After leaving Highland Park High School, Karen became a political and social activist on behalf of peace, women’s rights, and workers’ rights. She helped to build 9to5, the National Association of Working Women. The movie 9 to 5 was based on the premise of a need for women’s representation in the work place. Karen was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as the director of the Women’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. She is helping to build a new organization, Working America, for people who do not have the benefit of representation on the job.