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ALG’s Year of Giving: June—Women Employed

This month’s organization for ALG’s Year of Giving, Women Employed, was selected by Partner Bethany White. Women Employed (WE) is a Chicago-based advocacy organization, founded in 1973, with a mission of improving women’s economic status and removing barriers to economic equality.  WE’s vision is that “[e]very 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.”

WE relentlessly pursues equity for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, expanding  access to educational opportunities, and advocating for fair and inclusive workplaces so that all women, families and communities thrive. WE helps to accomplish this vision through a wide variety of initiatives related to equal pay, fair scheduling, minimum wage, paid leave, sexual harassment, and pregnancy fairness and have been instrumental in passing major federal, state, and local laws.

Read Beth’s words below to learn why she chose this incredible organization:

I began working as soon as I was legally able to at age 15, and my career and work ethic have always been prominent parts of who I am.  However, from my first job at a hole-in-the-wall burger and root beer restaurant, I faced discrimination in the workplace because I am a woman.  I have watched countless friends and colleagues face those same battles, fought solely because of gender.  From experience, I can attest that fighting that fight alone is scary and demoralizing and, often times, futile.

One of the things that I am most grateful for is to have been able to work for a company where those battles no longer exist for women.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was fortunate to have paid time off when I had my children, to have a non-gendered and transparent compensation package that allowed for me to support my family (including the ludicrous cost of childcare), and to have a flexible schedule to be able to be there for my family when needed.  The importance of access to those benefits was amplified ten-fold in 2020 and early 2021 when the pandemic hit, particularly after my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma in September of 2020.  I shudder to think what my life and my family’s lives would be like right now if I hadn’t been able to work from a hospital room, afford private childcare, and been given the benefit of the doubt that I would still be an effective employee.

When ALG announced its year of giving, I struggled to choose just one of the thousands of deserving charities.  I knew in my heart that I wanted to choose an organization that helps to make a better world for women and girls because when I tell my own daughter that she can be anything in the world she desires, I know that statement still has an asterisk.  My hope for her, and for all daughters, is that one day the asterisk will no longer be needed because the barriers that will stop them from realizing their dreams will be gone, regardless of their means, race, or gender.  While my voice is mighty, it needs the force of thousands of other mighty voices to give all women the kind of life, both professionally and personally, that I have been lucky enough to experience for the past 10 years.  It is for this reason that I have chosen Women Employed as the June recipient for ALG’s year of giving.

If you would like to support Women Employed, you may make a donation online at https://womenemployed.org/donate/ or by mail to Women Employed, 65 E. Wacker Place, Suite 1500, Chicago, IL 60601.

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