Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Role of Millenials in the Workplace

Young Professionals - this one's for you! The Baby Boomer generation is moving out of the workforce and there are not enough Gen Xers to fill their spots leaving the Millenial generation to fill the work force. MWPC's Board Member Lauren Rikleen of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership sets the record straight on this generation and it's role in the workplace.

Friday, August 26, 2011

MA Treasurer Steve Grossman Celebrates Women's Equality Day

Pledges to Continue His Drive to Expand Opportunities for Women in the Workplace

Highlighting the 91st anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that gave women the right to vote, Treasurer Steven Grossman today pledged to continue his efforts to expand opportunities for women in the workplace.

“In my private sector career and in public office, I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous leadership role that women play in a well-run, effective organization,” said Grossman. “We are a much better community because of the dynamic presence and contributions of women in the workplace, and Women’s Equality Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on our progress in the past and our significant goals for the future.”

At the Treasury, Grossman has appointed a number of women to senior leadership positions, including First Deputy Treasurer Katherine Craven, Chief of Staff Kathryn Burton, and Director of Legislative Affairs Barbara L’Italien. Noting their meaningful contributions, the Treasurer said that these individuals have helped shape public policy and have been an integral part of an effective management team.

Grossman has also created programs and initiatives to increase business opportunities for women. The newly created Small Business Banking Partnership, which deposits Treasury cash reserves in Massachusetts community banks to leverage loans to credit-worthy small businesses, has a component encouraging banks to lend to women-owned enterprises. The Treasurer noted that a ceremony today designating the Public Garden Swan Boats as a historic Boston landmark taps into the sentiment behind the Partnership, as one of the original Swan Boat operators, Julia Paget, had to overcome significant obstacles to be granted permission to run a women-owned enterprise in the 1870s.

“Julia Paget was all-too-familiar with the unreasonable barriers that confronted women of her time from owning and operating a successful business. Today, it is both imperative and economically beneficial that we find ways to make capital more available to credit-worthy, women-owned companies, and the Small Business Banking Partnership does just that,” said Grossman.

Under Grossman’s leadership, the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board, which he chairs, recently implemented new proxy voting guidelines covering stock holdings of the Commonwealth’s pension fund aimed at promoting the inclusion of more women in the corporate boardroom and in the executive suite. Grossman emphasized that the overall goal of enhancing shareholder value should also reflect the values of the people of Massachusetts.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

MWPC Commends Joint Committee on Redistricting on Efforts for a Just, Transparent Process

State House News reports that on Monday, Representative Michael Moran (D-Brighton), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Redistricting, began his second round of sit-down meetings with all members of the MA House of Representatives, thereby fulfilling the promise he made at the outset of the redistricting process to meet with each member of the House at least twice before presenting any final district maps.

In the same piece, Representative Moran states that maintaining the majority-minority status of districts in the Boston area is a top priority of the Committee. With significant population shifts throughout neighborhoods, such as Dorchester and Mattapan, this is certainly no easy or enviable task. However, given the numerous sit-down meetings Chairman Moran and Chairman Rosenberg (D-Amherst), of the Senate, have had with constituents and interest groups, the public  hearings the Committee has held throughout the state, and these meetings with elected officials, it is apparent that this Redistricting Committee is deliberating carefully about where to draw lines this fall.

This public outreach and involvement also shows a distinct commitment to transparency in this process, which is crucial for drawing lines in a just way that accounts for minority representation.

As an organization dedicated to increasing the political empowerment of women of color, the MA Women's Political Caucus commends the Redistricting Committee on its earnest efforts to make the redistricting process a transparent one and for its efforts to maintain the majority-minority districts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus Applauds the Efforts of Those Involved in an Act Relative to Safe Harbor for Exploited Children

The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus (MWPC) applauds the efforts of all those involved in today's unanimous passage of the Act Relative to Safe Harbor for Exploited Children in the House of Representatives. In particular, we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to Representative Martin Walsh, Representative Liz Malia, and District Attorney Dan Conley for filing this bill; Attorney General Martha Coakley for her unwavering and outspoken support; all of the bill's co-sponsors; and Speaker Robert DeLeo and the House for voting in favor.

In cases of human trafficking, young girls and women are often held against their will and forced into prostitution and, as a result, often develop drug habits and other self-destructive behaviors, end up in violent and abusive situations, and suffer psychological damage. Massachusetts is currently one of just four states that does not have any anti-human-trafficking legislation on the books. As a result, victims of this crime have been treated as criminals rather than victims. Once such legislation is passed, the Attorney General will be able to prosecute trafficking crimes and the victims can receive the just treatment, rehabilitation, and rights they deserve. This bill has been a very long time in the making and MWPC praises the Massachusetts House of Representatives for taking this first step towards justice for these exploited young women.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

MWPC Board Members in the News

What We're Reading: excellent Globe article highlighting the amazing work the Germaine Lawrence school does to help young women and girls with histories of abuse. We thank Germaine Lawrence and our Board President Pam Nourse, who is the Director of Institutional Development, for all of the great work they do to make a difference in the lives of women within the Commonwealth.

