White House Announces Plans to Expand Opportunities for Women and Working Families

Valerie Jarrett notes the need to establish economic programs for women in light of the fact that women comprise half of the U.S. workforce

Yesterday, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and CEA Member Betsey Stevenson previewed President Obama’s plans for expanding economic opportunity for women and working families.

Jarrett noted the need to establish economic programs for women in light of the fact that women comprise half of the U.S. workforce, are graduating from college at the same rate as men, and are graduating from graduate school at higher rates than men. Consequently, it is important for the U.S. workforce to reflect the 21st Century workforce in order to remain globally competitive, Jarrett said.

“When women succeed, America succeeds. Therefore, making sure that women have the opportunity to reach their dreams is not just important for women, but for working families across America,” said Jarrett in a White House press briefing.

President Obama has announced that he will host a White House summit on working families in Washington, D.C., on June 23. Partners include the United States Department of Labor and the Center for American Progress.

Jarrett says the summit will bring together business and labor leaders, advocates, academic experts, members of Congress, and members of state and local offices to help develop a workplace that meets the needs of all workers.

President Obama also announced that in the months leading up to the White House Summit, that he will hold several regional events in order to identify initiatives that enable employees and businesses to thrive. The forums will take place in cities such as Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, and New York, as well as through digital platforms such as Google+.

One of the stops will be at Valencia College, where he will focus on discovering how students and workers can get skills and training that will make them more attractive in today’s competitive job market.

Some of the other issues President Obama will discuss in the coming months at regional forums include workplace flexibility, equal pay, workplace discrimination, worker retention and promotion, childcare, and early childhood education.

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Furthermore, the Small Business Administration and the National Women’s Business Council are hosting a roundtable called STEM for Her, which is focused on identifying tools that can encourage female entrepreneurs in STEM fields to start businesses.

Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz says some of the efforts to improve opportunities for women and working families include:

• Increasing opportunities for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) internships.

• Making efforts to redesign high schools to provide more real world experience

• Supporting job-driven training programs

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