Mujeres Advancing Pay and Gender Equity

Promo for December 8 Latina Equal Pay Day Panel

Mujeres Advancing Pay and Gender Equity

Thursday, December 8

3-4:30pm ET

#LatinaEqualPay         #WHLatinos

December 8 marks Latina Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the year Latinas must work to earn what their white male counterparts earned last year. Understanding that closing gender and racial wage gaps is critical for cultivating an equitable economy and unleashing women’s economic power, the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics invites you to join us for this event featuring inspiring women in the Biden-Harris Administration who’ll share how they and their federal colleagues are working to close the pay gap and advance economic security for Latinas, women and traditionally marginalized communities.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to advancing pay equity, closing gender and racial wage gaps and advancing economic security for all – including Latinas who have historically faced the widest pay gap. In 2021, Latinas were paid 54 cents to the dollar paid to white men.

Join us in this event to:

  • Learn more about how the White House and federal agencies are driving a strategic, whole-of-government approach to advancing gender equality and gender equity, including pay equity.
  • Gain insights into work that’s underway related to advancing pay equity for the Federal workforce, job applicants and employees of Federal contractors. As the nation’s largest employer, these practices can help support pay equity efforts in other workplaces.
  • Hear panelists’ personal lessons learned along their career journeys for advocating for their pay and benefits
  • Get inspired and network with other Latinas and allies as we work collectively to build a more equitable economy, address systemic barriers that have hampered women from fully thriving in the workforce and spark more wealth-building in our communities.


  • U.S. Department of Education Auditorium, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202
  • Enter through the public entrance on C Street SW, between 4th and 6th Streets SW.
  • Upon enter, guests must clear security then provide a government issued ID to the front desk.


  • 2:30 p.m. – Registration and Networking
  • 3:00-4:30 p.m. – Remarks & Panel featuring Mujeres (Women) in the Biden-Harris Administration


  • Melody Gonzales, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
  • Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting & Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Maribel Duran, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Suzanne Goldberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach, Office for Civil Rights and Senior Designee to the White House Gender Policy Council, U.S. Department of Education
  • Janis Bowdler, Counselor to the Secretary for Racial Equity, U.S. Department for the Treasury
  • Gina Rodriguez, Midwest Regional Administrator, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Carmen Garcia, Human Resources Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management


Melody Gonzales, Executive Director, White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics  

Melody GonzalesMelody Gonzales is a community-oriented leader committed to building the capacity of organizations and leaders shaping a brighter, more equitable future for our nation. She leads the White House Hispanic Initiative, an office created by President Joe Biden’s Executive Order 14045 and housed under the leadership of Secretary Miguel Cardona at the U.S. Department of Education. The Initiative works to advance education, equity and economic goals in partnership with the White House, federal agencies and external stakeholders; lead a 21-member commission; run a federal Interagency work group centered in advancing equity and access to federal resources for the Latino community; and lead in-person and virtual public engagement efforts. 

Melody joined the Administration from the National Education Association, the nation’s largest union representing 3 million educators – where she managed Latino grants, partnerships and advocacy work. Her prior experience includes serving: on the Biden-Harris transition team’s Office of Personnel Management Agency Review Team; as a Senior Executive Service-level appointee in the Obama-Biden Administration — serving first as the U.S Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration Chief of Staff and then as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s Deputy Chief of Staff; as a Legislative Assistant then Director of Member Outreach for former Congressman Xavier Becerra and the U.S. House of Representatives’ Democratic Caucus; as the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda’s Founding Director of the Latino Appointments Program and LatinasRepresent. 

Raised in San Diego, CA., Melody earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California San Diego and began her career as an NBC News affiliate writer and Chula Vista’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau General Manager. She holds a Master of Public Policy and Executive Leadership Coaching certificate from Georgetown University and leadership certificates from Harvard University and Center for Creative Leadership.  

