WE - Women Employed

In This Issue
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Economic Summit
Party with a Purpose!
Staff Says: Paid Sick Days
Record Poverty Levels
Just the Facts
Just the Facts
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Over a four-week period in 2011, more than 150 announcements on the top 4 job listing websites included language specifically discriminating against unemployed candidates. Most specified that applicants, "must be currently employed."

WE Newsbyte 
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Seattle recently became the latest U.S. city to require employers to provide paid sick days to their workers. With an 8-1 vote, the city council approved a bill that will require all employers with more than 5 workers to provide paid sick days to their employees.
Denver, Austin, Philadelphia, and other cities across the country are also debating paid sick days legislation.

Join the Conversation!
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From Anne's Desk:
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Anne LadkyLast week, I attended a summit on Women and the Economy with delegates from 22 nations in the Asia-Pacific region and heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk about the need to invest in women. She cited a statistic I think is very powerful: according to a Goldman Sachs study, reducing barriers to female labor force participation would increase U.S. GDP by nine percent. 

This shows that there's an impressive return on the kinds of policies that we advocate for: higher wages, access to high-quality child care, family-friendly workplace policies, and so on. What other ideas are out there that would raise economic growth and productivity so dramatically? I certainly haven't heard any. 

With alarming new Census Bureau reports indicating that more working women are falling into poverty (see below), our work toward economic opportunity and security for women is becoming even more urgent. Join us.   

With thanks for your commitment,
Anne Ladky, Executive Director

Don't Miss Tomorrow's WE Can Do It!
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WE Can Do It
Join us tomorrow (September 29th) at Chicago hotspot The Underground for our Party with a Purpose!

When: Thursday, September 29. 6pm  - 8pm
Where: The Underground, 56 W. Illinois St.

Tickets (include unlimited drinks and appetizers!):
$40 online (last day for this price!)
$45 at the door 

Staff Says...  
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Melissa JosephsMelissa Josephs, WE's Director of Equal Opportunity Policy, has been working hard to ensure all workers have paid sick days.

Why is this issue important?
More than 40 percent of all workers, and 75 percent of the lowest-wage workers, don't have paid sick days. When they're sick, they must choose between their health and their paycheck, or maybe even their jobs. When they're forced to work sick, they put their coworkers and the public at risk.
What's happening nationwide and in Illinois?
Seattle just passed a law guaranteeing sick days to their workers, following San Francisco and Washington D.C., which already have laws on the books. Connecticut recently became the first state to pass a similar law. We're leading the campaign for paid sick days in Illinois -- working with a 72-member coalition to  pass the Illinois Healthy Workplace Act and educating the public and policymakers about this issue.
How can readers get involved?
We've created a new Facebook page to help people connect to this vital campaign. Like us, and find out what you can do!

More Women Than Ever in Poverty 
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A recent National Women's Law Center report based on 2010 Census data, shows that a record number of women and children are now living in poverty. Here are the stats:
  • 14.5 percent of women (17.2 million women) now live in poverty -- the highest rate in 17 years, and much higher than the 11.2 percent of men living in poverty.
  • The rate of childhood poverty jumped to 22 percent in 2010, and more than half of poor children live in female-headed households.
  • The unemployment rate for women grew to 12.3 percent in 2010, and a shocking 44.1 percent of unemployed women have been seeking work for more than 6 months.
  • Women still make only 77 cents for every dollar men make, and with one-third of working mothers serving as the sole wage-earners in their families, this disparity is devastating.

WE is doing something about it. We're working to close the wage gap, implement policies that get more women working, and get low-income women the education and training they need to qualify for better jobs. And you can help! Take action today, and make a difference! 

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WE - Women Employed
It's Up To Us
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