Women's Bureau

The Women?s Bureau was created by law in 1920 to formulate standards and policies to promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.
The Women?s Bureau establishes and maintains linkage
with national, community and faith-based organizations, business and industry, trade unions, research foundations, academic, and Federal, State, and local government agencies in an effort to develop cooperative projects that address the employment and supportive service needs of women.

Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Contact the nearest Department of Labor, Women's Bureau regional office in Appendix IV of the Catalog listed under the Office of the Secretary.
Website Address


Selected Recipients for this Program

RecipientAmount Start DateEnd Date
Chicago Women In The Trades $ 102,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Montana Job Training Partnership $ 102,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Hrc, Inc. $ 102,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Northern New England Tradeswoment, Inc. $ 92,248   2003-09-302004-09-29
Area Resources For Comm. & Human Svcs. $ 102,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Women's Resource Center $ 90,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. $ 99,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Tradeswomen, Inc. $ 102,080   2003-09-302004-09-29
Nontraditional Employment For Women $ 102,100   2003-09-302004-09-29
Women In Non-traditional Employment Roles $ 99,451   2003-09-302004-09-29

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 2016, the Women's Bureau (WB) worked to maintain and develop projects in response to the demands and challenges of the 21st century workforce. The Bureau continued efforts in support of its mission ?to develop policies and standards and conduct inquiries to safeguard the interests of working women, advocate for their equality and economic security for themselves and their families, and promote quality work environments.? The Bureau?s mission is as critical today as when the agency was established in 1920, because women now comprise almost half of the Nation?s workforce, and their contributions are vital to our country?s economic prosperity. The Bureau continued its role as an advocate for women in the labor force and a vital source of information about issues affecting working women, educating individuals and organizations at the local, state, and national levels. It also worked promoting policy and programmatic changes aimed at increasing equal economic and employment opportunity for working women and their families. Specifically, the Bureau focused its efforts in support of the Secretary?s vision of ?Promoting and Protecting Opportunity? related to two strategies: Advancing Policies that Support Women and Working Families in the 21st Century Economy; and Promoting New Opportunities for Women?s Advancement and Earning Power. ADVANCING POLICIES THAT SUPPORT WOMEN AND WORKING FAMILIES IN THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY ? In FY 2016, the Women?s Bureau continued its collaboration with DOL?s Employment and Training Administration to administer a paid leave grant program. Approximately $1.25 million in grant funds were made available for the 2015 grants to support research and analysis needed to explore, develop, implement and/or improve paid family and medical leave programs at the State and municipal levels, as well as in U.S. Territories and Possessions and federally recognized Indian/Native American Tribes. The Bureau also continued its collaboration with DOL agencies on advancing the latest research and further study on paid leave benefits and costs and conducting outreach on paid leave. Building on the White House Summit on Working Families action plan, the Bureau continued to advance policy initiatives targeting industries with unique challenges to implementation of flexible workplace practices, including those industries that employ minimum wage and lower-paid workers whose families may depend on reliable employment of women earners. In support of pregnant women and nursing mothers, the WB published a user-friendly and easy to understand guide for employers and employees on the benefits of providing reasonable accommodations to pregnancy and nursing workers. The guide addresses gaps in Federal law and provides an overview of relevant state laws that could serve as models for policy makers. The Bureau also conducted research on the economic impact of child, elder, and disabled informal caregiving on women in the short-term and long-term and the policy implications of those effects in terms of women?s economic security, including employment, income, savings, retirement, and poverty rates. Research was also conducted to gain a better understanding of the needs and challenges workers face in their efforts to secure safe, quality, affordable care for their children while in training programs. Special emphasis for the research included those pursuing training in the federal workforce development system and the information gathered will be used to inform new grant initiatives. PROMOTING NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN?S ADVANCEMENT AND EARNING POWER -- In FY 2016, the Women?s Bureau continued its work in collaboration with the National Equal Pay Task Force, working to advance equal pay for women by reducing occupational segregation as a barrier to equitable compensation. The Bureau focused on increasing opportunities for women in non-traditional careers as one approach to reducing pay inequities between men and women and also worked to increase women?s presence in-demand occupations that offer increased earnings potential for women. Another area of research in FY16 reflected the Bureau?s efforts around the barriers that immigrant and refugee women workers face in moving out of low-wage jobs and into jobs in nontraditional occupations and emerging industry sectors that pay well above minimum wage. The Bureau?s research resulted in the development of a fact sheet that updated data on immigrant and refugee women workers; strategies for improving their upward mobility in the job market; and a statistical profile, including demographic, geographic, and employment characteristics of the population. OUTREACH EFFORTS -- The Bureau continued to build on and and increase its work with state and local governments and organizations, the women?s and civil rights advocacy community, and labor union leaders to share model practices and to continue to raise women?s awareness of, and increase education on issues of importance to working women and their families. In addition to producing and updating publications, the Bureau worked to update and improve website functionality and resources. In FY16, the WB updated its Equal Pay and Pay Secrecy publications and the related interactive website maps. The Bureau also released its first e-book on Amazon.com, a long-awaited update of its women?s employment rights guide. The publication includes information on employees? right to equal employment opportunity (e.g., equal pay, age discrimination, disability and reasonable accommodation); right to be free of hostile work environments; right to family and medical leave; right to a safe and healthy work environment; right to fair labor standards (e.g., minimum wage and overtime); right to organize; and to receive injury, illness, or disability benefits; etc. The Bureau continued to expand its Clearinghouse website, which houses Department of Labor resources, tools, and publications of interest to women, including resources on working women from non-federal sources. Resources include reports, papers, policies, fact sheets, case studies, and discussion guides, as well as interactive career exploration activities for women; a list of non-profit organizations publishing and interested women?s employment issues; and links to resources on topics such as career development; compensation and wages; access to and preparation for better jobs; workplace discrimination; workplace practices and supports; workplace safety and violence; retirement planning; education and training programs; and women?s rights in the workplace. The Bureau also promoted its new NTO website: Women Protect, Build and Move America, which focuses on best practices in law-enforcement, construction and transportation careers. Specifically, the website offers a repository of information for women job-seekers and service providers, including occupational data and statistics, relevant organizations, associations and advocacy groups, promising practices and success stories, and support service resource and referral information. These resources are key outreach tools that benefit practitioners, policymakers, researchers, the media and the general public. Fiscal Year 2017: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2018: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

