Freshly-minted Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta told world leaders that the Trump administration has prioritized women in the workforce during a speech Thursday at the G20 summit in Germany.
“Women are invaluable players in the global economy, and investing in women is absolutely critical for fully mobilizing the economy in the United States and throughout the world,” Acosta said at the opening session of the G20 Labor and Employment Ministers’ Meeting on women succeeding in the 21st century economy in Bad Neuenahr, Germany. “The Trump administration has prioritized investing in the resources required to unleash the full potential of women in the workforce,” he continued.
Acosta said that technological breakthroughs have fundamentally altered the way economies function. “These changes have improved the way billions of people live, and they are creating global demand for high-skilled jobs,” Acosta said. “But all too often, women do not fully experience these benefits,” he asserted. He said the administration is encouraging women to pursue STEM programs and looks to increase participation by women in apprenticeship programs.
He pointed to Ivanka Trump and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s recent op-ed in the Financial Times that explained how women-owned businesses cluster in sectors with lower profit margins and often lack access to adequate capital. Acosta also pointed to the fact that women are underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, saying that must change.
President Trump signed a bill in February directing NASA to encourage women to pursue careers in the STEM fields.
The Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Women Act, proposed by Republican Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, requires NASA to submit a plan on how it will facilitate engagement between scientists and K-12 students to Congress.
Acosta met with labor ministers from across the globe, including his German counter-part, Andrea Nahles and China’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, Yin Weimin.
He was also photographed walking with his Mexican counter-part, Secretary of Labour [sic] and Social Welfare Alfonso Navarette. President Trump has blasted companies for planning new production facilities in Mexico. In January, Trump took to Twitter, criticizing General Motors for sending a Mexican-made car model across the border tax-free.
General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
The Secretary’s speech came one day after his visit to the Munich headquarters and manufacturing plant of the BMW Group. Acosta visited the auto giant’s production and technical apprenticeship training facility as part of his push to enhance vocational education and apprenticeships.
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