Victims, Not Delinquents
Yvonne Abraham
Boston Globe May 29, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Legislation Seeks to Curb Political Influence in Hiring Process

Yesterday, the MA Senate unanimously passed a bill that would curb political influence in the state hiring process for the Probation Department just over a week after the House passed a similar bill.

The Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus extends our sincere gratitude to Senate President Therese Murray, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Governor Patrick and everyone involved in the creation of this new legislation. Such legislation is important to the status of women in government and public policy in Massachusetts as it will help break through the networks of political influence that have proven a major barrier to women increasing their numbers in those positions. We look forward to the beginning of a more transparent hiring process and the equity that it will bring.

Senate Tackles State Job Patronage
Noah Bierman, The Boston Globe May 20, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

MWPC Celebrates the Preservation of Title X & Funding for Planned Parenthood

Yesterday’s Congressional vote to preserve funding to Planned Parenthood and other family planning programs marked a critical affirmation of the rights of women across the nation.

The measure passed the House but failed in the Senate in a vote 58-42. Had this measure passed, low-income and uninsured women would have been denied access to crucial affordable services, such as HIV and STD tests, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and contraception. Furthermore, elimination of Title X funding would have cost the government $3.4 billion a year in other expenses; it would not have saved the government money or diminished the deficit.

As a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the rights of women, it was extremely alarming to us to witness the amount of mistruths that were incorporated into the rhetoric surrounding this debate. It is quite clear that this was not an issue of budget balancing but rather the promotion of political agendas. We applaud the dedicated efforts of all those who worked to promote the facts in this struggle – your work was crucial to the outcome of that vote.

We also want to extend our sincere gratitude to those members of the MA delegation who voted to preserve Title X funding, particularly those who were committed to its preservation all along. We would specifically like to thank Senator John Kerry, Representative Niki Tsongas and Representative Michael Capuano, who have been very outspoken on this issue.

This vote sends a very clear message to our Nation’s leaders: political battles cannot and will not be fought at the expense of the health, well-being, and fundamental rights of women. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

MWPC Stands with Planned Parenthood. Do You?

As an organization devoted to the rights and equality of women, the MA Women’s Political Caucus is shocked and appalled at the recent assault on Planned Parenthood and Title X by certain members of Congress and political commentators who are using this opportunity to push a political agenda. This fight is not about budget balancing. The health and well-being of millions of American women are being compromised for political gain. One of the most disturbing developments arising from this fight are the false assertions being propagated by those who are opposed to Planned Parenthood. Contrary to those assertions, Planned Parenthood provides essential services that benefit millions of women.

MWPC sets the record straight and calls you to action to preserve the rights and health of American women and their families.

Assertion:           Government money is being used by Planned Parenthood to fund abortions.
Fact:                   The majority of what Planned Parenthood provides are medical screenings and procedures critical to the health and well-being of women as well as men. Those services include testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, screenings for cervical and breast cancer, routine gynecological exams, HPV vaccines, contraceptives, and prescription of birth control medications. Cutting these services would dramatically increase the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions and cost the federal government billions of dollars more in other social services annually.

Assertion:           “Only hookers go to Planned Parenthood.” -  Glenn Beck
Fact:                    In Massachusetts in 2009, Planned Parenthood provided services to 69, 654 patients, of which 87% were women and 13% were men. Of those MA patients, 96% were well below the federal poverty level and earned less than $27,000 annually. Without the free and low-cost services provided by Planned Parenthood, these patients would not be able to receive the treatment and care they need.

Assertion:           Cutting Title X funding would save the federal government money.
Fact:                    For every dollar spent on family planning programs, the government saves $4 on other social services. In light of this, it is categorically untrue to state that cutting Title X funding for Planned Parenthood would save the federal government money. On the contrary, cutting Title X funding would actually cost the government money. For example, in 2008 Title X funded contraceptive programs helped America women avoid 973,000 unintended pregnancies of which 432, 600 would have resulted in unintended births and 406, 200 abortions. Avoiding these unintended pregnancies saved the federal government approximately $5.1 billion.

Title X programs provide critical services, such as contraception, cancer screenings, and STD testing, to over 5 million American women a year. Funding cuts to Planned Parenthood would have disproportionate adverse effects on low income women who depend on Planned Parenthood to receive critical medical care and treatment. To cut that funding, partially or completely, would leave millions of American women without reproductive healthcare. This is not a social issue; it is a human issue.  

We at the MWPC stand with Planned Parenthood and urge you to contact your elected officials to tell them that you stand with Planned Parenthood and ask that they do too.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MWPC Honors a Trailblazer: Geraldine Ferraro

Teacher, congresswoman, advocate, vice-presidential candidate, assistant district attorney, ambassador - regardless of the job she was doing, Geraldine Ferraro will be forever remembered for her greatest role: trailblazer for women everywhere.

Long before her historic run for the vice presidency, Geraldine Ferraro was breaking down barriers as a role model for women everywhere on many different levels. While working as a school teacher and raising three children, she simultaneously earned a law degree and entered into a field at that time overwhelmingly dominated by men. She then worked her way from lawyer to assistant district attorney and head of the Special Victims Unit, where she became a powerful advocate for abused children.

