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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Women Employed

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Job Training, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: the mission of Women Employed (WE) is to improve the economic status of women and remove barriers to economic equity. WE relentlessly pursue 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 pursue equity for all!

Target demographics: working women

Geographic areas served: Illinois and federal-level advocacy

Programs: Women Employed envisions of a world in which all women can achieve their aspirations and support their families. To get there, we need to make workplaces fairer and ensure that more women can succeed in education and training for good jobs.

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

cassiedennis

Donor

Rating: 5

I've volunteered and donated to Women Employed for the last 20 years because of the work they do - and their successes. They don't waste your time or money, but focus it on achieving gains for women and girls by smashing glass ceilings. Helping to change laws and practices to allow better access to education and advance in the workplace. In my day job, I work with dozens of nonprofits. Many are wonderful - but this is the one that gets both my time and money.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been a volunteer and donor now for over 15 years - on the Board for two years and on the Marketing Council since. They continue to impress me in their focus and management - they value the time and dollars given and don't wast either. Even through a planned succession that then had a curve ball thrown into it, they continued to not only move forward, but also address and include the new needs and conversations that have arisen within the scope of their mission. I work with many nonprofits in my day job - and this one continues to be one of the best run I've seen.

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

I’m proud to be a monthly donor to WE, knowing that it’s going to help ALL women of ALL backgrounds. Equal pay and fair workplaces are a cornerstone to equality, and it’s something that’s still needed today (sadly).

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has such a comprehensive approach to addressing gender inequity. By opening up educational and economic opportunities for women, WE opens up opportunities for everyone. I’ve witnessed WE work tirelessly to achieve its mission from a variety of vantage points. I love the history of the organization almost as much as I love the direction it’s heading.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is a fantastic organization that is dedicated to its staff, volunteers, and the community it serves. It is a safe and welcoming environment, and they are dedicated to their mission and vision of improving the economic status of women and promoting economic equity through safe workplaces, education, and training.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed has provided opportunities for people to easily get involved within their community and make an impactful difference for Chicago’s working women. Women Employed is a true gem in pioneering change and welcoming people to join them.

Toni C.2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women Employed is one of the most powerful and influential organizations in the City of Chicago and in the State of Illinois. It's relentless passion and commitment to equality through is partnerships/alliances, the policy and legislation it promotes, the delivery of time and unique experiences to their board, interns and advocacy council.

I am a proud member and advocate for an organization who lives out their values and mission everyday.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WE is committed to creative outreach in all communities and online so that women who may not know their evolving rights or what's at stake next can benefit from the great work the organization is doing. It's an honor to help them in this mission.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed persists in an era when that’s harder than it should be.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a nonprofit that's underrated for the work it does and the impact it makes. An advocacy organization that started in the '70s, Women Employed has been a force behind everything from paid sick time for all workers to eliminating salary-history questions in Illinois. Plus, their bench of volunteer talent is incredible. Brilliant, accomplished women (and men and other allies!) from all over Illinois and Chicago are in this organization's network, and there are lots of opportunities to work however much you'd like on campaigns and initiatives.

1 Kailey Louise M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great work for a worthy cause. WE supports women in the workplace and promotes equal access to education, as well as women in low wage-earning roles. Their advocacy work is effective as evidenced by their policy successes.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough wonderful things about Women Employed. I have only been volunteering with them for a few months now, but the work they do in the community is impressive and so important. From education to advocacy, Women Employed is actively out in the world supporting women's rights in the workplace.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Women Employed for less than a year now, and my time with them has been nothing short of remarkable. The Advocacy Council embodies a diverse group of women that are both driven and passionate in achieving economic equity. Just this year, WE was honored to see the No Salary History Law take effect on September 29th in Illinois. I truly am excited to continue my volunteering efforts with this dedicated group and hope to build a better future for all working women!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Emoloyed's dual method of helping women and promoting equity is especially effective. They assist women with getting prepared for further education and obtaining that education. Then they focus on next steps by advocating for more equitable workplaces. It's a compelling mission with tangible results.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am extremely proud to serve on Women Employed's Advocacy Council for the last two and half years, and most recently as the Council's newest co-chair. During my time with the organization, I have continuously been impressed with WE's ability to mobilize so many young advocates and inspire meaningful civic engagement. In addition, the staff's deep passion and vast knowledge is very evident in their recent numerous victories, and I know as a volunteer/donor, that my time and resources are building a better future for all working women.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed has succeeded for the past 40 years in their mission of advocating for women to gain equity in the workplace and beyond. Most people aren't aware of WE's efforts that have led to legislation protecting workers rights and income, state funded education, career pathing and so much more. As a volunteer I appreciate the staff's efforts, enthusiasm and fiscal responsibility in improving the economic status of working women.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Women Employed for four years. The staff and volunteers are inspiring. The work the organization does to empower women and families is so needed. Great advocates for equality in the workplace, access to education and women’s rights.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sometimes a connection is based on need; sometimes on chemistry. Women Employed has both and more. Organized, efficient, creative and dedicated to helping women achieve their workforce/professional and lifestyle desires and needs. Thumbs Up to Women Employed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed has been instrumental in my growth as a young woman in business. I know they truly care about me and my future but all the women who rely on them and their support. I can't speak highly enough about this organization.

