United States Women's Bureau

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Women's Bureau
United States Women's Bureau.png
Agency overview
Formed 1920
Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Employees 54[1]
Agency executive Sara Manzano-Diaz[2], Director
Website dol.gov/wb
Women's Bureau in 1920

The United States Women's Bureau (WB) is an agency of the United States government within the United States Department of Labor. The WB was established by Congress in 1920 and continues its responsibility to carry out Public Law 66-259; 29 U.S.C. 11-16.29 (1920) to '...formulate standards and policies which shall promote the welfare of wage-earning women, improve their working conditions, increase their efficiency, and advance their opportunities for profitable employment.' It is the only federal agency mandated to represent the needs of wage-earning women in the public policy process. The Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. He or she is supported by a staff in the national office as well as ten regional offices.[3]


Over the years, the WB has addressed a variety of issues important to working women.

  • In 1922, the WB investigated and reported on the conditions facing 'negro women in industry.'
  • The WB successfully advocated for the inclusion of women under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which, for the first time, set minimum wages and maximum working hours.
  • During World War II, the WB worked to achieve more skills training, wider job opportunities, higher wages and better working conditions for the 'new' female workforce.
  • In the 1950s, the WB focused on 'older women as office workers.'
  • The WB played an instrumental role in the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
  • In 1982, the WB launched a major initiative to encourage employer-sponsored child care, followed by the establishment of a multi-media Work and Family Clearinghouse in 1989 and worked for the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
  • In 1996, the WB published a fact sheet on the workplace effects of domestic violence.

Current status[edit]

Currently, the WB is assisting working women in a variety of ways by:

  • Providing financial education to Generation X and Y women through a curriculum offered online and in classroom settings in a program called Wi$eUp[4]
  • Helping business owners to develop policies and provide workplace flexibility for working women through the Flex-Options project[5]
  • Introducing young women to the field of nanotechnology[6]
  • Serving women in economic and employment transitions that are implemented by Women Work! The National Network for Women’s Employment[7]
  • Publishing fact sheets and electronic newsletters that address workplace concerns and report the status of women workers[8]
  • Using Internet technologies to broadcast its financial education public service campaign to working women and their families.[9]


External links[edit]