What Should I Know About Employment Contracts?

Employment Contracts

As an employer, it’s important to ensure you’re familiar with the finer elements of employment contracts to ensure you’re able to draft them effectively. If you don’t have a lot of experience putting together new contracts, it could be a good idea to seek advice from a qualified employment lawyer.

As employers, we understand that drafting new contracts can be confusing, especially if your prospective employee is serious about negotiating the terms and conditions of said contract. With this in mind, we’ve put together the following list of important things you have to know:

Make Sure That All New Contracts are Clear and Concise

One of the most important things when drafting a new employment contract is ensuring that everything is clear and transparent. Make sure that you don’t include ambiguous clauses or conditions which could be interpreted differently by an employee or their lawyer.

It’s particularly important to be aware of this when it comes to things like bonuses, time off, and potential pay rises. Additionally, ensure you clearly outline the basis on which the employee will be paid – will you pay a salary, hourly wage, commission, or via a piece-rate agreement?


Tools for the Informed Service Provider or Trainer

IT career experts

Get the tools to move women into IT!Getting IT Across! A Counselor’s Guide for Recruiting Women to Information Technology Careers (GITA) provides program operators with right tools and instruction to recruit women into IT training and employment. This easy-to-use resource turns counselors into IT career experts! Get the IT Basics every counselor needs to know:

  • IT Tips to enhance counseling skills;
  • IT Job Profiles to help clients make informed decisions;
  • IT Interest Assessment, a user-friendly tool for finding the right occupational niche;
  • and more IT resources!

Get the right skills, and get IT across!

Regular price  $59.95             Discounted for members (20% off)  $47.96
Jobs That Pay! A Guide to Nontraditional Occupations for the 21st Century. This guide will help education, training and workforce development program providers educate and motivate women to pursue a career in a broad range of high-wage fields. Jobs That Pay! will help you introduce nontraditional fields to your clients and encourage women to pursue a career with real growth opportunities. And, the job profiles section is a valuable resource to have on-hand for your program participants.

6 Vital Components of SEO

Vital Components of SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is basically what makes the Internet go around – and if your website doesn’t have it, it is likely to become static, stuck somewhere on the bottom of the pile that contains all the other websites. According to SEO Perth Experts, done right, SEO will optimise the chances of your website ranking well so that it will come up on the search page results for the keyword you use.

So basically, if someone types in ‘coffee machine’ and you are selling several, your website page will show up if you – or an expert – has done good SEO.  There are 6 vital components to SEO that any digital agency will tell you about – and do for you if you ask them. It may be a lot easier to get professional help than to try and do it yourself, unless you know exactly what you are doing. Here are the 6 things you need to know.

  • Have the right keyword/s on your website. They should be in the headings and the first paragraph of your content. Using the right keywords will help you to get the kind of traffic that converts to customers.
  • Meta tags should contain the keyword for your website as that is one place that the search engines look to see what your website is about.


Setting Yourself Up To Pay Your First Wages

First Wages

According to professional accounting firm Accountants Australia, when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, it is extremely important to keep a clear record of any and all wages you have paid each financial year. If you are planning on employing people directly, you will need to set yourself for PAYG tax withholding. However, if you are planning on using self-employed contractors, then the process becomes a little easier.

What things do I need to set up before I can pay wages?

When it comes to setting yourself up to start paying wages, there are a number of things that you need to do. Failing to do any of these can lead to problems with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) at the end of the financial year. Make sure that you do the following:


3 Ways in Which Gardening Can Become a Business

Gardening Business

According to Landscapers Network listed expert gardeners Lone Pine Landscapes many people enjoy gardening as a hobby and almost everyone who owns a house has some kind of garden in their backyard. This means there is always a good demand for plants and other things that are used in gardening such as tools, seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, decorative pots and other hardware.

It follows that there can be many businesses in this area. If you love gardening and want to own your own business, this could be a good niche for you to consider. Here are 3 different types of businesses to do with gardens and plants for the home.


How to Get More Work for Your Fencing Business

Fencing Business

Most types of fencing are a one-off purchase because fences last a long time if maintained properly. A report out this month by highly experienced fencing experts Eline Fencing Perth says that if you’re a fencing contractor, you won’t have many repeat clients. So how can you get more work? Of course, you’ll need to advertise; that is a given in any business. But there is another way to get more work and that is by expanding your skills and offering different types of fencing.

