It's About Dollars and Cents
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WE-Zine, Women Employed's monthly e-newsletter

Activate for Equal Pay 
Equal Pay for Equal Work

We’re so close! Our No Salary History bill, aimed at prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their previous wages, has passed the Illinois legislature for the second time. Now the bill sits on the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner, waiting for his signature. Last year he vetoed it, so we need your help to turn it into law.

This election year, it is especially important that elected officials hear from you that a commitment to gender equity and fair pay for working women matters. Show your support for equal pay—call Governor Rauner at 217-782-0244 or 312-814-2121 and tell him to sign HB4163!


Wage Woes: Black Women's Equal Pay Day 

Speaking of equal pay, August 7 marked Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, a stark reminder that black women earn only 63 cents to the average white man’s dollar and must work almost eight extra months just to catch up. The wage gap for women of color is wider than that of all women taken as an average due to the intersection of gender and race discrimination. For black women the disparity in pay can translate to over $800,000 in lost earnings over a 40-year career.
WE with Lean In Women of Color for Black Women's Equal Pay Day
WE's Sharmili Majmudar (far right) joined Chicago women leaders to discuss the wage gap on Black Women's Equal Pay Day. 

On August 7, WE’s Interim CEO Sharmili Majmudar joined our partners at Lean In Women of Color to discuss the barriers that keep women from earning what they deserve. “We have to confront the cultural issues of how women are seen,” she said. “Women actually do negotiate, but a woman negotiating is viewed differently than a man negotiating.”

But working together can help move the needle, Sharmili added. “Alliances are important for our collective success. If more people work together, we can have an inclusive solution for change.”

Making Inroads with Career Pathways 
Career pathways open up opportunities to adult students.
Career pathways are invaluable programs for non-traditional students. They meet adults where they are on their educational journey and put them on a smooth track to build their skills and meet their education and career goals. Across the country and here in Illinois, education policymakers and advocates like Women Employed are championing these innovative programs and pathways, but without a unified understanding of what they should look like, the efforts weren’t as connected as they could be. 
That’s where Women Employed stepped in. With our partners, WE worked to develop a single definition of career pathways for the state of Illinois. Now funders, policymakers, and educators have the guidance they need to work together and ensure these education and workforce development initiatives are as unified and effective as possible. Ultimately, this benefits students who seek clarity on the in-demand jobs they can get and what they need to do to get them. With everyone on the same page to help more Illinoisans start on the path to economic security, our entire state succeeds. 
She Says: Jacqueline Priego 
Throughout our 45th anniversary year, WE will be highlighting the generations of women who’ve been impacted by our advocacy for gender equity.
Jacqueline Priego is the writer, creator, and co-director of PinkSlipped, a new web-series chronicling the lives of three millennial Latinas navigating careers, relationships, and the societal realities for women of color at work. She spoke to WE about how this generation of working women is grappling with the discrimination that still exists in workplaces. 
Pinkslipped cast
Jacqueline Priego (far left) with PinkSlipped cast members. 
What inspired you to make Pinkslipped
The show was inspired by the need to understand and put on screen the inequities that keep Latinx at the bottom of the pay hierarchy. Latinx and Hispanic women make 54 cents to a white male's dollar. I wanted to create a show that brought respect and dignity to these women's plight and showed their perspective.  
Do you think people will identify with the main characters and their experiences? 
PinkSlipped follows the lives of three Latinx best friends, but the story itself is universal. We are in the midst of a technological revolution, much like the industrial revolution, where what it means to work and make a living is changing drastically. A nine to five work week doesn't serve our economy or our workforce anymore, yet this old-fashioned mindset prevails. This is creating a greater chasm that only exacerbates problems such as the pay gap, workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and a myriad of other issues. 
What are the challenges millennial women face in the workplace? 
They feel a lot like the challenges working women experienced in previous decades. But I have hope because women across the globe are more connected than ever because of technology, and they are leveraging this collective voice to make change. Where in the past there would be one singular voice addressing the social ills of the day, now we have #MeToo, #TimesUp and other social movements that are moving the needle.


Policy Watch

WE joined other gender equity advocates for a day of action earlier this month to urge Governor Bruce Rauner to sign the Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act. The creation of this Council would ensure women have a stronger voice in the crafting of state laws, with an intersectional women’s agenda that includes a range of diverse voices.

Women Employed will leverage our expertise to assist in the development of policies and to review legislation, ensuring that state legislators make decisions that positively impact the lives of women and girls in Illinois. 

  Share This

The wage gap has real consequences for women’s economic security. Share this graphic to raise awareness about how pay disparity impacts the earnings of different groups of women. 



It's About Dollars and Cents


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