Bibi Hidalgo, Associate Administrator for Government Contracting & Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration 

Bibi HidalgoBibi Hidalgo is the Associate Administrator for Government Contracting and Business Development at the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA). In this role, Ms. Hidalgo oversees and reviews procurement-related policies for small business contractors whose dream is to work with the Federal Government. Ms. Hidalgo served as the SBA Government Contracting Policy Lead for the Biden-Harris Transition Team, developing policies that President Biden could execute in the first 100 days, with an emphasis on underserved communities. In 2014, Ms. Hidalgo and her brother Patrick Hidalgo co-founded Future Partners, LLC, which advised Fortune 500 corporate executives on procurement and minority business strategy and created a model for how to facilitate significant opportunities for both. Prior to that, she and her brother served in the White House, during which time she managed a government-wide initiative with all 24 Cabinet agencies to position the federal government to meet the Congressional 23% small business goal out of a $400 billion contracting budget for the first time in a decade. 

One of her proudest moments was serving as the assistant coach of her only son’s 16 U CYO basketball team and they won second place in their division. Ms. Hidalgo has a Master’s in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Ms. Hidalgo dedicates her work to the memory of her brother Patrick, who passed away suddenly at the age of 41 in March of 2020. 

Maribel Duran, Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Maribel DuranMaribel Duran recently served as Managing Director for Equity and Inclusion for the Aspen Institute, as well as Chief of Staff for its Leadership Division. From 2018-2019, she was co-chair of the Institute’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council. Previously, Duran served eight years in the Obama Administration, first as Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, then as Chief of Staff for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, and ultimately as Chief of Staff for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. She began her career at the Chicago Public Schools. She was the first Latina board trustee at Southern New Hampshire University, a New America Latino National Security and Foreign Policy Next Generation Leader, and a Center for American Progress U.S.-Mexico Leaders Initiative Member. She holds a bachelor’s from Southern New Hampshire University. 

Suzanne Goldberg, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach, Office for Civil Rights and Senior Designee to the White House Gender Policy Council, U.S. Department of Education

Suzanne GoldbergSuzanne Goldberg has served in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights since day one of the Biden-Harris administration as Acting Assistant Secretary (January – October 2021) and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Operations and Outreach. Goldberg brings extensive experience in civil rights leadership, with expertise in gender and sexuality law, and many years as a university administrator and faculty member. Before joining the U.S. Department of Education, Goldberg was the inaugural Executive Vice President for University Life at Columbia University and on the faculty of Columbia Law School, where she is on a public service leave from her role as the Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She founded the Law School’s Sexuality and Gender Law Clinic, the first of its kind in the nation, and was co-founder and co-director of the Law School’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law. Goldberg earlier served as a senior staff attorney with Lambda Legal, a national legal organization committed to the full recognition of the civil rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV. Goldberg holds a law degree with honors from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree with honors from Brown University and was a Fulbright Fellow at the National University of Singapore. 

Janis Bowdler, Counselor to the Secretary for Racial Equity, U.S. Department for the Treasury

Janis BowdlerJanis Bowdler is the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s first Counselor for Racial Equity. She has spent the last two decades advancing economic equity solutions for communities of color and breaking down the barriers that underpin the disparities in wealth and financial security by race and gender. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, she saw firsthand how neighborhood conditions impacted the life opportunities of her family and neighbors, often resulting in an uneven playing field that has left communities of color and our most vulnerable communities at a stark disadvantage. Drawing on her lived experience and two decades of working in coalition with Black, Latinx, and AAPI communities, Janis has dedicated her career to dismantling the structural and institutional racism that has allowed the racial wealth gap to persist and widen. Janis’ career has spanned local service, national advocacy, and international philanthropy. Janis received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Malone College in Canton, Ohio and a Master of Science degree from Cleveland State University. She is a proud Latina, a yoga instructor, mom to one daughter, two dogs, and a bunny. She lives with her husband and her family in Takoma Park, Maryland. 

Gina Rodriguez, Midwest Regional Administrator, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor

Gina RodriguezGina Rodriguez is the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau’s Midwest Office covering Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. She is laser focused on issues impacting working women across 11 Midwest states, Tribal communities, and Puerto Rico. She was previously the Director of Latino & AAPI affairs at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Secretary in Washington D.C., spearheading national outreach efforts during the inception of the Affordable Care Act.

