Welcome to the Senate Select Committee on Women, Work and Families

Senate Select Committee on Women, Work and Families


Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (Chair)
Senator Toni G. Atkins
Senator Steven Bradford
Senator Connie M. Leyva
Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Senator Janet Nguyen
Senator Nancy Skinner
Senator Scott D. Wiener


The Select Committee on Women, Work and Families will convene hearings to explore policies and raise awareness on the economic and social issues impacting women and families in the workplace, including family leave, childcare, women on corporate boards and in executive leadership, and pay equity, in order to facilitate an ongoing policy focus on the needs of women and families. The purpose of this select committee is to identify policy issues specific to women, and to bring awareness to the myriad ways workplace and economic structures and practices impact women as employees, caregivers, primary breadwinners, and leaders, in order to develop policies and legislation.

In our country today, nearly forty percent of families are supported by a mother who is the primary or sole breadwinner. In California women continue to be primary caretakers—close to two million households are headed by women. Many men now occupy caretaking roles within the household and an increasing number of households are supported by two primary earners. Yet our societal support structures have yet to reflect these changing roles. Despite the invaluable role women play in our society as primary caretakers and earners, our policies and workplaces frequently do not reflect the needs of women and families. Furthermore, despite the widely acknowledged benefits of gender diversity in the workplace and in corporate leadership, such as workplace inclusiveness and positive performance outcomes, women are still drastically underrepresented on corporate boards and in leadership positions.

The economic and social inequity resulting from barriers women face in the workplace, as caregivers, and in the larger economy, has received growing attention in recent years. Gender equity in pay and the importance of inclusive family leave policies have gained momentum as issues of national importance. California has taken a lead on these issues and it is vitally important we continue to assert this leadership. Ensuring the advancement of women in our economy and in the workplace, as well as supporting in both policy and practice the valuable role women and men play as caretakers, is both urgent and timely. This select committee will provide a forum for engagement on these issues, will explore policy options, and will keep the momentum strong and focused.  

Committee Address