2000's

Women Employed launched the Illinois Paid Leave Coalition and began working on legislation to guarantee workers paid sick time. We championed transformational programs to help more adults access college and careers, including bridge programs, which build academic skills in the context of high-demand industries. We won millions in financial aid and child care assistance for Illinois students, and played a key role in a major national victory for equal pay with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

WE work with organizations across the country to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, so employees can fight back if they experience pay discrimination.

WE launch Student Advocates for Success to help students advocate directly with policymakers to improve financial aid policies.

WE create the Summer Leadership Program, an internship to encourage and prepare college students to enter careers in social change and social service. 

WE lead the successful fight to pass the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which guarantees equal pay for equal work to hundreds of thousands of workers not covered under federal equal pay laws.

WE launch the Illinois Paid Leave Coalition and draft legislation to guarantee that workers can earn paid sick days.

WE win over $50 million to expand Illinois’ tuition assistance program for low-income students

WE create Career Coach, a first-ever, comprehensive on-line career exploration and planning program aimed at lower-income women and men.

WE educate over 50,000 women about high-wage, high-growth careers in information technology through an advertising and information campaign called Upgrade Your Future.

WE win a $27 million increase in child care funding for low-income working parents for the hours they are in education or training.

WE publish a comprehensive guide to “bridge programs” to assist colleges in implementing quality programs that help low-skilled adults succeed in school. [links to resource: Bridges to Career for Low-Skilled Adults]

Our award-winning collaboration of women’s and civil rights groups, business leaders, and federal policymakers publishes Best Practices to Ensure Fair Compensation—a guide to setting up pay systems free from discrimination.