For instance, many fencing businesses major on one particular type of fence, whether it is picket fences, those made with steel panels or even swimming pool fences. But if you offer a good variety of fences you’ll be sure to get more work. And if you have a creative flair you can put it to good use erecting fancy fences for high end homes. That will certainly be great for your business.

As a person who erects fences, you’ll be aware of the many different kinds of fences there are.  Some made from concrete or a mixture of that and other materials are works of art meant to set off the home behind them as well as providing security.  You can easily expand into this sub-genre of fence if you develop the skills for concreting.


5 Principles of Effective Web Design

Effective Web Design

Expert web design outfit Slinky Web Design report that some websites work well while others don’t and this is because many of the principles of effective web design have been left out. It is quite easy to leave them out when you don’t know what they are – and just as easy to include them when you do, so here are some of the most important ones to help you on your way to having an effective website.

  • Visual hierarchy is not as difficult to understand as it may look. In fact, your website is a visual thing, since people look at it much like they would a book. However, unlike a book, the website is there to get people to do a certain action. It is important then, to get attention to the most important elements in your website, such as the call to action. This can be done by size, colour and placement. For example, if you have two clickable buttons close to each other, the most important one should be larger or a different/brighter colour.
  • Proportion is important. You will divide your website up into sections that are visually pleasing and use the largest section for the most important parts of your website. The content area will be larger than the menu area.
  • Many people mistakenly like to give their visitors many choices to go here and do that, so that they are catering for all needs. Instead, they are creating confusion. It is really difficult to make a choice from many options. Instead, limit the choices to just 1 or 2 options. Or if you have a lot of products, use filters in the menu so that visitors know exactly what to click on to get their choice of product.


5 Tips for Choosing a Lawyer for Your Small Business


Some small business owners tend to avoid lawyers and business consultants in an effort to save on the costs of hiring them. However, when you have great lawyers who are skilled in the legalities of setting up and running a small business, whether you are a qualified electrician like Electrician Perth Experts or a retail shop owner you will save on costs in the long run, simply because they will know how to save your business money.  And keeping them on after the business is all set up will help you avoid all kinds of costly problems.

Rowe Bristol Lawyers have provided us with 5 tips for choosing the best lawyer for your small business: –

  • If you have a negative mindset about the reputation of lawyers, drop it. Of course, there are ‘bad’ lawyers out there who overcharge or have nefarious dealings, but most of them are honest and hardworking. Some even go the second mile, working nights and weekends to help in times of trouble or at short notice. Your relationships with your lawyer should be a positive one.


5 Reasons to Engage a Digital Agency


When you are full of enthusiasm for a project it is easy to get carried away, wanting to do it all yourself – whether you’ve been trained to do it properly or not. These days almost anyone can set up a website, but when it comes to designing a professional business website it is a different matter. Such websites need to be built properly with a specific purpose in mind and if they are not they won’t accomplish your goals. So here are 6 reasons why a digital agency should be engaged.

  • It will save you a great deal of time and money. A digital marketing agency such as Slinky Digital has a team of experts to work on your website. They know what to do and how to do it. They can install complex parts as easily as simple ones. It might take you a day or a week to put up your website; it would take an a professional an hour, or two at the most to get that website up and running. Of course, that is not counting the time spent in interviewing you to see exactly what your needs are.


Web Design Tips for Small Business


While a professional website designer like Slinky will most likely be needed for technical details, they must rely on the business owner for input on all the details about their business because no one but you knows it well enough. So don’t feel that you must accept the dictates of the designer without any input of your own when you decide to create that all-important business website.

Here are some important design tips to consider.

  • The first thing to do is decide on your branding and key message – and what you want the website to do for your business, advertise, garner a customer base or sell. These elements will dictate how your page layout is organised and many other, more technical details.
  • The most important thing is to keep your website simple. It may not need all the bells and whistles that are available; not unless they contribute to ease of use and functionality. Look at it from your customers’ point of view. If they cannot find what they want, or if the checkout gives them problems, they will leave your website and go somewhere else to get their needs met. If you’ve ever surfed for a specific reason you will very likely have done this yourself.


Why You Should Engage a Digital Agency

Why You Should Engage a Digital Agency

Once you decide to get a website for your business, the question will soon arise: Who will do it? You might look through your staff to see who has the right skills to whip up a website, then divert them to this important task. Meanwhile, who is going to do their work? And what happens when they can’t quite manage to do what you envisage?

