Women Employed applauds President Biden's historic nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.

Judge Jackson is eminently qualified, and would be the first Black woman―and the fifth woman ever―to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. Her nomination is a meaningful step towards diversity and equity for our highest court. We call on the Senate to hold a swift and fair confirmation process. Check out this live update from The New York Times to learn more.
New Report Launch
In January, Women Employed launched a new research report entitled, “Intersecting Barriers: Challenges to Economic Empowerment for Domestic Violence Survivors,” highlighting the barriers to economic independence for survivors of domestic violence in the Chicagoland area. Produced with support from the Michael Reese Health Trust, the 49-page report investigates the needs and gaps faced by survivors in the Chicago metropolitan area, leveraging the insights of workforce development professionals, domestic violence advocates, and survivors in recommending policy and practice solutions.

In 2020, during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline witnessed a 16 percent increase in calls for help. This was due in part to an amplified lack of financial security faced by many women during the pandemic, causing them to return to their abusive partners. This is an even greater cause for concern for Black and Latina/x women who disproportionately face some of the greatest poverty gaps. As noted in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Economic independence is a critical factor in violence prevention. For many people who experience IPV [intimate partner violence], the financial entanglement with an abusive partner is too convoluted to sever without an alternative source of economic support. The pandemic has exacerbated financial entanglement by causing increased job loss and unemployment, particularly among women of color, immigrants, and workers without a college education”.

In the report, WE used an exploratory mixed-methods study conducted in the Chicagoland area utilizing data from online surveys, focus groups, and interviews, with participants from three constituencies: almost 50 domestic violence survivors, domestic violence advocates from 9 organizations, and workforce development professionals from 14 organizations. The report emphasizes that solutions must be systemic and holistic, including a need for improved public policies and more effective and meaningful working relationships between domestic violence and workforce development organizations to better meet, understand, and advocate for the diverse needs of survivors. The report represents an action item within the City of Chicago’s Strategic Plan to Address Gender-Based Violence, and WE will be working with partners to advance key recommendations.
For more information about this report, please contact Sharmili Majmudar, WE’s Executive Vice President of Policy and Organizational Impact by email at smajmudar@womenemployed.org, or call her at (312) 702-2474.
Honoring Black History Month
Black History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the history makers of yesterday, today, and tomorrow who have and who continue to shape our world for the better. We here at Women Employed celebrate the contributions of Black women for shining lights on issues that have been silenced for far too long and making an indelible impact for generations to come. Join us in celebrating the life and legacy of Black Women whose innovations and activism have blazed the trail for all of us.  
Vote Happening Soon: Urge Congress to Pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Even in 2022, pregnant workers find their health and economic security jeopardized all too often when being denied necessary workplace accommodations. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would ensure pregnant workers can receive reasonable accommodations in the workplace—like providing a pregnant cashier with a chair or stool or allowing a pregnant worker to carry a water bottle—so they can stay healthy and working when they need their income the most.  

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act already passed the House with overwhelming support, and now the best chance to get the bill over the finish line is through its inclusion in the upcoming omnibus spending bill Congress must pass no later than March 11.

Summer Internship Application Live
The application is live through March 28 for Women Employed's paid virtual internship, The Pattis Family Foundation Summer Leadership Program, which seeks to introduce current college students to all areas of nonprofit work through workshops, guest speakers, and projects. 
Check out the video linked above to hear from past program participants, and visit the 2022 program page to learn more, including applicant qualifications and how to apply.
With generous support from Wintrust, Women Employed will be featured on a digital billboard on the east side of the 90/94 expressway, near north Ave, throughout March. The billboard will help advance our efforts to raise awareness about pay equity standards in Illinois. It will direct people to visit a soon-to-be-released page on our website to learn about their rights and resources. Drive by to see WE in bright lights!
Close Out February With Self-Love

In the journey to create a more equitable society for all, it is important to embody that equity within ourselves first. To honor our mind, body, and spirit. To treat ourselves fairly and give ourselves the grace that is often needed, yet frequently overlooked. Join the Women Employed staff and close out this month by demonstrating what equity for all truly means by pursuing it within. Causing it to radiate so brightly, that others can’t help but to notice and follow our lead! 
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