we all move forward when
we recognize how resilient
and striking the women
around us are
As we close out Women’s History Month, I reflect on two words: progress and community. The other day I found myself reflecting on how different my life is from my grandmother’s. I often have visions of her smiling down on me as she often slyly did when I debated my grandfather as a little girl on a “woman’s place” and what place I would have in the world. While we battle those that try to erode the progress we have made and stall progress that is inevitable, I am proud of our resiliency as we continue to move forward. Just this month Governor Pritzker signed into law Paid Leave for All Workers in the state of Illinois which was more than a decade-long fight, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot held a press conference signing an executive order that will take meaningful steps toward ensuring City of Chicago workers are paid equitably and can safely work in environments free of harassment. These victories are possible because of resilient women. I know my grandmother would be proud of who I’ve become, but more importantly, I believe she would be proud of how I have chosen to use my voice and my position to champion and advocate for others.
This brings me to my second word: community. I have no doubt that my grandmother and many other women in her day received encouragement, support, and love from the community of women that surrounded them. In my grandmother’s case, it was the other “Mothers” of the church. Their sisterhood was like no other. I am thankful that I had several opportunities this month to be in community with women―women doing extraordinary things, women on the frontlines, women embracing rest, joy, love, and well-being, and women supporting women. As the hype of Women’s History Month dies down, let’s keep one another in community, and let’s be intentional about recognizing the striking women around us.
Announcing Our Honorees for The Working Lunch
Women Employed (WE) is thrilled to announce the five honorees for our 50th Anniversary celebration, The Working Lunch. These five individuals and organizations have demonstrated leadership by using their power to Smash the Status Quo for working women. WE is proud to recognize our honorees for their commitment to creating fundamental systemic change for working women. Join us as we celebrate and honor them.
The Working Lunch
Thursday, May 25, 2023
Reception: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Program: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
The Palmer House Hilton
17 E. Monroe St, Chicago, IL
(virtual access will also be available)
Individual tickets for our premier spring event are limited! So, if you haven’t already, please make sure to reserve your seats today.
WE is Women's History Month
We are proud to have received two great honors this month in recognition of our 50th anniversary. On the heels of receiving a proclamation from the City of Chicago, declaring March 8th, 2023―International Women's Day― as Women Employed Day in the Chicago, WE also received a proclamation from the State of Illinois recognizing our five decades of impact, and celebrating with us during Women’s History Month! For the past 50 years, WE have solidified ourselves as changemakers, with not just state of Illinois but nationwide, as we have worked tirelessly to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity. And as an organization, we are proud to have been at the forefront of nearly every major advancement for working women in the U.S. since our founding in 1973.
WE thanks both Mayor Lightfoot and Governor Pritzker for acknowledging Women Employed’s work as we celebrate 50 years of Smashing the Status Quo for working women. And we look forward to 50 more years of breaking barriers, opening more doors, and providing all women with support to grow their economic power, benefitting families, communities, and society.
To read both proclamations, and to learn more about our history of impact, visit our 50th anniversary webpage.
"She Says" with Barb Yong, Founder of the Equal Pay Day Chicago Coalition
For the past 14 years, Barb Yong has led the Equal Pay Day Chicago Coalition–an organization that focuses on the experiences of women who often face much wider wage pay gaps due to the compounding effects of gender and racial discrimination. To date, the coalition is made up of over 70 organizations, businesses, and government agencies with a common goal of eliminating the pay gap. And hold rallies once a year to educate and empower both employees and employers on the importance of equal pay.
In this month’s installment of “She Says,” Barb shares with us her motivation for founding the Equal Pay Day Chicago Coalition, her relationship with Women Employed, and the top five things women should know when advocating for a better salary.
Old National Bank launched their "Choose Your Charity" event on March 12, 2023! Everyone is invited to vote for their favorite local 501(c)3 nonprofit—once a day, every day, until March 31—and WE need your help to earn a donation of up to $15,000!
The nonprofits with the most votes from Old National’s Illinois, Iowa, Northwest Indiana, and select Southeast Wisconsin communities will each get $5,000. That means we could be eligible to win $5,000, and the non-profit with the most votes overall will get an additional $10,000. That’s a total of $15,000! These funds will help us advance our mission to improve the economic status of women.
To vote for Women Employed, visit the Choose Your Charity website at oldnational.com/cyc and select Women Employed. Votes are accepted once every 24 hours from now until the end of the month. Feel free to share with your networks, family, and friends, and help Women Employed win big so that we can continue to Smash the Status Quo for working women!
ASPIRE Speaker Series with Angell Howard
The ASPIRE Racial Equity and Inclusion Speaker Series kicked off in February with a workshop led by Angell Howard, Associate Director of Professional Development and Staff Recognition at Illinois State University. Angell’s workshop, Stereotypes, Myths, and Misconceptions: What You Believe Matters! asked those participating in the ASPIRE Project to examine cultural biases that influence our behavior and attitudes towards others, while also discussing ways to increase our cultural competencies.
Where in the World is Women Employed
If you thought Women Employed (WE) kicked off 2023 with a bang, you haven’t seen anything yet. The past month has proved to be one of our busiest as we participated in even more events, giving us more opportunities to champion the economic advancement of women by advocating for causes that impact us the most. Starting with our participation in Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton’s Illinois Council on Women and Girls meeting on February 21st and ending with Roosevelt University’s Women’s Health Equity Symposium, WE has continued to show up, show out, and make it clear that we are doubling down on our work and focusing on women who face the greatest barriers to economic equity.
Don’t miss out on the next event! Be sure to visit the events page on our website so you can be kept in the loop about where Women Employed is going next and how you can be involved.