Instead of depending on a person who is not qualified, it is far better to outsource the job to a suitably qualified digital agency such as Slinky. They will have a team of experts that can get stuck into the job and get it finished in no time just how you like it and even better, because they know more about what is needed than even you do, if you’ve had no experience with such things.

It is easy enough to put up a personal website, but a business website requires many more things if it is going to work how you want it to. You have to decide what you want it to do for your business. Some people sell stock from their websites, while others just use them as a contact point for customers. The two are quite different and need to have different components.


Key Ingredients of a Successful Adwords Campaign

Successful Adwords Campaign

According to Slinky Internet Marketing Google Adwords are a well-known way for entrepreneurs to make money for their business. The best part is that you can set a daily budget so you don’t lose more than you make.  To ensure your adwords campaign are as successful as you dream they’ll be, there are a few things you need to have in place

  • Customer demand for your keyword. If there is no demand your ad will not be successful. You can use the Google Adwords Keyword Suggestion Tool to find out – and to discover other keywords you might want to use.
  • A budget. Each click has a cost, but what you can afford to pay is determined by your website conversion rate and estimated profit per customer.
  • Find out what you need to know about your profitable keywords by seeing what your competitors have found out before you. Using the ‘Keyword Spy’ tool’s free trial will save you doing anything illegal.
  • Utilise your USP. Your Unique Selling Proposition can be reduced to a few words and used in those adwords to get more qualified clicks and much fewer unwanted clicks. So you’ll have more traffic that becomes paying customers.


What You Need to Know Before Buying a Business

The days have long gone when it was only men who bought businesses; these days there are many women who own and run their businesses very successfully. But to do so, you cannot expect to buy into any business without knowing anything about it. You need to have training in small business management and experience in the industry, otherwise your efforts are likely to be in vain. Here are some pointers to help ensure success if you want to buy your own business.

  • Get work in the same industry that you are interested in before you attempt to buy a business. If you want to run a restaurant, become a waitress. If a resort in some exotic location sounds good, work in one first. Learning the ropes from the ground up will give you a good idea of how everything works and whether you have the staying power and interest to make it through all the hardships of owning your own business.
  • When you are ready to go ahead, befriend a reputable lawyer and accountant and take their advice in all things to do with your business, from whether you should buy it at all to whether you really need to upgrade. It is easy to get carried away with your plans and waste money you may need for more serious purposes, such as paying off the loan.


Reminder: Make Your Advocacy Day Appointments!

Reminder: Make Your Advocacy Day Appointments!

Advocacy Day, March 31st, is approaching fast! This integral part of the NAPE & Women Work! 2009 Professional Development Institute is an opportunity for advocates from all over the country to learn about current policy issues and educate their representatives in Congress about their work and the challenges they face.

Attendees should be setting up meetings with their Senators and Representative for between 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on March 31st. Use the Advocacy Day Prep Kit for help in identifying your legislators and contacting their offices. Once you have set up your meeting or meetings, don’t forget to add them to the Master Schedule, so we can track out joint impact.

If you haven’t registered for the 2009 Professional Development Institute, Partners on the Path to Equity (March 29th – April 1st in Washington, D.C.), you can do so here.


Important Tips for Getting a Domain Name

Getting a Domain Name

Once you decide to start your own business, whether that is a work from home business or the coffee den down the street, you need to get a website to advertise it.  A website is essential, especially if you are selling goods or a service that can be offered online. Depending on what kind of business you have, it allows your customers to buy or place an order at any time of the day or night.

Make sure your domain name is unique

So the first step to a website is getting a domain name. But before this is possible, you have to choose the name and make sure no one else owns it. You cannot register a domain name that belongs to someone else. How do you find out?  When you go online to purchase a name, the website will offer a way to find out with just a few clicks. It is all done automatically. If the name you choose is not an original, you will know immediately.


Careers and Internships with Women Work!

Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that advances economic justice and equality for women through education, advocacy and organizing. Since 1978, the Network has assisted more than 10 million women to successfully enter, re-enter and advance in the workforce. Through supporting, advocating and advancing women’s economic self-sufficiency, Women Work! members strengthen families and communities.

Women Work! is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. Women Work! is committed to upholding a work environment free from discrimination and inequality. It is our policy to actively encourage a diverse pool of candidates who believe in the organization’s mission and vision.