Technical information and referrals are provided to interested constituents.

This information includes program models and advisory services that increase opportunities for women to plan for their economic and retirement security, identify training and educational programs designed to increase employment and earning opportunities, and support the establishment of programs that encourage a balance between home and work-life through flexible policies and programs.

The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Any individual or group located in the United States or its territories may benefit from Women's Bureau projects and/or programs.

The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Any individual or group (especially women or women's organizations) located in the United States or its territories may benefit from Women's Bureau projects and/or programs. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.


No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Requests for information or technical assistance may be made to the appropriate Department of Labor, Women's Bureau regional office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog, or to the Headquarters Office listed under the Information Contacts section of this program. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.

Award Procedures

Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.


Not Applicable.


Public Law 66-259; 29 U.S.C. 11-16.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Technical assistance is provided to constituents via phone, e-mail and other written communication. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.

Post Assistance Requirements


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.



Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 16 $11,529,084; FY 17 est $11,330,000; and FY 18 est $2,925,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable. The Women's Bureau does not provide financial assistance to individuals.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Contact the nearest Department of Labor, Women's Bureau regional office in Appendix IV of the Catalog listed under the Office of the Secretary.

Headquarters Office

Women's Bureau 200 Constitution Avenue, NW Room S3002, Washington, District of Columbia 20210 Phone: (202) 693-6710.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

Social Entrepreneurship

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Sydney TAFE has teamed with a new clothing and retail social enterprise, The Social Outfit charity, to launch a dynamic collaboration that would enable students to gain real fashion industry skills and take on their own creativity and rich cultural heritage to produce garments for The Social Outfit’s store and adjoining workshop in Newtown.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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