- President Barack Obama earlier this week offered a seriously harsh review of the U.S. workplace and its policies on gender, saying the current state is "straight out of ‘Mad Men.’ "
- Speaking at the White House’s first United State of Women Summit in Washington, Obama said even today workplaces remain discriminatory and hostile towards women, with serious change required, according to SHRM.
- SHRM reports that the summit drew an estimated 5,000 people, and several participating employers unveiled a commitment of about $50 million in backing on workplace gender equality initiatives.
“If we really want workplace policies that work for everybody, it would help if we had more women in Congress,” the president told Summit attendees, adding that there should be more women in the c-suite as well. "We’re still boxed in by stereotypes about how men and women should behave. We need to keep changing the attitude that keeps raising our daughters to be demure … that punishes women for their sexuality, but gives men a pat on the back for theirs … the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, penalizes working moms ... that prioritizes being competent, competitive and ambitious in the workplace—unless you’re a woman.”
SHRM reports that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) announced a final rule, effective Aug. 15, 2016, that lays out the gender equality requirements covered contractors must meet under executive order. The order prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, and includes issues such as compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, hostile work environments, a lack of workplace accommodations for pregnant workers, and gender identity and family caregiving discrimination.