There are no job vacancies at this time.

Call for Best Practices – Serving Women in Economic Transition

Women Work!’s call for Best Practices has officially closed. Thank you to all of those who submitted applications. Women Work! will be conducting interviews and further research into the topic Workforce Development that Works for Women throughout the winter and spring of 2008.

Our Project

Women Work! knows there are effective models for helping women achieve economic security through work, and we want to encourage their replication throughout the country.

Selected best practices will be featured in a publication to be issued by Women Work! in September 2008 and widely disseminated to policymakers and the workforce development community.

If you know of a best practice in women’s workforce development that you think Women Work! should know about, please contact Tiffany Boiman at tboiman@womenwork.org , or 202-467-6346.

Labor Day Pay Equity Campaign

This Labor Day, Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment and our coalition partners are teaming up to tell Congress that women demand protection against gender-based wage discrimination.

When Congress returns from summer recess in September, they’ll have the opportunity to pass two important pay equity bills. The goal for our Labor Day Pay Equity Campaign is to let Congress know that pay equity is important to voters and makes a huge difference for women and their families, especially those on the lower end of the earnings spectrum.

We’ve provided you all the information you need to build your own Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor in support of wage equity. With one simple action you can gain publicity for the important work you do and help us raise the profile of the equal pay issue in communities across the country.

To have an Op-Ed placed for Labor Day make sure to submit it to your paper’s editorial board at least a week before the holiday.

Pay Equity Legislation in the 111th Congress

Paycheck Fairness Act

The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12/S.182) would deter wage discrimination by closing loopholes and barring employer retaliation against workers who share salary information with their coworkers. The bill would update the landmark 1963 Equal Pay Act by strengthening protections against gender-based wage discrimination and by holding gender discrimination to the same standard as discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity.


House: Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Senate: Hillary Clinton (formerly D-NY)


Higher Education Act Reauthorization

Higher education consistently leads to increased earnings and employment stability, but for many women this road to economic self-sufficiency is out of reach because of high tuition and attendance costs.

On July 31, 2008 Congress passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which reauthorized the Higher Education Act. The bill was signed by President Bush soon after. The HEOA contains several provisions that expanded supports available to women and parents to help them succeed in higher education. However, funding for most of the new policies and programs is unlikely to begin before Fiscal Year 2010.

Policy Resources

College Cost Reduction Act: An Overview


How to Market Your Business

Market Your Business

There are many ways in which to market your business. Much depends on what kind of business it is. For instance, if you have an online business you run from home, you will need a website to showcase all your goods, or to describe your services if that’s what you offer.

A bricks and mortar business may also have a website in order to help with branding, to showcase goods or services and to get the word out about its existence. However, the fact that it can be seen from the street as people walk past is also a good advertisement. It is essential that your store or business facade is attractive and eye-catching and tells people exactly what you offer.

You can also have brochures to drop in letterboxes and ads in the local paper or one that goes further afield, such as a national paper or magazine. For instance, if you offered accommodation such as B&B, you could advertise in a magazine that was available nationally.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise, so giving quality service and interacting with customers in a friendly and helpful way is a wonderful way to advertise that will cost you nothing.


How to Get Finance for Your Business Start-Up

Business Start-Up

Once you decide to make the break and start up your own business, you are likely to need finance.  This can be for buying stock or equipment, for insurance and for fitting out your premises. Or if you set up at home, for building outside access to the designated room. This will save your customers having to access your business through your home, something that is not very professional.

So where can you get this finance? Much depends on how much you need. Here are several options.

  • Get a loan from the bank. Make sure you negotiate terms you can afford.
  • Apply for an angel investor. These are people who risk their own money for a good cause. They may also want to have some say in how you run the business.
  • Get a loan from family. This should be set up legally and you should pay interest on the loan, even if it is very low interest.
  • If you don’t need much, you may be happy to put it on your credit card. Not a good idea due to the high interest rates.


Women of Triumph

At the heart of Women Work! are the women whose lives are transformed every day through hard work, perseverance and the support of member programs. During our 25th Anniversary Gala in 2005, we celebrated the achievements of 25 outstanding women who have participated in Women Work! member programs and successfully overcome challenges in their lives.

Women Work!

Denise Abbey
At the age of 16, Denise dropped out of school, married and then endured 19 years of emotional and mental abuse for the sake of her three sons. In 1991, she realized she needed to go.

