Latest from OWL

Commemorating the 50th Birthday of the Civil Rights Act

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” —Maya Angelou

50 years ago today, Congress passed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, and created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to enforce the Act. Today, the EEOC enforces a number of federal statutes protecting workers from discrimination.

As we recognize the progress we’ve made as a nation in achieving equality for all, we also realize more needs to be done.  Despite federal anti-discrimination laws, age-based discrimination complaints have increased by 50% over the past several years, and women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn.  OWL will continue its work on behalf of women 40+ in the areas of equality, economic security, and quality of life. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 07/02 at 04:17 PM

OWL Quoted in Fox Business News

OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar is quoted in a June 27 article on female entrepreneurs written by Fox Business reporter Christina Scotti.  The article, “Female Entrepreneurship Growing Faster Than Ever,” highlights the impressive growth rate (68% since 1997) of women-owned businesses, which now number 9.1 million.  It also mentions a Harvard study which found that men—especially attractive ones—have a much easier time than women in securing funds from venture capitalists.  Bobbie responded to these findings by calling for change:  “It’s ridiculous to think males have more persuasiveness, and we need to get rid of this unfounded bias by advocating for the millions of smart and successful women entrepreneurs out there.”

Posted by Pat Lewis on 06/30 at 11:49 AM

Women: A Civil Rights Afterthought Then, Taking Charge in Business Now

By Janna Starr
Secretary, OWL National, and President, The Arc Oregon

As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which, among other things, makes it unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire, or to fire or discriminate against anyone because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, we might take a moment to remember that women were an afterthought in the Act. The word “sex” was not added to Title VII until late in the process when a Democrat from Virginia introduced it in a one-word amendment. Rumor had it that the Representative, who generally opposed integration legislation, did so in order to increase opposition to the bill by labor unions, which had opposed including women in employment legislation.

The rest, as we know, is history. Thanks to the strong efforts of women’s advocacy organizations and civil rights leaders in Congress, the Civil Rights Act – with the ban on sex discrimination included was signed into law.

Women have clearly made great strides in the world of employment since then. And lately, they have been breaking ground in another business arena: entrepreneurship. 

Click here to read the full blog post.

Posted by Pat Lewis on 06/30 at 11:16 AM

OWL E.D. Attends the White House Summit on Working Families

On Monday, June 23rd, OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar attended the White House Summit on Working Families.

OWL is proud to work with Tina Tchen and the White House Council on Women and Girls to bring the workplace up to speed for women. Advance workplace equality by sharing your working family story and telling the White House how women 40+ would be helped by 21st-century workplace policies by visiting I’m Ready for Workplace Policies wall.

Click here to read more about the summit.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/23 at 02:26 PM

Senate Aging Committee Holds Hearing on Social Security Office Closures and Service Cuts

OWL Program Manager Brittany Reid attended the Senate Special Committee on Aging’s hearing to investigate the effect of Social Security Administration (SSA)’s recent office closures and service cuts.  As a result of a bipartisan investigation, Chairman Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Ranking Member Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) sought to examine why, despite the increase in case load due to the aging of the baby boomer population, more offices than ever, 64 since 2010, were being closed nationwide.

Here at OWL we are on the same page as the Senators: face-to-face contact is essential to ensuring the economic security of our aging population.

Click here to read more about the Hearing.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/18 at 05:12 PM

Vital Voices Honors Global Leaders

OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar and Program Manager Brittany Reid attended Vital Voices’ 13th Annual Global Leadership Awards Tuesday night at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall. The inspiring evening opened with Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson remarking on the importance of women in leadership nationwide, saying that women are working on issues that “are not just women’s issues, but THE issues impacting our shared futures.”