Prior to her federal service, she co-authored a publication, “From Data to Social Action: A Case Study of Community-University Partnership for Environmental Justice,” during her time with the Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center at the University of Illinois-Jane Addams College of Social Work, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Gina attained her Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and MBAs in International Business and Finance from the Dominican University. She is an active member of the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders’ (WHIAAPI) Regional Network. She is the current President of the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives-Chicago Chapter and serves on the Board of the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Government Relations Council and Chicago Federal Executive Board.

Carmen Garcia, Human Resources Director and Chief Human Capital Officer, U.S. Office of Personnel Management 

Carmen GarciaCarmen Garcia serves as the Human Resources (HR) Director & Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO) for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. In this role, Ms. Garcia shapes corporate human resources strategy, policy, and solutions to workforce management issues within the Agency. Ms. Garcia also oversees OPM’s the Agency’s internal diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility efforts in her role as the OPM Chief Diversity Officer. Ms. Garcia joined OPM in 2009 and has served in various roles as an HR practitioner acquiring expertise in a full range of HR specializations. Ms. Garcia began her career in public service in the Federal Career Intern Program at the Department of Labor. Ms. Garcia holds a bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America.

National Latina Equal Pay Day Summit, Thursday, December 8

The White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics is proud to join Biden-Harris Administration leaders at the “Viva La Mujer Que Lucha” National Latina Equal Pay Day Summit on Thursday December 8 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 106. This event is presented by Justice for Migrant Women, Equal Pay Today! Coalition, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, MANA, and Association of Latino Professionals For America in partnership with: Poderistas, The Latinx House, Women’s Institute for Secure Retirement, Esperanza United, National Partnership for Women and Families, Hispanic Federation, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, GreenLatinos, Advancing Latinas into Leadership, United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, National Latinx Psychological Association, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and more.

Click here to learn more and watch the livestream here.


White House:  

U.S. Office of Personnel Management: 

U.S. Department of Labor:  

U.S. Department of Education: 


Federal Internships & Jobs: 

U.S. Department of Energy:  

National Science Foundation:  

ADVANCE program information

  • The NSF ADVANCE program provides grants to individuals who submit proposals that focus on system change to enhance gender equity and inclusion for STEM faculty. Anyone is invited to apply. Deadline: November 1, 2023.

Pathways Programs:  

  • The Pathways Internship Program provides year-round paid work experiences for current degree-seeking high-school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring or year-round and are eligible for non-competitive conversion upon program completion. 
  • The Pathways Recent Graduates Program is for graduates within two years of degree or certificate completion, and for veterans within 6 years of obtaining a degree. Fellows are placed in a one-year career development program that may be non-competitively converted upon completion of program requirements. 

Presidential Management Fellows Program:  

  • The Presidential Management Fellows Program is the flagship leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. In addition to salary and benefits, fellows earn a two-year appointment that may be converted to a permanent appointment.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture:  

  • The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is a partnership between USDA and the 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities (PDF, 1.2 MB). The program provides full tuition, fees, books, room, and board to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may at its discretion convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition. Deadline to apply is January 31, 2023.  
  • The USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program seeks to increase the number of American Indian and Alaska Native students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and related disciplines. Deadline to apply will be announced in 2023.  
  • The Wallace-Carver Fellowship at USDA offers exceptional college students the opportunity to collaborate with scientists and policymakers through paid fellowships at USDA research centers and offices across the United States. The Wallace-Carver Fellowship seeks to educate, inspire, and train the next generation of agricultural leaders. Deadline to apply will be announced in fall 2023.  
  • The USDA’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is a summer youth employment program for high school students interested in work experiences on national forests and parks, wildlife refuges, and fish hatcheries. Youth work on projects designed to develop an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility such as: building and repairing trails, preserving, and repairing historic buildings, removing invasive species, helping with wildlife and land research, and leading environmental education. Deadline to apply is March 1, 2023.  

Updates to the event will be posted regularly to and the Initiative’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.