LA County Looks to Improve Opportunities for their Female Workforce

The Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisors Hilda Solis(in blue) and Sheila Kuehl, to enhance equity for women in the LA County workplace. (image credit: Board of Supervisors)

LOS ANGELES, CA-  60% of the LA County workforce is comprised of women. As the County continues to promote women’s leadership and equality, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Sheila Kuehl, to enhance equity for women in the LA County workplace. Additionally, following a motion by Supervisor Solis last month, the Board passed recommendations to improve the County’s sexual harassment procedures.

“Studies show we have blind spots when it comes to advancing women and diversity in the workplace. We can’t solve problems we don’t know about or see. Here in LA County, we are looking to change that,” said Supervisor Solis. “Recently, we analyzed and strengthened our sexual harassment policies. Now, we are turning our attention to the working environment and support offered for female employees. Research demonstrates that when we enhance the workplace for women, it improves the workplace for all, including LGBTQ and younger employees.”

Supervisor Kuehl added, “When we launched the Women and Girls Initiative a year ago, we identified a number of concerns about the ways in which the workplace may differently affect women’s and men’s abilities to advance and thrive and the resulting effects on women’s’ lifetime economic prospects. In some job categories in LA County, women earn less than men. They often disproportionately shoulder the burden of child care. These two items on our Board agenda specifically target two areas in which we want to be sure that LA County is doing everything it can to support women’s equity and well-being in the workplace in real and concrete ways.”

Today’s motion directs the Department of Human Resources and County Counsel with input from the Chief Executive Office and the Executive Director of the Women and Girls Initiative to report back to the board in 120 days. The report will focus on the County’s family, parental, and medical leave, analyze scheduling practices for hourly workers, flexible workplace policies, on-site or nearby child care, and the need for creation of sponsorship or mentoring programs to advance women in the workplace. The goal is to identify areas of improvement and find solutions to best empower the female workforce.

In addition, the Board passed recommendations to the current County Policy of Equity as provided by the County’s Executive Office, County Counsel, and the Department of Human Resources. According to the County Equity Oversight Panel, current policies enable positive culture change, promote equity and inclusion, allow for early intervention, and also preserve dignity and professionalism in the workplace. Today’s recommendations enhance the current policies and include the following:

  • Additional permanent staff and resources;
  • Enhanced marketing;
  • Augmented technology;
  • Evaluation of the policy as applied to County contractors; and
  • A mechanism to ensure compliance with mandatory training.