Women Employed’s Virtual Luncheon Convened Leaders from Across Sectors to Discuss COVID Impacts on Economy and Working Women

May 14th, 2020

CHICAGO – Today, more than 600 people from Chicagoland and beyond gathered virtually for The Working Lunch, Women Employed’s (WE) signature event that welcomed leaders from across sectors to discuss how COVID is impacting the economy and working women.

“As millions of women head to the frontlines during this crisis as essential workers, the need for better protections for working women has never been more urgent,” said Cherita Ellens, CEO of Women Employed. “That’s why this year’s The Working Lunch went virtual. To bring together area experts and leaders to ensure that when we emerge from this crisis, we don’t go back to the status quo, but come out better, stronger, more equitable and just.”

WE’s first-ever virtual luncheon convened experts from education, labor, policy research, corporate, and philanthropy for two panel discussions on the fundamental changes that COVID will make in our economy and how we work, and what we must to do to ensure an equitable and just future for working women and families.

The first panel, moderated by Cherita Ellens, focused on the local economy and the future of work, the impact COVID has had on our most vulnerable, the challenges and opportunities we will face as we emerge, and how we imagine a path forward creating a new normal that is equitable and just. Panelists included Greg Kelley, President, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana Missouri & Kansas; Jill Gigstad, Midwest Researcher, Illinois Economic Policy Institute; and Juan Salgado, Chancellor, City Colleges of Chicago.

The second panel, moderated by Connie Lindsey, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for Northern Trust, focused on the actions we can take to ensure women maintain hard-won advances in the workplace, and what companies can to do ensure that women and their families are protected, supported, and aren’t left behind. Panelists included Amy Mason, Manager, Account Solutions, Pharmacy Commercial Market Development, Walgreen Co.; Diana Sharpe, Vice President, Economic & Workforce Development, ComEd; Julia Stasch, Immediate Past President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Monserrat Moreno, Agency Marketing Manager, Global Business Marketing, Facebook.

For access to the full program recording and b-roll footage, contact Judy Miyashita at [email protected], or 312-782-3902, x239.


Women Employed relentlessly pursues equity 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. Since 1973, Women Employed has opened doors, broken down barriers, and created fundamental, systemic change for working women. For more information, visit https://womenemployed.org, or follow @WomenEmployed on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.


Judy Miyashita
(312) 782-3902, x239
[email protected]

Together, we will ensure more women, families, and communities can build their economic power and thrive.

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