City Council President Nury Martinez and local business leaders sign pledge, committing to making workplaces more mom-friendly and accessible for women.
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez stood with local business leaders today at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce to announce the launch of the WomenAtWorkLA website.
“Women have faced unprecedented adversity over the past two years,” said Council President Nury Martinez. “This website provides businesses with the information and resources they need to implement policies that welcome women and moms back to the workplace in a way that fits our new reality. Women knew that the status quo wasn’t working before and it unfortunately took a pandemic for everyone else to see what we’ve known for years.”
Pandemic job losses disproportionately impacted women and, while hundreds of thousands of jobs are coming back each month, women still have not fully recovered. Male workers have regained all the jobs lost during the pandemic, while women are still short more than 1.8 million jobs lost since February 2020, according to a report by the National Women’s Law Center.
The early exodus of women from the workforce during the public health crisis is widely attributed to the fact that women are more likely to be the primary caregivers for children or elder family members.
An October 2021 Metlife survey found that 63% of women who left their jobs at the beginning of the pandemic want to return to work and nearly half of all women say that the pandemic has negatively affected their career path.
In addition to releasing the website, Council President Martinez and local leaders from the L.A. Area Chamber, Central City Association, Microsoft, AEG, Cordoba Corp, and Accenture signed on to a pledge that outlines a vision for a more women-friendly workplace of the future. These trailblazing companies committed to undertaking efforts towards the implementation of the toolkit’s policies and guidelines and making their respective workplaces more mom-friendly and accessible to women.
The pledge consists of five key elements: eliminating the wage gap, supporting employees’ childcare needs, giving employees more control of their schedules, eliminating parenthood penalties, and providing time to recover from childbirth and bond with newborns.
“As the first woman and first Latina to lead the Chamber in its over 130-year history, this is an important moment to drive change for women,” said Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Maria S. Salinas. “With so many women exiting the workplace, it is crucial to address their unique barriers to entry and re-entry into the workforce.”
“The importance of advocating for programs and policies which support women in the workplace not only ensures a future for the next generation of women leaders, but it also creates a future where more women have the opportunity to lead,” Salinas continued, “Which is why the Chamber launched its Women’s Policy Council to support the immediate and ongoing needs of working women through policy proposals that ensure women can thrive.”
Suggestions in the Women At Work LA toolkit were informed by a report from the City’s Chief Legislative Analyst on the impact of COVID-19 on working women and inspired by the Marshall Plan for Moms. The report provided recommendations for workplaces to support women re-entering the workforce. Many of the recommendations have already been proposed and/or implemented by the Los Angeles City Council for city employees.
"We are steadfast in our support for making workplaces more woman- and mom-friendly. We encourage fellow employers to follow Council President Martinez’s lead and sign on to this effort because a commitment to working women is a commitment to equitable outcomes, financial security and healthy families,” said Jessica Lall, President & CEO of CCA. “With strong leadership from employers, we can strengthen Los Angeles' workforce and foster a sustainable economy when we need it most."
The website also includes city resources for working women, such as the City’s Women’s Equity Fund. The fund, which launched in March 2022, includes $1M in funding to supplement the Microenterprise Recovery Grant Program. This funding will be targeted towards supporting women entrepreneurs within the City of Los Angeles. More information about this program is available here.
"Women-led businesses have historically faced tremendous hurdles to achieve success, and there are troubling signs that they may be slower to recover from the pandemic’s economic fallout," said Carolyn Hull, General Manager of the City's Economic and Workforce Development Department. "The Women’s Equity Fund improves their ability to bounce back and continue to contribute to the City of LA’s vibrant small business community."
To learn more about Women At WorkLA, visit the website at www.womenatworkla.com.