Click here to read more about the event.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/18 at 04:30 PM

Gracia M. Hillman Joins OWL Board of Directors

OWL welcomes Gracia M. Hillman to its Board of Directors. Gracia currently provides management consulting services as President and Principal Consultant of G. M. Hillman & Associates, Inc. (formerly The Hillman Group, Inc.) She also serves as a Senior Fellow at Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where all have an equal say in democracy and an equal chance in economic prosperity. She contributes to Demos’ work to expand the freedom to vote for all of America’s citizens. Her previous writings include “Toward A More Perfect Union: The Congressional Black Caucus & Voting Rights” and “E-Voting and Democracy in America.”

Gracia’s previous work includes the following positions:

    Presidential Appointments:
       Chair, Vice Chair and Commissioner, U.S. Election Assistance Commission
       Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues, U.S. Department of State
   
    Nonprofit Executive Management:
       President and CEO, WorldSpace Foundation
       Executive Director, League of Women Voters of the U.S.
       Interim Executive Director, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
       Executive Director, National Coalition on Black Voter Participation
       Executive Advisor, Council on Foundations

Click here to read Gracia’s full bio.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/16 at 02:21 PM

Growth Rate of Women-Owned Businesses “Remarkable”

OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar attended a Center for American Progress event focusing on improving entrepreneurship opportunities, including for women- and minority-owned small businesses. The event featured keynote speaker SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, who outlined her vision for ensuring small business owners have the resources and capital they need to succeed.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/15 at 08:41 PM

Statement on RAISE Act of 2014

OWL applauds Senators Mark Begich and Patty Murray for taking the lead on this important and timely legislation. Working to ensure the economic security of the more than 70 million women over 40 is one of OWL’s core missions, and the RAISE Act is a positive step toward that goal.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 06/11 at 04:02 PM

OWL Board Member Shares Success Story on Fox Business

In a story titled, How the Underdog Won, Fox Business profiles how OWL board member Carol Gardner built a $50 million business after the age of 50:

“At 52 years old, I was getting a divorce and I was in serious debt,” explains the former ad executive. “My divorce attorney said at the time, ‘Either get a therapist or get a dog,’ and I had always wanted an English bulldog, so I went looking and found Zelda. She was four-months old and was the mirror image of me: She looked sad and wanted to be loved, and I needed the same.”

To read more about how Zelda and Gardner built a greeting card empire, please click here.

Posted by Mark on 05/24 at 11:50 AM

OWL Hosts Capitol Hill Briefing on Long-Term Care

To mark the release of the OWL 2014 Mother’s Day Report on long term care, Keep Calm and Manage Your Future, OWL hosted a panel of six experts on Capitol Hill on May 8. At the briefing, participants presented additional perspectives on the challenges of providing long term supports and services (LTSS).

To read more, please click here.
To view a video of the briefing, please click here.

Posted by Margaret Huyck on 05/13 at 06:06 PM

2014 Mother’s Day Report Released

OWL’s 2014 Mother’s Day Report focuses on long-term care—an issue that has implications not only for families and individuals, but for our nation’s economic health. An unprecedented shift in demographics makes it more important than ever before for our nation to address this critical issue.

Please click here to learn more and for a link to download the report.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 05/02 at 06:09 PM

OWL is Headed to the Hill(s)! Mark your Calendar for May 8 and Join Us!

Mark your calendar for 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 8, when OWL will release its annual Mother’s Day Report at a briefing on Capitol Hill in room 188 of the Senate Russell Building. This year’s topic is Long-Term Care: Managing Our Future—a critical issue. We’re observing the report’s release with a briefing on the Hill, lending OWL’s voice to the recent outcry for a long-term care system that works.

Please click here for details.

Posted by Mark on 04/18 at 09:01 AM

Happy Birthday to OWL Board President Margaret Hellie Huyck

OWL is delighted to wish Board President Margaret Hellie Huyck a Happy 75th Birthday.

Click here to share in Margaret’s reflections upon the occasion.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 04/10 at 07:47 AM

April 8 is Equal Pay Day

April 8 is Equal Pay Day.  OWL Executive Director Bobbie Brinegar was honored to be among those in attendance at the White House today when President Obama undertook two executive actions to help combat pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws.

