We focus on some of the most challenged workers in today’s workforce: domestic workers and young women of color.
At one end of the age spectrum, we talk to members of La Colectiva de Mujeres, the San Francisco Women’s Collective, part of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, about their Aging With Dignity campaign. The campaign draws attention to the situation of over half a million workers over 50 who have no retirement benefits. Domestic workers in the U.S. are 93% female, 20% without high school diplomas, and the median age is 44. In California, 75% of the 336,000 domestic workers (doing childcare, elder care and housecleaning) are women of color. Because domestic work is excluded from the Social Security Act, only 2% of domestic workers have any retirement benefits.
Young workers also face an uphill battle to find employment that not only pays a living wage, but offers a path to leadership and training. Mamacitas Cafe is dedicated to changing those odds in Oakland, by creating well-paid jobs, with mentorship and training opportunities, for young women of color 18-24, especially women transitioning out of the criminal justice or child welfare system. The three-year-old grassroots project started with popups and opened a brick-and-mortar cafe in 2015. Thanks to its success, the cafe is now fundraising to lease a bigger space and expand its staff.