Vanessa Flores C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing organization that empowers ALL women and helps us fight towards equality. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are outstanding! I am honored to be a volunteer for Women Employed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization doing amazing work in Chicago--and a great place to volunteer my time!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being part of Women Employed's Advocacy Council gives me the ability to proactively contribute to a cause I firmly believe in. Although it's easy to write an Instagram post or tweet a link to a story, sometimes it feels like being part of an echo chamber where everyone's speaking but no one's actually DOING something. WE offers various opportunities through its Advocacy Council for women (and men!) to take action, from simply calling a senator to planning a fundraising event. There's something for everyone, and I'm proud to call WE my favorite nonprofit organization in Chicago.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It’s easy to send messages of support for fair wages, benefits, treatment and education opportunities 140 characters at a time. Women Employed's Advocacy Council gives me clear, concrete ways to contribute to change, whether it’s by assisting the organization in their next event, raising money from like-minded supporters, or getting friends involved beyond retweeting Roxanne Gay when the mood strikes.

lisabattisfore

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Women Employed (WE) for just under two years. During that time, I have met dozens (maybe more!) of inspiring women, learned valuable information about legislation/policy, and developed my own fundraising and development skills. There are so many ways to get involved, from receiving a monthly newsletter to attending regular meetings. If you believe in fighting for gender equity and are looking for ways to get involved in the Chicago community, then WE is a great place to start!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering on Women Employ's Advocacy Council is one of he most meaningful, as well as impactful experiences I have had in recent years. Together WE are shattering the glass ceiling one pane at a time.

Lauren E. Miller, LSW

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is my favorite nonprofit because they keep me informed along with giving me action steps to really make an impact!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is a phenomenal nonprofit doing key advocacy and programming work across Illinois and impacting the national scene for equity in the workplace! Women Employed is constantly pushing the envelope in ways that allow their volunteers and constituents to get involved and TAKE ACTION for workplace change - I am so honored to volunteer with Women Employed and support their critical work!

Patricia36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed has remained true to the fulfillment of its mission for more than 40 years. It maintains a small, committed staff and has attracted professionals who volunteer professional and consulting services to support the organization, thereby enabling them to do more with their financial resources. Their long record of successes on behalf of working women and heads of household is legendary. They fight for right and they win. It is an honor to be associated with this team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Women Employed volunteer for several years. I am impressed by the way the organization leverages the passion and commitment of its small staff to make big changes in the lives of female workers. In addition to its advocacy for women already in the workplace, the organization has initiatives that lift women into the world of work by promoting access to education. They run a lean operation and maximize every penny so that their programs can be maximally successful. I am extremely proud to be a part of the Women Employed family.

mollybyron2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the fall of 2015, I had the pleasure of interviewing Women Employed’s Senior Policy Associate Sarah Labadie about WE’s advocacy toward women’s educational and workplace success. It was a great source of motivation and empowerment, and inspired me to get involved with Women Employed and apply for the Summer Leadership Program.

As a Summer Leader, I gained a stronger understanding of the barriers facing low-paid working women, and how non-profit advocacy work can change public policies and workplace practices for women.

I continue to be involved with Women Employed and utilize their action network to advocate for equal opportunities for women.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with WE for 3 years at this point. They've been around for 45 years, working on the same general set of issues. This speaks to the integrity and quality of work that WE is doing. I am continually impressed and amazed at the dedication of the people who work for WE, and at the amazing work that I see from my fellow volunteers. It's a group that inspires commitment and dedication from its people. I also think that it would be really easy to assume WE is only doing work for very high earning women (e.g. those fighting to break the Glass Ceiling) only, but WE is committed to doing the hard work of fighting for low-wage workers and helping all women get a leg up in the world. I'm very happy to see that they continue to be aware of intersectional issues.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been involved directly with Women Employed for over 4 years and have known about the work they do for even more. The staff is whip smart, kind, and very dedicated to the mission of helping low-income women have access to quality jobs and the education and training to attain those jobs. I am proud to serve on their young professionals Advocacy Council and even more proud to share the work they do with my friends and family on a regular basis.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is one of the best run organizations I've ever seen - they are smart, effective at what they do and value every dollar and hour given to them by their supporters and put it back into the work. Since my day job is at a digital marketing agency working with many nonprofits, I've seen how many are managed and how they treat their volunteers. Initially met this organization over 10 years ago when a friend was volunteering with them. She kept saying how well run and impactful their work was for women - and had been for many years. They focus on advocating for change to help women get ahead in the world through employment and education. After checking it out myself - attending their events; reading their materials, including their annual report; checking out their credentials - how they spend their money etc. through organizations who rate charities - I decided to volunteer with my limited time. I'm still there after 8+ years! I love working with them to help change the laws, regulations and business practices that inhibit our ability - and those of our sisters, girlfriends, daughters and granddaughters - to gain pay equity, equal opportunity in the workplace and to remove obstacles like sexual harassment. I give money to several organizations - but I only give both money and my time to Women Employed. It means a lot to me - and if you check it out, I'm sure you'll find it worthy of either your time or money - or both!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a member of the Advocacy Council, I was proud to help affect changes to the sick pay laws in Chicago - and I gained experience and exposure as a young professional.

