Over 150 women leaders publicly support Julie Su’s nomination for U.S. Department of Labor secretary. Now we need to keep the pressure on the Senate to confirm her.
Last week, President Biden announced his nomination of Julie Su to be the next secretary of the Department of Labor. For women, and especially for women of color, this is a huge victory. Julie Su has spent her career fighting for equity and inclusion in the workforce. And she’s exactly what our country needs: someone who knows firsthand the impacts of sexism and racism on workers’ well-being and who has the expertise and qualifications to create a more just economy—for all workers. Her nomination was a victory; now we need Senate leaders to confirm her.
Women of color are an essential, but often overlooked, part of our economy. In the United States, women make up 52 percent of all “essential workers” and more often than not, they are women of color. But women of color also suffer the most severe wage gap, thanks to the dual forces of racism and sexism.
During the pandemic, things only got worse—as we’ve witnessed a significant departure of women from the workforce. The economic instability of the pandemic and rising prices has contributed to women workers’ already heavy burdens.
During these challenging times, Biden’s nomination of Julie Su as labor secretary is a ray of hope. Su would be the first Asian American Cabinet member at the secretary level in Biden’s administration, and she would bring with her the promise of an economic and social shift toward creating a 21st-century economy that works for everyone.
The secretary of the Department of Labor has the power to create a more inclusive economic system through improving gender pay equity laws, protecting the rights of workers and more, if they’re so inclined. We need a labor secretary dedicated to establishing policies that help those who need it most—and that’s what Su has been doing her whole career.
A nationally recognized labor expert and lawyer, Su has been a lifelong champion of marginalized workers. She is committed to ensuring equity through systemic change.
During her time as California’s labor secretary, Su created the Pay Equity Task Force. A crucial step towards forming a more inclusive system, the task force improved compliance with the state’s gender pay equity law; strengthened paid sick leave protections during the pandemic; helped establish collective bargaining rights for over 40,000 childcare workers; and more.
At this critical juncture, we need a labor secretary who can advance workplace rights and protections for all workers and ensure a just, inclusive economic recovery that puts the economic security of women and working families at the center. This country and your administration would be exceptionally well served by Julie Su—a modern-day Frances Perkins—as your secretary of labor.—’Open Letter: Women for Julie Su’
Following her work in California, Su was tapped to serve in her current position as national deputy secretary of labor, making her perfectly positioned to step into the top position.
I was honored, alongside 150 women leaders from national progressive organizations, to sign a letter organized by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and One Fair Wage supporting Julie Su’s nomination for U.S. Department of Labor secretary. In my work as founder of She The People, an organization dedicated to building the political power of women of color, I’ve seen firsthand how women of color leaders like Julie Su are strongly positioned to lead America into a new political era.
Women like Julie Su are bridge builders—they’re attuned to the issues affecting diverse communities and take interconnected needs into account to solve problems. Su will find solutions benefiting everyone. We’ve seen this already in how Su fights for the rights of women workers nationally, including low-paid women, immigrants and frontline workers.
To be clear, Su serving as labor secretary wouldn’t magically fix the systemic issues plaguing our nation—but she is uniquely equipped to pinpoint inequalities and take effective action that will benefit communities that are typically overlooked.
Julie Su has decades of experience advancing gender equity, fighting for family economic security and building a strong caregiving economy. At this critical juncture, we need a labor secretary who can advance workplace rights and protections for all workers and ensure a just, inclusive economic recovery that puts the financial security of women and working families at the center. Women across the country are thrilled that Biden has taken the critical first step in nominating Julie Su—now we need to keep the pressure on the Senate to confirm her.
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