WE relentlessly pursue equity and equality for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces to make the world a better place for us all.
Education equals empowerment. When a woman gets education and training beyond high school, she increases her earnings and expands her opportunities. But for too many working women, a degree or certificate can seem out of reach. Rising college costs, work and family responsibilities, and dated academic proficiency, placement assessments, and policies keep too many of us from achieving our dreams. And many states, like Illinois, face achievement gaps for students of color.
Every woman—no matter her background or her situation—is able to get the education and training she needs for the family-sustaining job she wants.
Women are half the U.S. labor force, and we are breadwinners or co-breadwinners for two-thirds of families. But we earn less than men for the same work. We’re twice as likely to work in jobs with poverty-level wages. Women have better credentials than ever before, yet are more likely to work low wage jobs. We still face sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Too few of us can take paid time off to care for ourselves and our families. And discrimination based on our race, immigration status, sexual orientation, faith, or disability can intersect with gender discrimination to create additional roadblocks to opportunity. The intersectional impact of race and gender biases contributes to the overall gender pay gap, as women of color experience pay outcomes that are worse than would be predicted by the additive effect of race and gender.
More of the jobs we hold are good jobs with family-supporting wages, decent benefits, and opportunities to advance. We’re represented on the ballot and in the boardroom. We all have strong protections against discrimination and abuse, and we can fulfill our responsibilities at work and at home.