[EDEQUITY Equity Now] Opening Statement by Jacqueline Cooke

From: Jacqueline.Cooke, (cooke-jacqueline@dol.gov)
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 08:54:02 EDT

My name is Jacqueline Cooke and I am the Regional Administrator of the
Women's Bureau, Region I, of the U.S. Department of Labor. Headquartered
in Boston, I am charged with promoting the rights and interests of working
women in the six New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. During my seven year tenure
at the Women's Bureau, I have worked with employers to implement family
friendly benefits in the workplace, with women's organizations and
commissions on employment rights, and with girls' organizations and
non-profit associations seeking educational equity and promoting
non-traditional careers for women. Before joining the Labor Department, I
served as a legislative agent at the Massachusetts State House and as an
associate director of a state nurses association. I have a Bachelors
Degree in Political Science from Tufts University and a Masters Degree in
Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin.

Region I is one of five Women's Bureau Regions across the country
participating in a one year Program entitled Girls E-Mentoring in Science,
Engineering and Technology (GEM-SET). The purpose of the Program is to
encourage more girls to choose careers in the fields of science and
technology. GEM-SET provides girls ages 13-18 with online mentoring
through a listserv administered by the University of Illinois at Chicago's
Center for Research on Women and Gender. Over 500 girls are currently able
to ask questions about careers of 125 professional women in the fields of
science, engineering, and technology through a Daily Digest e-mailed to all
girls and mentors Monday - Friday. Questions may be answered by one, two,
or even three mentors. Girls join GEM-SET through a partnering organization
such as the Girl Scouts, a school, or an after school club. On May 4, the
Women's Bureau sponsored a live, interactive videoconference for GEM-SET
participants at eight sites across the country from Kansas City to Lowell,
MA. Girls were able to do science experiments at each site and see other
girls do their experiments. Girls were also able to ask questions of
mentors and see mentors respond at the different sites across the country.
The University of Illinois will evaluate the one-year Program for the
Bureau upon its conclusion at the end of September, 2002.

One issue which I would like us to address is "What are the best steps for
us to take to eradicate the image that girls have that math and science are
not fun or more importantly not "cool"? Is it that boys are more willing
to be seen as "geeks" than are girls? If so, why, and how do we address

Jacqueline R. Cooke
Regional Administrator, Region I
U.S. Department of Labor
Womens' Bureau
Boston, MA

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Mon May 20 2002 - 08:54:25 EDT