As a three-term U.S. Representative, Ambassador Ferraro quickly assumed a leadership role and earned the respect of her male peers. As a Representative, she worked to break down the barriers to equality for women, for example, by co-sponsoring the 1981 Economic Equity Act.

In 1984, she made history as the first woman to run for the vice presidency on a major party ticket. As the first woman to run for this high office, Ambassador Ferraro faced many obstacles and challenges. She responded with dignity, class, and intelligence.

As a new generation of women rise to meet the challenges of this century, the significance of her life’s work and what she stood for will forever be a beacon of strength as we carry forth the work yet to be done. In her words, “campaigns, even if you lose them, do serve a purpose… my candidacy has said the days of discrimination are numbered. American women will never be second-class citizens again.”

Ferraro’s breakthrough opened the doors for women to achieve success for the next two decades. Condoleeza Rice, Madeline Albright, Hilary Clinton, and many other outstanding women can all thank this trailblazer for clearing the path to their achievement.

The Massachusetts Women’s  Political Caucus mourns the loss of this great pioneer for women and celebrates the progress she made possible for so many women to succeed. Her spirit will forever inspire countless future successes to come.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Former Governor Weld Urges Congress to Preserve Family Planning

In a powerful Op Ed in the Boston Herald, former Good Guys Honoree Governor Bill Weld urges Congress to preserve family planning programs:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Board Members in the News

Click below to read an excellent article about the status of diversity in general counsel positions by Board Member and President of the Rikleen Institute for Strategic Leadership, Lauren Stiller Rikleen: nsel-can-transfo rm-the-legal-profession/

Thursday, March 10, 2011

MWPC Honors 2011's Good Guys

Friday March 4, 2011 marked the MWPC’s 10th Annual Good Guys Awards, honoring 5 outstanding gentlemen who are dedicated to achieving equality for women across all realms of society. It was a terrific lunch and an exciting ceremony enjoyed by all. This year’s honorees, like all our past honorees, have proven a stand-out bunch.

In case you missed it, here’s the scoop:

Local television and radio host Jim Braude presided as emcee over an enthusiastic crowd, kept the audience engaged and even found time to make a pitch for his own Good Guys Award!. True to form, he kept the event entertaining and flowing smoothly and we were thrilled to have him back again.

This year, the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus installed the first ever Distinguished Public Service Award in honor of Senator Edward W. Brooke. A Republican from Massachusetts, Senator Brooke became the nation’s first popularly-elected African American United States Senator as well as the nation’s first state Attorney General. He was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation that has brought women to where we are today: Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Act to name a few. He also supported the strengthening of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, allowing Medicaid insurance to cover abortions, and has long been an advocate for the rights of gays and lesbians.

While Senator Brooke himself was unable to attend the awards in person, he was honored with a beautiful video tribute and recorded a moving acceptance speech. We’d bet a Tiffany’s Good Guys Award there wasn’t an uninspired soul in the room!

The third annual Senator Edward M. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award was given to MA Senate Majority Leader Frederick E. Berry. In his fourteen-term career he has increased protections for victims of domestic violence and eased the healthcare burden on women and their families. He has also worked ceaselessly to protect children from abuse and to advocate for children with disabilities, using his own experience with cerebral palsy to improve their lives.

Senate President Therese Murray delivered a delightful award presentation and, surrounded by friends, family, and devoted staff, Senator Berry accepted his award with gratitude and a sparkling sense of humor.

Keeping the momentum up, UMass Boston Chancellor J. Keith Motley presented a stirring speech to resounding applause and a standing ovation after accepting his award for his indispensable work to support educational opportunities for women and underprivileged youth.

CEO of the Boston Foundation Paul S. Grogan, was honored for utilizing the Foundation’s resources to advance the interests of women, from housing programs to educational opportunities to job training programs.

Finally, Attorney Stephen M. Weiner of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo Health Law Practice was honored as a phenomenal mentor to women in the healthcare and legal fields. Now he can add being an all-around Good Guy to his list of accolades as one of the nation’s best lawyers.

Thank you to each one of our honorees for your devotion and hard work in achieving equality for women. Your selflessness and service have made a difference in the lives of thousands of women and you have more than earned the title of “Good Guys.” Congratulations!

All proceeds from the event went to the MWPC Education Fund, which finances programs that provide valuable skills and resources to women looking to enter politics or public policy. Among those programs are an annual campaign skills training, the MassGAP initiative to increase the number of women in high-level appointed positions (, the Commonwealth Commentary series, the Speakers Bureau, and our internship program (

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the event a success: To all of our Board Members, our interns and volunteers, all of the elected officials and guests, our award presenters, and to our generous sponsors – we could not have done it without you.

A special thanks to those involved in the production of the Senator Brooke tribute video: Joyce Ferriabough-Bolling for producing the piece, GJ Nelson, Kim Tran, Priti Rao, Jessica Gibbons, Marissa Szabo– thank you for your devotion, input, creativity, and passion.

Finally, we also must extend a special thanks to our fabulous emcee Jim Braude who helped keep the event entertaining and running smoothly!

For more information on MWPC and our events, please visit We look forward to seeing you at our next event!