Labor Department recognizes International Women’s Day with continued focus on narrowing workforce gender gaps

Despite pandemic-era headwinds facing women in the workplace, CDLE is committed to boosting gender equality and increasing workforce participation

(DENVER) – The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is marking International Women’s Day (March 8) by highlighting steps Colorado has taken to make it easier for women to thrive in the workforce. From establishing the new Office of the Future of Work (OFW) to addressing demographic shifts, globalization and new technology, to implementing Colorado’s first statewide paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program that will ultimately help new parents and caregivers stay in the workforce, gender equality in the workforce is a priority for the Department.

The initiatives come at a crucial time. Surveys show that women are stepping away from their jobs in unprecedented numbers in a national post-pandemic shift analysts call a “Great Breakup.” And Colorado’s progress in getting more women in board seats has recently slowed, with just 24% of the board seats at Colorado public companies held by women last year.

“CDLE and the OFW are committed to building programs and shaping policy that makes the world of work more accessible and equitable for women,” said Katherine Keegan, Director of the OFW, “Skills-based hiring initiatives, flexible workplace policies, and new work-based learning initiatives create workplaces in which women can thrive and provide the talent Colorado businesses need. We’re meeting that call by supporting employers and job seekers alike through the expansion of the State Apprenticeship Agency, the Digital Equity, Literacy and Inclusion Initiative and the Remote Work Initiative. ”

Keegan will be among the CDLE leaders taking the stage Wednesday to discuss strategies on creating work cultures where women thrive. The event is sponsored by Bossed Up, a Denver-based leadership development and career services company focused on closing the gender leadership gap.

Also joining the discussion are Jade Humphries-Graves, Customer Success Branch Manager, Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Division and Hannah Matthys, PhD, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer at CDLE.

“Keeping women active and engaged with the workforce not only makes our communities stronger, but it makes Colorado families stronger as well,” said Humphries-Graves, Customer Success Branch Manager, Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Division. “Research shows that ensuring new parents have paid time off to care for a new child contributes to a family’s healthy development, improves maternal health, and enhances a family’s economic security. At CDLE we’re building a paid leave program that will ensure working families have access to a crucial benefit that Colorado voters want.”

“CDLE is committed to making the workforce more accessible to ALL women–including women with disabilities, women of color, low-income women, LGBTQ+ women, and women from other marginalized backgrounds,” said Matthys. “Whether it be the expansion of our Disability Program Navigator (DPN) program, or our ongoing workforce development events and training opportunities to build confidence in interviewing and resume writing, our goal is to meet women–and all job seekers–where they are and help bring them where they want to be.”

The sold out event runs from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, at The Commons on Champa, located at 1245 Champa St. in Denver.

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