Everyday Advocacy- Women Need Good Jobs!

25.5% of all families live in poverty
44.5% of female headed households live in poverty
54.6% of female children under 18 live in poverty
64.8% of female children under 5 live in poverty
The median income for males is $36,021
The median income for females is $30,846

(2010 US Census and NYS Dept of Labor Significant Industries Report to the Workforce System 2011) for the Syracuse Area.

Women are increasingly responsible for the economic security of their families although more than a quarter of women-headed households in New York live below the poverty level. 
Working women earn 80% of what men earn and jobs traditionally held by women pay significantly less than jobs predominantly employing men.
Workforce training programs have the potential to narrow the wage gap through training for, and referral to, jobs that have higher earning potential. Many higher paying jobs are traditionally dominated by men but could provide opportunities for women.

This year NYS YWCAs worked with allies: NY Women's Agenda & the Equal Pay Coalition to develop the NYS Women's Workforce Bill.  The Bill was sponsored by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and Senator Joe Robach.  Ultimately, it passed both houses with bi-partisan support. Congratulations go out to the many YWCA friends and members who have advocated so strongly in support of this bill.  We are hopeful that the Governor signs it into law.

It is the goal of the Women’s Workforce Bill that workforce training programs in New York assist women job seekers with information and services that will help increase their earnings by encouraging them to seek higher paying jobs and careers.
With the Woman’s Workforce bill the Labor department would provide guidance to local workforce investment boards and staff, to enable them to better educate and inform both women and men about higher paying jobs and careers including jobs traditionally dominated by men.
This guidance would promote program services for job seekers that provide:          
Current information about compensation for jobs and careers that offer high earning potential including jobs that are traditionally dominated by men.
Counseling, skills development and training that encourage both women and men to seek employment in such jobs.
Referrals to employers offering such jobs; and current local labor market information regarding the gender wage  gap and specific self-sufficiency rates for families living and working in that local labor market.

To break the cycle of poverty and make families self-sufficient, information must be provided to help women move into non-traditional jobs which pay a sustainable wage.
Research (Institute for Women's Policy Research 2010) shows that current publicly funded workforce investment programs:
   • Do not consider the wage gap when providing career counseling to female participants
   • While women and men enter training programs at the same rate, women tend to stay longer
   • Women earn $1500 to $2000 less per quarter than men exiting the same program
Publicly funded workforce training programs must not promote occupational segregation, thereby increasing the gender wage gap.

By supporting this bill you are helping raise the income of women in New York State and provide a path to self-sufficiency for many New York families. View this Video Petition to understand why the NYS Women's Workforce Bill and narrowing the gender wage gap is important to the YWCA and New York's Families.