completed. The Bureau also continued web updates of key statistics on women workers and maintained an active social media presence with regular blog posts and tweets on issues relating to women and work. Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Authorization
Public Law 66-259; 29 U.S.C. 11-16.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Any individual or group located in the United States or its territories may benefit from Women's Bureau projects and/or programs. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Any individual or group (especially women or women's organizations) located in the United States or its territories may benefit from Women's Bureau projects and/or programs. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Credentials/Documentation
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Requests for information or technical assistance may be made to the appropriate Department of Labor, Women's Bureau regional office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog, or to the Headquarters Office listed under the Information Contacts section of this program. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Award Procedure
Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Deadlines
Not Applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not Applicable.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not Applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Technical information and referrals are provided to interested constituents. This information includes program models and advisory services that increase opportunities for women to plan for their economic and retirement security, identify training and educational programs designed to increase employment and earning opportunities, and support the establishment of programs that encourage a balance between home and work-life through flexible policies and programs. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Not Applicable.
Auditing
Not Applicable.
Records
None.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Technical assistance is provided to constituents via phone, e-mail and other written communication. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. Contact the nearest Department of Labor, Women's Bureau regional office in Appendix IV of the Catalog listed under the Office of the Secretary.
Headquarters Office
Women's Bureau 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Room S3002, Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Phone: (202) 693-6710.
Website Address
http://www.dol.gov/wb/
Financial Information
Account Identification
16-0165-0-1-505.
Obligations
(Salaries) FY 14 Not Available; FY 15 est $9,047,000; and FY 16 est $11,836,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.