RE: [EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening statement-Shirley Mark

From: Williams, Verna (
Date: Mon Oct 23 2000 - 15:50:00 EDT

Hello and a big thanks to the panelists for participating in this important

Gender equity in education has long been an emphasis at the National
Law Center. As you are all well aware, despite the significant gains that
we've garnered over the years, full equity remains out of reach.

One area that stands out is career education [job training programs,
vocational education, in-school career academies, for example]. It remains
as sex segregated as ever -- with female students clustered in traditional
areas such as child care or cosmetology. Male students, on the other hand
predominate in trade and industry, or, importantly, technology. Even the
traditional male areas like auto shop are getting upgraded to include
coursework on computer circuitry because of the makeup of today's

What this all means is that the stakes for sex segregation are growing, as
we become a more technologically oriented society. We are presently
exploring the reasons for the sex segregation and conducting a public
education campaign to inform students about their rights once they're in a
non-traditional careere education program. [FYI -- we've published a
booklet called "Putting the Law on Your Side," which is available at]

This seems to be an area ripe for exploring in more detail in large part
because it is a graphic reminder of the persistence of discrimination in
education and also because assuring young women access to the
non-traditional fields means opening up the door to economic well-being to

How are your foundations addressing the persistent gender gap in career

Verna Williams
Vice President and Director of
Educational Opportunities
National Women's Law Center

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