Where in the World is Women Employed

Women Employed
5 min readNov 30, 2023

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During this season of thanks, Women Employed is thankful to have been able to attend events near and far to advocate, inspire, and participate in conversations that benefit us all. From speaking on behalf of the organization on gender-based violence in the workplace to participating in film screenings about race, access to care, and housing inequity, WE are grateful that our opinions and expertise continues to be valued and that our appearances are requested.

This month, we judged pitch competitions, attended a conference in Los Angeles, and much, much more. Want to hear about it? Check out our monthly event recap below!

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau’s Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work

Sharmili Majmudar, WE’s Executive Vice President of Policy, Programs, and Research, attended The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau’s Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Harassment in the World of Work on Thursday, October 26th. The forum lifted up the work of organizations to counter gender-based violence and harassment in the workplace, and participants engaged in a discussion of issues and ideas to address gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work.

Connecting HER to Illinois Business Resources

On October 30th, we joined Union County Women in Business, the University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development and the Create Bridges project, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, along with supporters Market Street Music Conservatory and Fifth Third Bank for “Connecting HER to Illinois Business Resources.”

This community presentation focused on inspiring, connecting, and advancing Illinois women-owned businesses, future women entrepreneurs, and aspiring female founders with business resources and opportunities offered across Illinois’ entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Thank you for inviting our WE Hub Manager, Shelby Flores, to present our Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub (WE Hub), a free online tool created with women — and especially Black and Latina/x women — that provides curated business resources for women entrepreneurs in Illinois. We were especially thrilled when the event made an impromptu stop at the Havisham House/Harisham Bourbon, Brew & Spirits afterward! Cheers to a successful event!

Hustle Mommies Pitch Like A Mom

Our Director of Business Development, Ibie Hart participated as a guest judge at the Hustle Mommies pitch competition: PITCH LIKE A MOM™️ ENGLEWOOD EDITION, on October 31st. The live event was hosted by Ariel DeNey Rainey and Emmy Award Winner, Afrika Porter. Other guest judges included Mechelle Rashad, Executive Director of Imagine Englewood If and Felicia Staton Young, Executive Director of Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce.

CareFest 2023

Caring Across Generations held their inaugural CareFest Conference in Los Angeles, CA, November 2nd and 3rd. Women Employed’s Communications Coordinator, Racquel C. Fullman, Senior Coalition Manager, Starr De Los Santos, and Director of Advocacy and Policy, Sarah Labadie attended keynote presentations, fireside chats, and panel discussions on the future of care in America. Philanthropists, influencers, entrepreneurs, and policymakers shared their caregiving experiences and identified opportunities to make care more visible and accessible in communities, workplaces, and pop culture.

My Body, Our Power: Rally to Shut Down Sexual Harassment

WE’s Sarah Labadie, joined voices with Arise Chicago, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos, Workers Center for Racial Justice, Warehouse Workers For Justice, Latino Union of Chicago, Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights, and Raise the Floor Alliance on November 13th for “My Body, Our Power: Rally to Shut Down Sexual Harassment” a rally to shut down Sexual Harassment in the workplace. Women Employed is proud to rally behind workers to disrupt systemic practices that isolate and target workers. We’re showing up to mobilize with our partners to call on employers to believe survivors and end abuse.

Mayor Johnson’s Advisory Councils

On Friday, November 17th, our President and CEO, Cherita Ellens, was confirmed as chair of Mayor Johnson’s Advisory Council on Women, AND our Senior Coalition Manager, Starr De Los Santos was confirmed to the Mayor’s Advisory Council on LGBTQ+. We are honored that two members of our team are included at such important tables, where they’ll have the opportunity to lift up and work on the issues facing women and LGBTQ+ people and their communities in Chicago. Please join us in saying congratulations!

Care Can’t Wait

The Ilinois’ Care Can’t Wait partners SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri & Kansas, Women Employed, Access Living, and Caring Across Generations attended a screening of the must-see short film “Flower” at SEIU HCII Headquarters on Monday, November 20th. The 28-minute silent film, produced by world-renowned ballet dancer Misty Copeland, tells the story of Rose, a dancer who puts her dreams on hold to care for her mother, Gloria, who is living with dementia. WE’s Starr De Los Santos, Sharmili Majmudar, and Sarah Labadie were in attendance and stayed for a Q&A discussion following the screening about the film, and the intersecting issues of race, access to care, and housing inequity.

Family Values @ Work’s Time To Care Townhall: Care Heals Body, Mind & Soul

Women Employed co-sponsored Family Values @ Work’s Time To Care conversation on Wednesday, November 29th. The panel was moderated by Teresa Younger, CEO & President, Ms. Foundation for Women, and panelists included: Sonya Renee Taylor, Author and Activist, Peace is Loud, Josephine Kalipeni, Executive Director, Family Values @ Work, Becca Bernstein, Senior Manager, Option B, and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative (MA-07).

When we have time to care, our families are healthier, our communities are safer, and we advance toward equity.

Don’t miss out on the next event! Visit the events page on our website to be kept in the loop about where Women Employed is going next and how to be involved.

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Women Employed

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