WE - Women Employed

In This Issue
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Housekeepers Unite
She Says... WE Interns
Fight for Paid Sick Days
Just the Facts
Newsbyte
PolicyWatch
We Want to Know!
WBDC Conference
Just the Facts
 
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For the average two-parent, two-child family without paid sick days, the lost income of missing 3.5 days of work due to a sick family member is equivalent to the household's entire grocery budget for a month.
  
WE Newsbyte
 
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PolicyWatch
 
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Earlier this month, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan to provide paid maternity leave for all city employees. He has asked the Human Resources Commissioner, Soo Choi, to draft a citywide policy that mirrors the standards of private sector employers, which often provide six weeks of paid leave.

This change in policy could affect as many as 10,700 female city employees and would set a great example for other public and private employers across the country.

We Want to Know!
 
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Take Our SurveyDoes your job offer paid maternity
leave? Yes or no?  Take our poll!
Entrepreneurial Women's Conference
 
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On September 14, the Women's Business Development Center is hosting their 25th annual conference and business opportunities fair for women business owners. For more information and to register, visit www.wbdc.org.
Join the Conversation!
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From Anne's Desk:
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Anne LadkyWE staff and interns met recently with a group of hotel housekeepers who told us about their work and their hopes for better conditions. Most were veterans, having worked in major hotels for more than 10 years. The women are required to clean 16-18 rooms per day, giving them about half an hour to change beds, scrub bathrooms, dust, vacuum, empty trash, etc. This is already a tough pace to sustain, but housekeepers without a union clean as many as 30 rooms a day! 

Modern hotel amenities -- larger, heavier mattresses, lots of linens and pillows, and all the add-ons like coffee pots -- have increased their workloads and the hazards of the job. The rate of injury for these women is extremely high. Think of lifting the corners of 18 hundred-pound mattresses each day! And these days, many hotels outsource housekeeping to agencies that pay even lower wages and raise room quotas. Learn more about these women and their struggles, and ask your company to deal with hotels that employ their housekeepers directly and treat them fairly -- and don't forget that your tips and friendly words matter too!  
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Anne Ladky, Executive Director


She Says...
 
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This summer, eight college women are taking part in WE's Summer Leadership Program. They are gaining hands-on knowledge about working in a non-profit organization, exploring career paths, and learning the skills they need to be future leaders. Here, three of the summer interns tell us why they are excited to be taking part in the program: 

 

Atzimba ParraAtzimba Parra, Stanford University 

This program has provided me with unparalleled opportunities to work with people dedicated to female empowerment. I am gaining exposure to possible solutions to gender-based disparities that I can bring back to my community in California. 

 

Michelle HighMichelle High, University of Chicago
I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from my peers, guest speakers, and WE's own history of advocacy experience and programming. I hope to use the skills I am learning in the upcoming year working at a children's social service agency in Houston.

 

Sylvia Rusin, Illinois Wesleyan University
This program allows me to apply my passion for social justice to fighting for change while exploring a wide range of career fields and meeting fun, intelligent and inspirational people. I know that everything I have learned from Women Employed has made me a stronger individual and will never be forgotten. 


 
WE Fights for Paid Sick Days in D.C.  
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Paid Sick Days Summit

WE and other IL advocates with Rep. Dan Lipinski.

Women Employed recently joined 250 advocates from 20 states to fight for paid sick days in Washington, D.C. At the 2011 National Summit on Paid Sick Days and Paid Family Leave, we gathered new approaches to get the word out that paid sick days are vital for working families. We learned about new research showing that access to paid sick days would reduce annual medical costs by $1 billion. We strategized about ways to get paid sick days passed in cities and states as well as nationally.

And along with eight other members of the Illinois Paid Leave Coalition, we met with Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinksi, and with the staffs of IL Rep. Jerry Costello and Sen. Mark Kirk to talk about the importance of the Healthy Families Act (HFA). HFA, which has been introduced in both houses of Congress, would allow workers at businesses with 15 or more employees to earn up to 7 paid sick days a year. Join the fight! Sign our petition to support HFA.
 

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WE - Women Employed
It's Up To Us
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