The Cornell University Worker Institute and the Berger-Marks Foundation have released a new report with detailed advice and real-world tools that can be used to create women's committees in labor unions and worker-centered organizations. The publication, A Guide to Organizing Women’s Committees: Everything You Need to Know to Make a Difference, provides step-by-step methods for the development and implementation of women's committees. And if your organization already has a women's committee, the guide easily can be used to help existing committees expand and grow. The report is filled with good information on program ideas and strategies for community outreach.
The guide was written by author and journalist Jane LaTour, in consultation with Cornell Industrial and Labor Relations School faculty members Lois Gray and Maria Figueroa. Funding for the project was provided by the Berger-Marks Foundation, an organization dedicated to expanding the influence of women in the labor movement.
Genuine, systemic equality for women at the workplace, in their unions and within the labor movement is still unrealized. Mobilizing and organizing women to champion their interests—and ultimately, the advancement of their organization—is an effective means to hasten change.
In 2014, Gray and Figueroa released a study that identified the most effective strategies, programs and objectives of established women's committees across the labor movement. LaTour's guide is an outgrowth of that research. To help activists best implement the guide, Berger-Marks asked Dale Melcher, former staff at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Labor Extension Program, to create a workshop to accompany the guide, also available online.