Secretary of Labor Joins Tierney for Women in the Workforce Forum
U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis met with more than 50 Massachusetts women at the Cummings Center in Beverly.
Massachusetts women joined Wednesday at the Cummings Center in Beverly, for a special 'Women in the Workforce' forum hosted by Congressman John Tierney.
Featuring U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Joanne F. Goldstein, the forum included a Q&A session with women leaders in the fields of government, non-profit advocacy, business, green energy, education, and more.
Solis, a California native, and first Hispanic secretary of labor, spoke to audience members about the department's efforts to invest in workforce training and increase job opportunities for women, as well as initiatives to combat pay discrimination, ensure existing equal pay laws are appropriately enforced, promote workforce flexibility, and support mentoring services.
Solis said there are currently too few women entering the STEM (fields in the categories of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workforce, and noted that in comparison to countries such as China, India and Brazil, "we're not spending enough time and effort here."
Goldstein said she believes the economic challenges and expectations on mothers nowadays make it harder than when she was parenting small children and beginning her law firm.
"It's very real to me," she said. "Best wishes and kudos to all of you who address and overcome this challenge."
During the audience participation portion, Solis urged audience members to communicate more with the department of labor. Solis mentioned myskillsmyfuture.org, a career onestop website, as well as other tools to get involved in their efforts.
Audience members included Montserrat College of Art President Stephen Immerman, Salem State University President Patricia Meservey, and Glocuester State Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante.