August 24, 2021

As members of the Illinois Higher Education Network, we applaud Governor Pritzker in signing SB815 into law yesterday. With SB815’s creation of a Commission on Equitable Public University Funding, Illinois is a step closer toward not only having a funding model that considers what it takes to ensure institutions have the resources to adequately support students, but one that targets resources to colleges disproportionately serving students from low-income households and students of color, and incentivizes better-resourced universities to ensure their student body reflects the population of Illinois.

Years of disinvestment, racial and socioeconomic disparities in access, and…

By Mary Kay Devine, Senior Director of External Affairs at Women Employed, and full-time working mom to Lucy, Charles, Cecilia, and Eleanor.

Before the construction paper homemade cards are complete with glitter and glue. Before the kids cook up plans to serve Mom breakfast in bed. Before we celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday, we pause to mark Mother’s Equal Pay Day. And let me be clear, this day is nothing to cheer about.

May 5th marks the day that moms — across race and ethnicity — must work into 2021 to earn what dads made in 2020 alone. …

Last week, the Biden/Harris administration announced its $2 trillion American Jobs Plan to rebuild infrastructure and reshape the economy. Through improving the nation’s infrastructure, the plan is designed to employ millions of people, invest in clean energy, housing, and advance environmental justice, among other objectives. But the boldest component of the proposal is its $400 billion commitment to fund the care economy — everything from expanding access to at-home or community-based care to improving wages and work conditions for care workers, many of whom are women of color.

“For too long, caregivers — who are disproportionately women, women of color…

What do Women’s History Month and women-owned premium edible company, Boozy Bites, have in common? CELEBRATION!

We spoke with Boozy Bites Founder, Dee Dee Bryant, about her experiences in a male-dominated industry, the women in her life who inspire her, and why she chose to support our work to champion women’s economic status with a special edition, Lady Strong section of assortments.

P.S. Through the end of March, 10% of proceeds from Boozy Bites’ Lady Strong products will support our work to further gender equity.

What advice do you have for women who are thinking of starting their own business?

The American Rescue Plan (ARP) provides critical relief to working people and families suffering multiple and intersecting impacts from the pandemic, cutting all the more deeply for women of color due to inequities on the basis of race and gender. The women of color who have disproportionately lost jobs or have been made more vulnerable to COVID on the front lines will certainly benefit from direct financial relief as well as needed investments in cities and states and infrastructure on the brink of collapse, like child care.

When the pandemic first began, Women Employed — and many of our partners…

by Corinne Kodama

What a difference a year makes. While last year I wrote about the importance of disaggregating data to better understand equity pay gaps for Asian American and Pacific Islander women, this year the pandemic has made clear the need for basic economic security amidst a public health and economic crisis. While equal pay is an ongoing issue, many Asian American women have been pushed out of the workforce altogether. Asian Americans have also been at greater risk of severe COVID-19 and are more likely to die from the virus.

All of this has been exacerbated by anti-Asian…

by Ximena Leyte Escalante, Marketing and Engagement Coordinator at Women Employed

Ximena Leyte Escalante

There’s a common fallacy around the pay gap that causes many women to believe a systemic issue such as pay inequity doesn’t translate to a personal one. I know this because I am one of those women. One of my first jobs was working at a retail store as a sales associate. I enjoyed the work, primarily because the clientele was predominantly Spanish speaking, allowing me to use my bilingualism to drive up sales and provide a pleasant experience for our Spanish speaking customers. I was making minimum wage, which at the time in Colorado was $7.78 an hour. About…

If you’re like us, you’re a little (or a LOT) worried about the future right now. You want to stand up for women, people of color, low-paid workers, and other vulnerable groups. You want to make sure we sustain our efforts in the fight for justice and liberation. Here are seven ways you can raise your voice effectively and continuously for change. Because together, we are stronger.

1. Call your elected officials. Yes, on the phone.

We’re all used to sending emails. But the truth is, a phone call carries a lot more weight. While your email will get counted and filed, when you call, somebody in your elected…

To Be Successful, We Must Involve Employers in the Conversation

Schools across Illinois and the country have begun reopening. With that has come a tangled web of considerations for parents, schools, and employers that highlights how interdependent our systems of work, childcare, and education are. It also reveals how precarious the balance is, particularly when it comes to considering the health, safety, and well-being of women in low-paying jobs and their families, disproportionately people of color and immigrants. The situation is particularly fraught for single parents, low-income families, and those without flexible jobs, whose ability to work is so often contingent on their children attending in-person school. …

By Cherita Ellens, President & CEO of Women Employed

Even though our communities would collapse without their work, as a society, we don’t treat Black women as essential.

The pay gap for Black women has only narrowed by nineteen cents from 1967 to 2018. Black women are paid, on average, thirty-eights cents on the dollar less than white men. This loss represents $1,962 per month, $23,540 per year, and a staggering $941,600 over a 40-year career. Ultimately, this affords Black women less opportunity to build wealth and economic security for themselves and their families.

Thursday, August 13th is Black Women’s…

Women Employed

WE relentlessly pursue equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to education, & advocating for fair, inclusive workplaces.

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