I chose to spend my Women’s History Month in community with women. From my trip to the White House to celebrate our victory ending forced arbitration for sexual assault and sexual harassment survivors to the many sister circles I participated in over brunch or dinner. But most importantly for me this month, I chose to dedicate time to think about, in reverence, the unsung women that inspired me, prayed for and over me, lifted, cheered, motivated, nurtured, and challenged me. The women that helped shape me into the woman I have become. And the ones that are by my side today, helping me to realize the woman I am still becoming.

We are all fully aware of the work ahead. Let’s make sure that along this path of equity and equality, we hear each other as women and have each other as sisters and that we continue to support, protect, lift, and love. 

In sisterhood,
Cherita Ellens
President and CEO
We’ve got exciting news! For the first time in three years, Women Employed is proud to announce that our 49th annual signature luncheon, The Working Lunch, will be back in person at Chicago’s Cultural Center! We’ll also have a virtual component for those who cannot attend in person, giving you, our most valued supporters, the opportunity to take part in one of Chicago’s premier spring events from wherever you are.

The Working Lunch–Hybrid Edition
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Networking (in person): 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Program (in person and virtual): 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Chicago Cultural Center
Registration is live, and in-person seating is limited! So don’t wait and reserve your tables/tickets today. Visit womenemployed.org/twl to secure your spot and join other activists, community partners, and leaders at one of Chicago’s premier spring events.
Celebrate Women's History Month

Women Employed would like to wish you a very Happy Women's History Month. We invite you to visit the Action Center page on our website to learn more about WE’s legislative priorities and take action by contacting your legislators. Together, we are closing the gap and expanding what’s possible for working women!
IL Residents: Urge Lawmakers to Increase Funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP)
Financial need is the #1 barrier to college completion. While Illinois has a need-based financial aid program, the Monetary Award Program (MAP), it has not kept pace with the growing cost of college and has failed to provide for all eligible students due to years of underfunding. This year, Governor Pritzker is living up to his commitment to increase MAP funding by proposing a $122 million increase for MAP. Now, Illinois lawmakers need to make that proposal a reality!

People, Policy, & Power: Shining a Light on How People and Companies Are Advancing Equity in the Workplace and in the World 
March is Women’s History Month, a chance to commemorate women who have blazed the trail to advance gender equity and reflect on how women show up in the world every day of the year. For almost 50 years, WE has been at the forefront of advocating for fair, safe, inclusive, and equitable workplaces and increasing access to education and training that leads to good jobs. And as a nonprofit organization, our work is made possible by generous support from people like YOU and partners like ComEd. 

ComEd is a longtime partner of Women Employed and the lead sponsor of our upcoming signature annual event, The Working Lunch. This month we sat down with Diana Sharpe, WE Board member and Vice President of Large Customer Operations at ComEd, to talk about how people and companies can use their power to advance gender equity—both in the workplace and in the world. 

Upcoming Events
March 30: How History Should Play a Role in Creating Thriving Workplaces
In the latest episode of #EquityInAction, you will hear from Anneliese M. Bruner, the great-granddaughter of Mary E. Jones-Parrish, who wrote a first-person account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Although the story is a hundred years old, elements of its racial injustices are still being replayed in America today. These tragic events and injustices cause an invisible burden on so many, and it’s crucial that today’s workplace provides a safe place for this trauma. Anneliese Bruner, along with Ibie Hart, Associate Director of Business Development at Women Employed, will guide us through a conversationfrom stories to strategieson how to create a thriving workplace for all.

April 14: Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Webinar
Did you know that public service employees may be eligible for Federal Student Loan forgiveness? The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program allows Federal Student Loan borrowers to apply for forgiveness if they are employed full time by a government, 501(c)(3) organization, or public-serving nonprofit, and meet other requirements. Recently the program has undergone significant but temporary changes that make it easier for certain borrowers to qualify for PSLF if you act soon! Women Employed is proud to host experts from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to discuss the existing PSLF program and share information about the new Limited Waiver for PSLF. If you want to learn more about PSLF or if you have applied for PSLF and been denied, this is the session for you. The Limited Waiver ends October 31, 2022, don’t miss out!

Last Chance to Apply for The Pattis Family Foundation Summer Leadership Program
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. 

Visit the program page on the website to learn more, including applicant qualifications and how to apply.
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