Equal Opportunity

In 2014, Women Employed's hard work for stronger equal pay requirements paid off when President Obama took two executive actions that will increase pay protections for the 2.2 million workers employed by federal contractors.

Eliminating discrimination and ensuring fairness at work have been at the heart of Women Employed’s work for 45 years. WE—and working women—have made enormous progress. We’ve won changes in federal laws to outlaw pregnancy discrimination and sexual harassment and worked with national coalitions to strengthen anti-discrimination protections and guarantee family and medical leave.

We’re a leader in ensuring strong enforcement of equal opportunity laws and regulations, making sure they work for women. Today, as a result, millions of women are working in good jobs that were closed to them just 40 years ago.

Continuing Challenges

Discrimination at work is still a fact of life for too many women. Women earn just 80 percent of men’s wages on average. Women still face discrimination in pay and promotions and barriers to advancement because of family responsibilities. Some employers still haven’t gotten the message on sexual harassment. These problems are compounded for women in low-paying jobs because they fear losing their jobs if they speak up about unfair or illegal treatment. Women Employed’s work to expand legal protections and strengthen existing laws—and make sure the laws are effectively enforced—is more important than ever.

Women Employed is:

  • Advancing equal pay by working with Illinois partners to pass a No Salary History law, and by working with partners across the country to pass laws like the Paycheck Fairness Act.
  • Working with federal agencies to promote aggressive enforcement of equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements;
  • Advocating for greater resources and effective strategies to enable federal agencies to address violations of laws governing overtime, hours, wages, and workplace safety;
  • Leading efforts to support workplace fairness for pregnant workers.


Ensure Equal Pay

Take action to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act »

Learn more about why we need a No Salary History law »

Know Your Rights
on the Job

Every woman should know her workplace rights. Find the information you need about pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and legal protections on our fact sheets. Fact Sheets »

Share Your Story

Tell us how a law preventing employers from asking applicants about salary history would help you. Speak out »