With limited education, little work experience and being on disability, Denise was unable to work at the time. However, support from the Re-Entry Center at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno, NV, helped Denise unleash her passion for education. Since then, it has continued to flow. At Truckee Meadows, she earned an associate’s degree, and was named valedictorian, Outstanding Student of the Year and Board of Regents’ Scholar. She went on to the University of Nevada and founded the Non-Traditional Student Union and Alpha Sigma Lambda Honor Society. She also co-founded HEROES, an organization that provides support to single parents pursuing degrees. While earning her master’s degree, she helped create Project Wings! to find sponsors for single parents and displaced homemakers pursuing higher education.


The Economic Value of Homemaking

The History of Homemaking
A homemaker is a person whose main activity is to care for a family and home. This is traditionally an unpaid occupation.

In an effort to understand the value of a private homemaker’s unpaid labor, experts have attempted to quantify the dollar value of the job. No one has come up with a perfectly accurate way to do so.

Four different methods of assessing the economic value of homemaking are listed below. Each method has serious drawbacks and disadvantages.

NOTE: Women Work! does not promote one method over another; we have simply gathered the following data for your information.


Handling Conflict at Work

Conflict is defined as the negative feelings experienced between people and groups in problematic relationships. Conflict at work can hurt the quality of your work and the work of those around you. Conflicts arise in a number of ways: disagreements between co-workers, jealousy of positions or salaries, gossip, or office politics can all create uncomfortable situations. When conflict rears its ugly head, it’s good to remember that most conflicts can be solved by listening, talking through your problems and even sometimes realizing that your conflict has fizzled out. Here are some tips on how to handle and help avoid conflicts at work.

Things to Remember

  • If a conflict is between you and just one other person, try to work it out between the two of you, rather than bringing others into the conflict.
  • In a workplace, everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Treat others the way you want to be treated, and don’t put people down.
  • Give credit where credit is due; if someone has helped you on a project or proposal, make sure others are aware that the person deserves credit for helping.


Cover Letters: What is it and how to write one?

What is a cover letter and why is it important?
A cover letter is a one-page business letter that you send to a potential employer when you submit your résumé. The letter introduces you, explains which job you are applying for and why you think you would be a good candidate for the position. A cover letter is important because it gives you the opportunity to talk more in depth about the skills and experiences on your résumé that are applicable to the job for which you are applying. You can use a cover letter to discuss some important experiences that may not have a place in your résumé. It reflects your personality, your attention to detail, your communication skills, your enthusiasm, your intellect and your specific interest in the company to which you are sending the letter.

The Four Parts of a Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter can seem a little overwhelming at first, but it is helpful to think of it as four separate sections:


Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families by granting states federal funds and wide flexibility to develop and implement their own welfare programs.

While the intent of the TANF program is to move welfare recipients, most of whom are women with dependent children, into the workforce, the effect has often been to force them into low-wage, dead-end jobs.

Changes to TANF law could transform the program into a federal funding source that truly helps needy families become self-sufficient. An increase in the education and training opportunities available within the TANF system would go a long way toward giving low-income women the skills they need to succeed in jobs with career potential and upward mobility.


Chutes & Ladders State Status Reports

Census Data pulled from Chutes & Ladders: The Search for Solid Ground for Women in the Workforce.

Click on one of the links below to download a PDF of that state’s Status Report with key data on the status of displaced homemakers and single mothers.