To read more click here.

Posted by Mark on 04/08 at 08:50 AM

OWL Director Among Guests at Reception for Janet Yellen

OWL’s executive director, Bobbie Brinegar, was among the guests at a reception hosted by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in honor of first female Fed Chair, Janet Yellen on March 25th.  “It was a privilege for OWL to be represented at the event,” said Brinegar. Click here for photos.

Posted by Mark on 03/27 at 09:17 AM

Peggy Wrightsman Parolin Joins OWL Board of Directors

OWL National has announced the appointment of Peggy Wrightsman Parolin to its Board of Directors.

Wrightsman Parolin is the Director of Licensing Acquisitions-Editorial for Hallmark Cards. In her work, she has partnered with Disney, Warner Bros., Peanuts, Marvel, DreamWorks, Lucasfilms, The Simpsons, Garfield, and other clients to bring relevant, meaningful content to social expression products that evoke laughter, tears and memories, reminding millions what it means to be human.   

To continue reading, click here.

Posted by Mark on 03/15 at 12:28 AM

Women Missing from Political Talk Shows

The hardest thing to see is usually what’s missing.

With that in mind, take a moment to stop and consider what you probably didn’t see on the Sunday morning political talk shows yesterday.

The answer is women.

In fact, analysis by Media Matters shows that women represent a mere 25% of all guests on Sunday morning television news shows.  When it comes to solo interview guests, women comprise only 15% of the total.

If the guest list for these programs is understood as an indication of whom ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NBC recognize as power players, women aren’t faring too well. And, we certainly don’t seem to be rising in their esteem—women’s representation has increased a less than significant percentage point since 2008.

That’s why OWL was proud to join 23 other women’s organizations in asking the presidents or CEO’s of the major networks to immediately address the disparity in representation on political talk shows.

To continue reading, please click here.

Posted by Bobbie Brinegar on 02/03 at 08:59 AM

Carol Gardner Joins OWL Board of Directors

Carol Gardner, the creator of Zelda Wisdom, was elected to the OWL Board of Directors at its January 27 meeting.

The author of 13 books, Gardner has a life story that exemplifies both the OWL spirit and the resilience of women over 40. Gardner was 52, recently divorced, depressed, and in debt when the then four-month-old Zelda, an English bulldog, came into her life. As Gardner tells it, her divorce attorney had advised her to either get a therapist or get a dog. Choosing the latter made a world of difference in her life. It wasn’t long before Gardner leveraged her own background in advertising and Zelda’s good looks to build a hugely successful greeting card business.

Gardner, who is adamant about “giving back” currently serves on the boards of several other organizations, including World Affairs Council, the Portland Symphony, Portland Art Museum, Emanuel Hospital, and the Harold Schnitzer Diabetes Health Center (OHSU).

OWL Board President, Margaret Huyck welcomed Gardner to the board saying, “Carol joins us at an exciting point in OWL’s history. We’re delighted to have her on our team.”

Posted by Mark on 02/02 at 07:08 PM

OWL Director Meets with Potential New Mascot

Washington, DC is not characterized by bipartisanship these days, but there’s been someone in town who has everyone united in their enthusiasm—and she has a special significance for those of us at OWL’s national headquarters.

The snowy owl was first spotted in DC on Wednesday night, just a few blocks from OWL’s office on K Street. Her unexpected appearance set Twitter abuzz, and had people from both sides of the political aisle, er, flocking to have a look.

When the owl reappeared outside the offices of the Washington Post yesterday, OWL’s Executive Director, Bobbie Brinegar was on the scene with camera in hand almost immediately. As Brinegar noted in an interview with Washington City Paper, OWL has been considering a new mascot, and this head turner, whom she has named “Shulie”, seems just about perfect for the role.

Click here for a link to the Washington City Paper story.
Click here to see Brinegar’s photos.

Posted by Mark on 01/25 at 09:05 AM
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