In a policy speech today at Ithaca College, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand unveiled a five-point package aimed at ensuring more working women have a fair shot at earning financial security by modernizing America's outdated workplace policies that have failed to keep pace with the demands on the new workforce driving our economy and limits economic growth. With more dual income households than ever before, and 40 percent of women with children at home serving as sole breadwinners, when women get held back financially by systemic impediments in the workplace, the entire middle class and American economy gets held back too. Senator Gillibrand's American Opportunity Agenda would create paid family medical leave, increase the minimum wage, make quality affordable child care accessible, provide universal pre-k, and ensure equal pay for equal work.
Americans today are doing everything they can just to get by, provide for their kids, and give them the best possible chance to succeed. But with rising costs and dropping wages, many families can't even keep up, let alone get ahead. While the foundation of the American Dream has never changed, the skills and tools it took to reach it for our parents' and grandparents' generations won't always cut it today in an increasingly competitive global economy. More importantly, the American family -- and the face of the American workforce has changed significantly with the increased participation of women, especially mothers.
"The face of the American workforce has changed significantly with the dramatic increased participation of women," said Senator Gillibrand. "The key to a growing economy -- the key to a thriving American middle class in the 21st century -- is women. We have to equip more working women with the tools and the opportunities needed to achieve their best in the economy, and their best for their family. These five long overdue solutions to modernize the American workplace with policies that empower women and families -- will offer women a chance to earn their way ahead in the economy and achieve their full financial potential."