Women represent nearly half of the labor force in Massachusetts, yet they are woefully under-represented in board rooms, elected office and private sector management. Many women face challenging choices about advancing their careers or meeting expectations at home.
The Boston Club recently released a report which found that only 13.8% of the directors of Massachusetts’ 100 largest public companies are women. Just 1.5% of all directors at these companies are women of color, and the majority of these companies have no female executive officers.
In a recent Pew Research study, 51% of working mothers said that being a working mother has made it more difficult to advance their careers. Only sixteen percent of working fathers made the same statement. The study also found that among parents, women are more likely than men to have experienced career interruptions related to family, and are more likely to report that having to take those breaks has hurt their career.
To improve the outcome for women in the workplace, Governor Patrick has made a commitment for advancing women across the economic spectrum by launching the Women in the Workforce Initiative (watch video below). This initiative is an important step in recognizing the key role women play in the economic competitiveness of the Commonwealth. It also draws attention to the challenges women face in trying to reach the highest rungs on the corporate ladder or those earning an hourly wage who often lack the flexibility needed to balance work and family.
Governor Patrick has led by example for advancing women in his Administration. His Administration has demonstrated that it is possible to find talented, qualified women to lead in senior positions and that substantial change can be made in a short period of time when the leader of an organization is committed to make change. As of last November, more than half of all managers and 49% of senior managers within the Executive branch were women.
The Governor is taking a two-pronged approach in tackling the issues facing working women in the Commonwealth by:
- Creating women leadership fellowships
- Charging a task force with making recommendations on what the state can do as an employer to advance women in the workplace.
Massachusetts already has some of the best family friendly benefits in the country such as alternative work options and paid parental leave—benefits that give women more flexibility in balancing their home life and their career. Governor Patrick believes we can do more to help women achieve workplace equality and ensure equal access to services and opportunity across the economic spectrum, and wants to challenge the private sector to help women thrive, succeed and lead by taking a cue from his Administration.
Further details on the initiative will be released soon.
Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model posted on Jul 3
SPRINGFIELD, JUNE 30, 2015…. It is nearly impossible to talk about manufacturing without the topic very quickly turning to workforce development, and the difficulty manufacturers have finding skilled workers. A group of manufacturers in the Pioneer Valley this week described to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, …Continue Reading Baker Administration Cabinet secretaries look to replicate job training model
Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system posted on Jun 23
WORCESTER, MA, JUNE 19, 2015…The federal government has given states new flexibility to design their own workforce development systems, which gives Massachusetts the ability to customize skill-building programs in regions around the state, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday. Gov. Baker met with a group of …Continue Reading Governor Baker and Secretary Walker highlight opportunity to revamp workforce system
New Director of Labor Standards posted on Jun 5
The Department of Labor Standards welcomed its new director this week, Bill McKinney. McKinney brings extensive experience in state government, having worked in senior leadership roles. He served as the last commissioner of the former Metropolitan District Commission, which is now a part of the …Continue Reading New Director of Labor Standards