April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Since the #MeToo movement went viral, there has been promising progress by employers, employees and labor unions, and academics, foundations, and community leaders across the country. Women Employed has played a part, advocating for increased protections in Illinois as part of a national effort to close loopholes and strengthen anti-harassment laws. Our interactive evidence-based sexual harassment prevention training leverages that expertise, meeting and exceeding the standards required by Illinois law.

WE believes that everyone has a stake in the effort to create inclusive and equitable workplaces that are intolerant of harassment—and that we all benefit from being able to come to work and do our jobs, to the best of our ability, unhampered by harassment and retaliation. If you are interested in hiring us to train your staff to meet the sexual harassment training requirement, please email Ibie Hart, Associate Director of Business Development, at ihart@womenemployed.org.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot's Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot Providing Relief and Stability for Chicago Residents
The City of Chicago has allocated $31.5 million to provide 5,000 eligible Chicago residents $500 a month in cash assistance for 12 months. Eligible applicants will reside in Chicago, are 18 years of age or older, have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19, and have a household income level that falls at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The application opens at 9:00 a.m. on April 25 and closes at 11:59 p.m. on May 13. Learn more and apply. 
Recent Wins
We're excited to share the breaking news that the Illinois Supreme Court reversed a troubling appellate court decision on Thursday, and affirmed the importance of confidentiality for those who report and participate in investigating harassment and other discrimination! WE co-led an amicus brief with ACLU Illinois and National Women's Law Center as well as law firm partners DLA Piper, which was supported by 28 advocacy organizations from Illinois and around the country.

On Tuesday, Governor Pritzker signed Illinois’ FY23 state budget into law. The budget was the culmination of an unusual legislative session, which compressed the traditional five months into just over three. And yet even with the shortened timeline, we were able to achieve some strong progress on our priorities, like securing a historic $601 million investment in the state’s need-based financial aid Monetary Award Program (MAP) and ensuring parent students know about resources available to them.
While we are celebrating our wins, we are also thinking about the future. With Congress stalled on action to create a national paid leave program, it’s more important than ever that we create our own statewide paid family and medical leave program.

Facts and figures alone won’t help us take paid leave across the finish line—we need to hear from people like you! Did you ever have to choose between a job and your own health or caring for a family member? Did you come back to work days after welcoming a new child? Tell us about it.
In-person seating may be sold out, but virtual tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available for The Working Lunch. Get your tickets today to hear this year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Former Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health! Watch as she, along with Lydia Bueschel, WE board member and Shareholder at Valentine Austriaco & Bueschel, P.C.; and Katya Nuques, Director of the Little Village Portfolio, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, are honored for their dedication to ensuring women EMERGE from the shecession stronger than before.
The Working Lunch – Hybrid Edition
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Virtual Program: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
Enter The Working Lunch Raffle
From airline tickets to hotel stays, a night out on the town to wine tasting, and fitness fun, coffee, ice cream, and flowers there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Purchase a raffle ticket for a chance to win an amazing package and help Women Employed continue our mission to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity!
WE look forward to you joining us on May 17th!

Urge your Senators to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in time for Mothers’ Day!
Moms-to-be and postpartum workers deserve long-overdue protections they need to stay healthy and working. Pregnancy discrimination disproportionately affects Black and Latina/x women in low-paid positions, many of whom get pushed off the job for needing simple accommodations to stay healthy. At work (and everywhere) moms deserve safety, health, respect and equal pay--what better gift can we give mothers for Mother’s Day?

Congratulations Justice Jackson!
Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
Women Employed congratulates Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson on becoming the first Black Woman confirmed to the Supreme Court!

Like you, we admired Justice Jackson’s poise and grace throughout a process that exposed the bias and barriers that Black women face all-too-often in the workplace.

Having a Black woman on the Supreme Court is long overdue, and Justice Jackson has shown she is not only beyond qualified to hold a seat in the highest court in the land but is equipped for any obstacles. WE are excited for this moment and celebrate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson’s historic victory!
Missed the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Webinar?
On April 14th, Women Employed hosted experts from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) who shared information about the existing Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program plus details about the new Limited Waiver.

Click here to watch the replay. And if you qualify, apply soon! The PSLF Limited Waiver is only available until October 2022.

For more information and to get started click the button below.
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