Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) was in Germantown on Wednesday, Aug. 27 to host a panel discussion on the challenges faced by women in the workforce place at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus. The panel brought together experts from national nonprofit organizations, local elected officials, federal agency representatives and Sixth District constituents to discuss barriers that continue to hinder women’s professional development and success.
Topics discussed by the panel included pay equity, the glass ceiling, and barriers to child care and gender and pregnancy discrimination. Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College; Linda Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development at the Department of Health and Human Services; Mary Tiernan from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Liz Watson of the National Women’s Law Center; and Delegate Aruna Miller, representing Maryland’s 15th Legislative District, spoke on the panel, which was moderated by Congressman Delaney.
“I was honored to moderate the women’s issues panel and to host a thoughtful discussion about how we can expand opportunities for women and girls in this country,” said Congressman Delaney. “It was especially gratifying to see so many students at Montgomery College so engaged on this topic. Making sure women have equal opportunities to succeed is one of the biggest issues facing our country, as both a moral and an economic issue. While women have made tremendous gains in the workforce over the last several decades, we still have work to do empowering women to climb the ladder of success. We need to enforce the anti-discrimination laws that we have, pass common sense bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act that strengthen protections for women, and do more to create a welcoming environment for women in the workplace.”
The panel was in conjunction with Women’s Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification and congressional certification on August 26. The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. After the women in the workforce panel, Delaney spoke with students in the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program at Montgomery College about his experience starting his own businesses.
“From the very beginning, women played a crucial role in our nation’s history,” said the Congressman of Women’s Equality Day, “but the right to vote made sure that the voice of women was clearly and loudly heard in our democracy. As the father of four daughters, I can’t imagine a world in which they would be denied the ballot, but that progress was only possible thanks to the work of brave and dedicated women across the country, who fought for decades and who often stood up to public mockery and scorn.”
Delaney is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377), which would update and strengthen the existing Equal Pay Act, and has signed a discharge petition to bring the bill to the floor of the House for a vote. According to GovTrack.us, a website which tracks legislative bills, H.R.377 has a two percent chance of getting out of committee and a one percent chance of being enacted.
Delaney is also a cosponsor of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 1975), which strengthens workplace protections for pregnant workers, and the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286), which provides workers with seven protected paid sick days each year. GovTrack.us has given H.R. 1975 a 377 a two percent chance of getting out of committee and a one percent chance of being enacted. H.R. 1286 has a seven percent chance of getting out committee and a two percent chance of being enacted, according to GovTrack.us.