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Building a New American Workforce that Taps into the Limitless Potential of Women

By U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo

As the Secretary of Commerce, my focus is building the long-term competitiveness of the United States. However, if we don’t invest in women’s success, we won’t be able to compete. This was a priority for me when I was Governor of Rhode Island, and it’s a priority for me now as Secretary of Commerce. I believe in uplifting women in our workforce, in the boardroom, and in our government.

Thanks to President Biden’s leadership, the Commerce Department is rolling out major investments to strengthen America, including nearly $50 billion to bring high-speed, affordable internet to every American and $50 billion to supercharge domestic semiconductor production.

This funding is going to create hundreds of thousands of jobs – good jobs that have the potential to change lives, offer family-sustaining benefits, and lead to long-term career pathways. But we’ll never build the workforce we need if we fail to bring more women into this new ecosystem.

It’s why we’re calling on colleges and universities to triple the number of graduates in semiconductor-related fields, including engineering, and expand their recruitment pipelines so that more underserved populations – including women – get into these programs and launch these careers.

It’s why we’re calling on chip manufacturers, construction companies, and unions to work with us toward the national goal of hiring and training another million women in construction over the next decade.

And it’s why we’re requiring companies that receive CHIPS funding to tell us how they plan to provide access to affordable childcare for workers.

We must ensure that Americans across the country, including women, can access the skills and training they need so they can benefit from the good jobs created by these programs. And we need to expand more opportunities for women get careers that pay better and pay equally. It’s not just a matter of fairness – it makes economic sense.

This month, I have had the privilege to engage with women at several important events in honor of Women’s History Month including a roundtable at the White House on Women Rebuilding America in honor of Equal Pay Day, a virtual address to the National Women’s Partnership, and participating in the Native Women’s Symposium that supports Native women’s entrepreneurship and access to broadband, which is something I care deeply about. Making sure everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed in our modern economy is why I entered public service in the first place.

I really believe that together, we can do this. And thanks to President Biden, we have the chance. We can build a new American workforce that finally taps into the limitless potential of women. Our success depends on it.

In honor of Women’s History Month, many of our employees shared the significance of Women’s History Month and their favorite part of working in the federal government. Please see some of the outstanding women employees highlighted in our video spotlight series.

In addition, several of our bureaus highlighted women leaders from all levels through blog posts that showcased the important work they are doing on behalf of the American people as well as their efforts in ensuring equity and diversity.

Take a moment to read these powerful blogs.

To read the full Presidential Proclamation for Women’s History Month go to White House Presidential Proclamation.

Originally posted at https://www.commerce.gov/news/blog/2023/03/building-new-american-workforce-taps-limitless-potential-women

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