Where in the World is Women Employed?

Women Employed
5 min readApr 16, 2024

As April ushered in plenty of rain and sunshine, it also brought with it the call for Women Employed to show up at several events across Chicago, Springfield, and even Washington, D.C.! Starting with a continuation of Women’s History Month celebrations, WE made appearances at forums, receptions, conferences, radio interviews, and fairs. We even met up with a former Summer Leader and a group of Girl Scouts who share an extra special connection to WE.

Read on to find out where we’ve been this month and be sure to read all the way to the end so you’ll know where we’re going next!

MSCI International Women’s Day Event

On Tuesday, April 2nd, WE’s Chief of Staff, Mary Kay Devine presented on the history of Women Employed at the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) of MSCI’s Chicago Office. There, she also provided opportunities for members of WLF to get involved in WE’s work. Special thank you to MSCI for inviting us to share how WE works to build women’s economic power!

Private Equity Association of Chicago Nonprofit Forum

Special thank you to WE Board member, Caroline Greenberg, we had the opportunity to host a table at the Private Equity Association of Chicago (PEAC) Nonprofit Forum on Tuesday, April 2nd. WE’s Mary Kay Devine and Senior Events and Volunteer Manager, Michelle Schwartz provided guests with information about WE (including The Working Lunch invites, equal pay tip sheets , WE swag, and information on how to get involved). WE is grateful to have been invited to participate in this forum and introduce new supporters and volunteers to our work!

National Women’s Law Center Reception

Longtime WE partner, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) hosted a reception at Chase Tower on Friday, April 5th. WE’s President and CEO Cherita Ellens and Executive Vice President Sharmili Majmudar joined them at the intimate gathering to celebrate and hear from NWLC President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves and Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, along with co-hosts Stacey Friedman and Tina Tchen, and other leaders the legal, business, and philanthropic communities in Chicago.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research Care Conference

WE’s Senior Coalition Manager Starr De Los Santos attended the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) Care Conference in Washington, D.C. on Friday, April 5th. Held at American University, the one-day event explored new research and policy initiatives on care, focusing on gender and racial equity throughout the life cycle, and saw representatives from academic and policy research, advocates, and policymakers. To watch the program, click here.

WE in Springfield with the Girl Scouts

Girl Scout Troop #25781 visited Springfield on Wednesday, April 10th. Troop members, including WE’s Mary Kay Devine’s twin daughters Cecilia and Eleanor, had the opportunity to meet with elected officials, tour the Capitol, visit the Lincoln Museum, AND meet a real live lobbyist, our very own Director of Advocacy and Policy, Sarah Labadie! They even met Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, and ecstatically introduced themselves as, “The children of Mary Kay Devine of Women Employed!”

Driving It Home with Patti Vasquez

On Thursday, April 10th, Mary Kay Devine made her radio debut on WCPT 820 AM’s Driving it Home with Patti Vasquez. Mary Kay touched on a number of topics including:

· The labor movement and the importance of unions.

· The wage gap and the wealth gap.

· The importance of salary transparency and no salary history.

· Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace beyond compliance.

· Changing the narrative about entrepreneurship to ensure Black & Latina/x women can see themselves as entrepreneurs.

· And of course, The Working Lunch!

The interview went so well that Mary Kay was invited to stay for the duration of the show as Patti’s guest co-host! Special thank you to Patti Vasquez for giving us airtime to talk about our work. Click here to catch the replay. Mary Kay’s segment begins at the 32:26-minute mark.

Englewood Employment and Resource Fair

On Thursday, April 11th, WE’s Director of Business Development, Ibie Hart, attended the Englewood Employment and Resource Fair. There, she met with Black women and discussed entrepreneurship as a pathway toward upward economic mobility. WE partners with Teamwork Englewood’s Women’s initiative by providing hands on guidance on how to start their businesses using the Women’s Entrepreneurship Hub (WE Hub).

Sisterhood Sip & Solutions After Work Mixer

Later that day, Ibie joined Tori Rudd of The Discover Center for an engaging conversation at the Sisterhood Sip & Solutions After Work Mixer. Hosted by the AIDS Foundation Chicago for Black women in the workforce, The Sisterhood Sip & Solutions event invited women to network, share, grow, and learn about effective communication, transferrable skills, negotiating salary, and pathways to promotion.

Summer Leader Meet-up

While teaching Introduction to Asian American Studies at UIC, WE’s Senior Research Analyst, Corinne Kodama, met up with The Pattis Family Foundation Summer Leadership Program Alum, Elora Choudary on Monday, April 15th! Elora is graduating this semester and was recently offered a position in the Junior Professional Researcher Program at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, where she’ll be working on the American National Election Survey starting this summer. Congratulations to Elora on all her success!

Still to Come!

5/9: Chicago Leaders: A Panel Discussion About the Future of Social Security

· Register: https://bit.ly/3PCA3X5

5/23: The Working Lunch

· Purchase your tables and tickets: https://womenemployed.org/the-working-lunch/



Women Employed

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