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Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo Addresses Economic Recovery and Need for Greater Equity and Opportunity for Women

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo addressed the inaugural Finance Festival: Women and Wealth conference hosted by Ladies Get Paid and Public.com. During her pre-recorded discussion on April 29 with Ashley Louise, Co-Founder and CEO of Ladies Get Paid, Secretary Raimondo addressed the Biden Administration’s commitment to fix systemic inequities among women and minorities through the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan.

“Working for women at this moment in time is so important,” said Secretary Raimondo. “Women, especially women of color, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. We need to provide them with jobs, training, affordable childcare and the necessary tools to re-enter the workforce.”

In his inaugural address to Congress, President Biden announced the American Families Plan, and called on them to make substantial investments in the infrastructure of care in our country. This plan will create a care economy and provide direct support to families to access affordable and high-quality childcare, create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, and extend child tax credits.

 “There are millions of care workers who are full-time and still in poverty,” said Raimondo. "No matter how you slice it, that is wrong. The American Families Plan will provide a $400 billion investment to pay these workers livable wages and job training so they can climb the career ladder just like every other industry.”

Secretary Raimondo also called for Congress to pass the American Jobs Plan, a $2 trillion jobs package that will allow our country to not just return to where we were before the pandemic but to build our country and economy back better.

“This Administration recognizes that women have been left behind and we are actively looking to fix systemic inequities,” she said. “Through the American Jobs Plan, we will take a robust approach to break down these barriers.”

During her discussion, Secretary Raimondo also noted that so many women have had to bear the brunt of the pandemic by leaving their jobs to care for an elderly parent. She noted that home care workers who take care of our elderly are usually women and that she could not have survived the pandemic in caring for her almost 90-year-old mother without “these angels.”

“We need to establish a workforce to take care of our elderly and our children,” she said. “These folks are the fabric of our community. I hope Congress does the right thing and passes both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan.”

Secretary Raimondo also talked about her time as the first woman Governor of Rhode Island and her long-held core beliefs in hard work, the opportunity for all, and the importance of financial security for women.

“To create an economy where every woman can thrive, they must have a seat at the decision-making table demanding policies that have been swept to the side for too long.” I have dedicated my career to empowering people, particularly women and minority communities. That is what drives me in this job as Commerce Secretary.”