Download this guide for 10 great ways to use the state status reports to advocate for women’s economic security.
Alabama (pdf, 24.2 KB) Alaska (pdf, 24.2 KB) Arizona (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Arkansas (pdf, 24.2 KB) California (pdf, 24.2 KB) Colorado (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Connecticut (pdf, 24.2 KB) Delaware (pdf, 24.2 KB) District of Columbia (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Florida (pdf, 24.2 KB) Georgia (pdf, 24.2 KB) Hawaii (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Idaho (pdf, 24.2 KB) Illinois (pdf, 24.2 KB) Indiana (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Iowa (pdf, 24.2 KB) Kansas (pdf, 24.2 KB) Kentucky (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Louisiana (pdf, 24.2 KB) Maine (pdf, 24.2 KB) Maryland (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Massachusetts (pdf, 24.2 KB) Michigan (pdf, 24.2 KB) Minnesota (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Mississippi (pdf, 24.2 KB) Missouri (pdf, 24.2 KB) Montana (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Nebraska (pdf, 24.2 KB) Nevada (pdf, 24.2 KB) New Hampshire (pdf, 24.2 KB)
New Jersey (pdf, 24.2 KB) New Mexico (pdf, 24.2 KB) New York (pdf, 24.2 KB)
North Carolina (pdf, 24.2 KB) North Dakota (pdf, 24.2 KB) Ohio (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Oklahoma (pdf, 24.2 KB) Oregon (pdf, 24.2 KB) Pennsylvania (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Rhode Island (pdf, 24.2 KB) South Carolina (pdf, 24.2 KB) South Dakota (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Tennessee (pdf, 24.2 KB) Texas (pdf, 24.2 KB) Utah (pdf, 24.2 KB)
Vermont (pdf, 24.2 KB) Virginia (pdf, 24.2 KB) Washington (pdf, 24.2 KB)
West Virginia (pdf, 24.2 KB) Wisconsin (pdf, 24.2 KB) Wyoming (pdf, 24.2 KB)

Life After Prison: Overcoming Barriers to Employment

There are currently over one million women in the U.S. criminal justice system. Two hundred thousand of them are confined in state and federal prisons or local jails. Women are the fastest growing group of people in prison. However, the consequences of their convictions far outlast time spent in confinement or on parole. Since the 1990s, various levels of government have created more post-conviction penalties, making it harder for women leaving prison to find employment, education and housing. There are, however, groups who can help.

A year after prison, only four in ten women are able to find jobs in the regular labor market.

In most states, employers can deny jobs to anyone with a criminal record, regardless of work history or how long ago they were
convicted. State laws can also keep past
prisoners from getting licences in different types of professions.

Further Education
All forms of federal tuition assistance are unavailable to a person with a drug conviction,
making further education difficult.

Individual Development Accounts Education Campaign

At the end of December, 2007, Women Work’s one-year IDA project came to a close. Initial results from the project indicate that hundreds of women were positively impacted through financial literacy classes, information about IDAs, and referral to local IDA programs. Data compilation and a full evaluation of the project are currently underway; check back soon for complete results of this initiative!

The Project 
Throughout 2007 Women Work! partnered with our state affiliates in New York, Wisconsin, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland to implement state-wide education campaigns on financial literacy and individual development accounts (IDAs). With the support and technical assistance of Women Work!, these state affiliate collectively did the following:


Networking and Mentoring Not just “girl talk”

Mentoring has always been a part of the workplace atmosphere for men. As more women enter the workforce, they too are becoming a vital part of the networking and mentoring process. Today, women are seeing more of the positive impacts created by mentoring and networking as they advance in their careers.

Differences Between Networking and Mentoring
Networking is important when you are trying to find a job/career. Everyone has heard: “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Networking allows women the opportunity to meet other people (especially women) who have similar professional interests.

Mentors are people with experience who can give advice and help you move up in your field. Mentors are important for women entering the workforce as they can help guide decisions made early on and throughout a woman’s career. While a mentor can be helpful when looking for a job, it also important to find a mentor once you have a job. A mentor can help you to begin looking at career options.

Similarities Between Networking and Mentoring
Relationships are a part of everyone’s life, whether between friends, family members or significant others. (more…)

Our Issues

Women have made great strides toward economic equity over the last several decades. For many women and their families, however, the challenge of achieving economic self-sufficiency remains an uphill battle. Although the majority of families rely on women’s wages to make ends meet, women continue to earn less than men and are nearly twice as likely to be poor as men.

To advance economic opportunities for women and their families, Women Work! strives to promote women’s entry into higher-paying work and help workers balance work and family.

Click here for basic information about women in the workforce.


Reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) was designed to increase the employment, retention, earnings and occupational skills of the American workforce by creating a simple yet comprehensive system to meet the needs of all job seekers. But for many unemployed and underemployed women, WIA has not met this commitment. Significant reforms are needed to ensure that the workforce investment system can meet the needs of women who face barriers on the road to economic security.

Women Work! advocates for reforms in WIA to increase women’s access to training for high-skill, high-wage, and nontraditional careers.

Policy Resources

Too Many Women Live Paycheck to Paycheck

Too many women and their families are living paycheck to paycheck, working in low-paying jobs without benefits and with few prospects for advancement. Over 14 million adult women in the United States live in poverty, while millions more struggle at incomes just above the poverty line.

