Women in SETAC Luncheon
Work–Life Balance: A Work in Progress
Tuesday, 8 November | 11:15 a.m.–1:00 p.m. | Room: Conway
Former United States Representative, Colorado
The Honorable Pat Schroeder, the groundbreaking congresswoman from Colorado who championed many legislative initiatives during her 24-year career in the United States House of Representatives, will be the keynote speaker at the Women in SETAC Luncheon. Schroeder will draw upon her personal and professional experiences to address the challenging topic of work–life balance.
Though political rivals and some male colleagues at first dismissed her as “little Patsy,” Pat Schroeder became the forceful doyenne of American liberals on issues ranging from arms control to women’s reproductive rights during her congressional career. Congresswoman Schroeder’s biting wit and political barbs helped to make her a household name and blazed a trail for a new generation of women onto Capitol Hill. One of only 14 women in the House of Representatives, she likened the atmosphere there to that of “an over–aged frat house.” When asked by one of her male colleagues how she could be a mother of two small children and a member of congress at the same time, she replied, “I have a brain and a uterus, and I use them both.”
Schroeder specialized in the area of women’s rights and legislative reforms affecting the family. In many respects, she made these issues the blueprint for her work: women’s health care, child rearing, expansion of social security benefits and gender equity in the workplace. Schroeder helped pass the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act and created and chaired the Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families. Additionally, she was instrumental in passing the Family and Medical Leave Act and the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act.
Schroeder also worked to improve benefits, health care and living conditions for military personnel, crafting the 1985 Military Family Act. Toward the end of her career, she convinced the Armed Services Committee to recommend that women be allowed to fly combat missions.
After a brief teaching stint at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Schroeder was appointed president and CEO of the Association of American Publishers in June 1997. She also was selected to lead a multi–year study for the Institute on Civil Society to identify and promote social programs to encourage social cohesion and restore a sense of community for Americans.
Schroeder retired in 2009 to Florida, where she serves on various boards and is involved in civic activities. She wrote two books “Champion of the Great American Family” and “24 years of Housework… and the Place Is Still a Mess.”
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