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Simmons Hosts International Women’s Day Breakfast

March 14, 2014

More than 100 people attended this year’s Boston-Area International Women’s Day Breakfast, held at Simmons March 7. This annual event is now in its 17th year, and has been held at the College since 2001.

“This day gives all of us the chance to join with people from around the world and focus on issues important to all women,” said Diane Hammer, director of the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change, which hosted the event.

This year, a panel of experts spoke about “Moving Women’s Wages Forward: Locally and Globally.” Speakers included Jacqueline Cooke, Regional Administrator and Acting Director of Policy and Programs for the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau; Ann Bookman, Director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston; Yuko Takahashi, Fulbright Scholar and Professor at Tsuda College; Monique Nguyen, Executive Director at MataHari; and Dr. Paula Johnson, Chief of the Division of Women’s Health at Brigham and Women’s and member of the Boston Women’s Workforce Council.

The musical group Women of the World opened the event, which was attended by Boston City Councilor at Large Ayanna Pressley, an advocate for women and girls.

In her opening remarks, Cooke described “occupational segregation” as a major barrier to women’s wage equality.

“We still have men doing traditional ‘men’s jobs’ and women doing what we think of as traditional ‘women’s jobs’ and the pay for these is significantly less,” she said. “We have made a lot of progress over the years but there is much work that needs to be done.”

Each year, a planning committee representing approximately 15 women’s organizations works with the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change to plan the event. Previous topics have included women in hunger, women in the green economy, women’s economic self-sufficiency, violence against women, and creating equality in women’s health.

 

Pictured Above: Moderator Jacqueline Cooke with panelists Paula Johnson, Monique Nguyen, Yuko Takahashi, and Ann Bookman.

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