Women are more likely to be poor than men.

  • There are over 14 million adult women in the United States living under the federal poverty line, compared to 9.5 million adult men. Almost 6 million women live in extreme poverty, defined by having an income of less than half of the federal poverty level.1
  • Women are 40 percent more likely to be poor than men. One in eight women is poor, compared to about one in eleven men.2
  • Women represent 60 percent of the total number of adults in poverty,3 but only 51 percent of the total adult population.4


Women Re-entering the Workforce Face Substantial Barriers

Despite their increasing presence in the workforce, women are more likely than men to experience interruptions in their careers. This is due largely to time spent caring for children or elderly family members. Women still face real barriers when re-entering the workforce; many return to less skilled, lower paid positions than those they left.

Women remain much more likely than men to experience career interruptions, largely due to domestic responsibilities.

  • One in four women leaves her job around the time of the birth of her first child.1
  • Among mothers with children younger than one year old, only 53.8 percent are in the labor force.2
  • Caring for an elderly relative is also often the reason for a gap in workforce involvement. Thirty four million adults (16 percent of population) provide care to adults 50+ years.3Women are more likely than men to be family caregivers. Research suggests that between 59 and 75 percent of family caregivers are women.4, 5, 6
  • For women, eldercare has a significant impact on advancement at work. One third of caregivers decrease their work hours, 29 percent pass on promotions, training or assignments, 22 percent take a leave of absence, 20 percent switch from full to part time employment, 16 percent quit and thirteen percent retire early.7


Women in the Workforce

Women have an enormous presence in the current workforce in the U.S.

  • Women comprised 46 percent of the total U.S. labor force in 2006.1
  • In 2006, there were a record 67 million employed women in the U.S.2
  • 70 million women were labor force participants—working or looking for work—in 2006.3
  • The labor force participation rate for all women was 59.4 percent in 2006.4
  • The labor force participation rate for mothers is 70.9 percent.5
  • By race the rates are:
    • Black women 61.7%;
    • White women 59 %;
    • Asian women 58.3 %
    • Hispanic women 56.1%.6


We Work! Magazine

The Voice for Women’s Education and Economic Equity

We Work! is a quarterly magazine sent to Women Work! members.

Summer 2007

In this Issue

Message from the Chair and President Page 4
Woman of Triumph: Danielle Smith Page 5
Work That Fits Page 6
The Issues: Coalitions In The Field  Page 8
Legislator Profile: Edward M. Kennedy Page 9
In The Field: iWorks! Works for Women Page 10
2007 Conference Special Page 12
Employer Spotlight Page 14
Woman to Woman  page 15


Back to School

More Education Needed?

Once you’ve chosen a new career direction, decide if you need more education. This might be a six-week adult-ed class in database management or a new degree in early childhood development.

You may have life or work experience that can substitute for formal classes. You’ll have to decide if you know enough for your new opportunity.

Is More Schooling Necessary?

Be sure you really need to return to school before moving in a new direction. Many women find it exhilarating to return to the classroom after time away. The intellectual stimulation may be very welcome after years away from school. And being back on a college campus can feel invigorating after years of being grown up, or it may feel threatening.


Q & A with Dr. Richie

I am a single mother, and I am working really hard to keep it together. I feel drained emotionally and financially. How can I pay my bills, be there for my children, and keep my sanity?

Thanks, Anne

Dear Anne,

As I often say to women I work with, my heart is always first and foremost with the single mothers. Aside from the responsibilities of providing both emotional and financial support to your kids, you are also handling the many difficult child raising questions that plague most parents on your own. Parenting is a tough enough job with two people working on it, so clearly it’s not an easy task for one person.

Many single mothers feel they have to do it all on their own, and are hesitant to ask for help from friends and family members. You haven’t said whether that description fits you, but it’s important to address. What kind of a community do you have around you? Are you close to your family? Do you have close friends who you can count on when you need a listening ear, a carpool, or someone who can pick you up some milk on her run to the store so you don’t have to pack your kids in the car to do that small task?


Action Works!

Subscribe to Action Works! Women’s Voices for Change and become part of the nation’s largest network of advocates dedicated to advancing economic justice and equality for women.

Service providers, students, women in transition, citizen advocates and leaders in the women’s community have already added their voices to the chorus. Sign up now and receive up-to-the-minute alerts on policy issues affecting women’s economic justice.

Making Money Work!

This six-session, hands-on financial education program was designed especially for women who are facing some of life’s toughest difficulties, and struggling to gain a foothold in a world where stability and financial security seem like distant dreams.

The goal of the Making Money Work! financial education program is to help participants achieve financial stability and effectively manage a limited earned income by providing subject matter information, motivational participatory learning activities, and access to resources. The program introduces participants to basic financial concepts, such as goal setting, determining needs versus wants, developing a spending plan, managing a checking account, and the wise use of credit.

Making Money Work! Online Facilitator’s Guide


Advice for Women Job Seekers: Appearance Matters

Americans Say a Woman’s Appearance Affects Whether She is Taken Seriously on the Job, Considered for Raises & Promotions 
Survey Report (pdf, 146kb)
Statistical Tables for all 8 questions (pdf, 52kb)

APRIL 23, 2001 — In this graduation season, Americans have advice for the millions of women job-seekers who are graduating from high school, college and job training programs: a professional appearance will help you get and keep a job, and win responsibilities, raises and promotions. A new poll finds that nearly seven in ten Americans (69 percent) – and more than eight in ten women – say clothing, hair and makeup are very or extremely important for a woman on the job, and for her confidence. Large majorities say that a woman’s appearance affects whether she is taken seriously, asked to represent her company at outside meetings, and considered for raises and promotions.


Free Guides Helps Women Entering the Workforce “Work Your Image!”

Download the Order Form for requesting free copies of WYI! materials.
Download the WYI! Tip Sheet English, Spanish 
Download the WYI! Family Guide Tip Sheet
Download the WYI Evaluation Form
(Right click on the link and select “save as” to save a copy of the form to your computer.)

As the saying goes, “you only have one chance to make a first impression,” but there is a great deal a person can do to make that impression a positive and lasting one. Realizing the value of presenting a professional appearance, Women Work!, in partnership with the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), created a unique program to help women in transition put their best foot forward in today’s competitive job market. Work Your Image! Creating a Professional Image to Get and Keep a Job® (WYI!) provides basic information for women entering or re-entering the workforce with a common-sense approach to creating a positive first impression.


Report Shows Women and Girls are Invisible Again

National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education finds vocational education law fails women and girls

The National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE) released a report in Oct. 2001 that found programs designed to help women and girls succeed in vocational education are rapidly collapsing, leaving many women and girls in jeopardy of losing out on important educational opportunities. NCWGE expressed concern that the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act of 1998 — the federal law governing vocational education at secondary and post-secondary institutions — provides insufficient support for women and girls at a time when welfare time-limits are fast approaching.


Recruiting for the Information Technology

Recruiting for the Information Technology Age (RITA) is a multifaceted project to increase the number of women represented in the information technology (IT) sector. Through RITA, Women Work!’s member programs partner with local employers to create collaborative relationships that move women into high-paying, stable jobs. Employer partners inform training design and provide job shadowing, internship, on-the-job-training and site visit opportunities to students. As a result, women are knowledgeable about job opportunities and requirements, gain work experience and have a ‘foot in the door’ with their local employers.

Project Outcomes

  • Women Work! has implemented RITA at 17 sites in 11 states since 1998, working with member organizations in North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oregon, South Dakota, Maine, New Jersey, Colorado, Wisconsin and Idaho
  • Hundreds of women have been exposed to IT careers, with more than 300 completing education and training that leads to an internship, apprenticeship, or full-time job earning at least $9.00 an hour
  • Partnerships have been established with nearly 100 IT employers
  • Women Work! creates resources and publications, such as Getting IT Across , to share strategies for recruiting women into lucrative, non-traditional careers


Women Work!shops April 25

Find out what Women Work! can do for you during two sessions of Women Work!shops. Women Work! staff and members will give you an overview of the resources, teaching tools, curricula and training the organization has to offer. You will leave each session with new tools and suggestions for how to use them in your work and life. Topics include:

Domestic Violence Survivors and the Legal System
Presenter: Rebecca Henry
Women Work! and the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence recently partnered to produce Finding a Lawyer, a tip sheet which helps survivors of domestic violence understand the basics about finding and working with a lawyer. In this session you will learn more about recent research which sites access to legal services and improved economic status as the top two factors affecting declines in intimate partner violence. You’ll also learn more about the ways you can help your clients navigate the legal system.