Taylor R.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Over the past year working with these women I have been able to see the passage of many key laws that protect and empower women as well as other working class citizens.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is an excellent organization with passionate staff and an engaged army of supporters. They do so much to advocate for working women and initiatives that benefit all families. I’m proud to serve on its advocacy council.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sometimes it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and dwell on the negative when doing social justice work. But as a member of Women Employed's Advocacy Council, once a month I get to engage with a room full of smart, passionate, and dedicated women who are all working towards the same goal. Thanks to them, I leave each meeting feeling supported, empowered and recommitted to being an advocate for myself and other working women.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered on Women Employed's Advocacy Council for a few years now and in that time have been so impressed by their ability to engage policymakers, the business community, and women with diverse backgrounds and talents as partners in addressing the systems-level change that is needed to bring real, positive change to the lives of women throughout Illinois.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Women Employed for over a decade because they are meeting a need that few other groups address. The working poor, and low-wage working women in particular, have Women Employed to thank for advocating for equal opportunity laws, equal pay for equal work, earning sick days, workplace rights for pregnant women, college financial aid for working adults, and fighting against unfair scheduling. I've had a US Senator's Chief of Staff say to me that he can always tell when Women Employed is "on the case" because they tackle issues others don't, because their constituents are always so knowledgeable when calling the Senator, and because they persist until they get results. Women Employed is a small but mighty nonprofit!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Women Employed is committed to both breaking through glass ceilings AND raising the floor--making sure that all women have the opportunity to work in good jobs with benefits such as earned sick time, paid family leave, and supportive environments.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love their hands on approach! WE really works to out women's issues in the spotlight. I am honored to be a part of WE and appreciate this nonprofit so much that I've brought friends in, which is the highest compliment. WE is also the most organized nonprofit I've ever volunteered for. My favorite experience so far was the women's luncheon. It's an event that everyone should attend.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Currently I am an Advocacy Council Leadership Committee member, for Women Employed (WE). I have volunteered for Women Employed since 2015, after learning about this agency through one of my graduate classes at The University of Chicago.
Currently I work for American Indian Health Services of Chicago, Inc. Due to my work with company, Women Employed reached out to me and encouraged me to write and submit a piece for their blog regarding the equal pay gap's effects on Native American women. As a result of this piece, and the coverage it received, my agency gave me a promotion, which focuses partly on the economic empowerment of young Native women.

Priya G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was first introduced to Women Employed when I attended an event in 2016 called "Putting Change on the Menu." This event, which talked about the impact that low-paying, low-opportunity food service jobs have on the women and men who work them, opened my eyes to issues that are not immediately in front of me. For the last year, Women Employed has done a tremendous job helping me understand the issues that women face in the workplace and giving me opportunities to help make a difference for myself and women everywhere. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and provide plenty of guidance for volunteer leaders to accomplish tasks to further the organization's mission.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got involved with Women Employed about a year ago and have been continuously impressed with the professionalism and passion the Women Employed team possesses. I have seen first hand the work they put into their mission. I've worked with several non-profits in the past, and Women Employed is top-notch.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Women Employed is smart, focused, and effective, and is making a real difference particularly in the lives of low-wage working women

1 Kimberly105

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WE has truly been an inspiration ever since I was first introduced to the organization in 2012 by another single mom/ friend! Over the past couple of years, I have eagerly shared WE's info & messages concerning wage equality, support for the Non-Traditional student, availability & the options surrounding financial aid, and the importance of women voting. I urge others (like us) to do the same!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I serve on the marketing committee for Women Employed and am truly honored to be a part of this great mission. WE is working hard to advance the lives of all women, and especially women working in low-wage jobs. It takes a clear vision of a better future, smart leadership, and a consistent, fresh message to remain relevant in a saturated marketplace. WE has all of these - as well as the history and savvy to rise above the fray and remain a critically important advocate for this segment of the workforce.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Very proud to be a part of this amazing organization that focuses on building the best workplace and work environment for women. Excited to share my marketing and communications expertise with everyone going forward!

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've been a member of Women Employed for over 7 years and have contributed to their Marketing Committee for most of that time. Women Employed is a highly effective organization focused on equal opportunity in employment and education for women. The staff are very professional and they are quite efficient and effective in their efforts. Their efforts have improved the working conditions for women for over 40 years--they deserve the highest marks

Donor

Rating: 5

Fabulous organization that works to improve the opportunities and working conditions for low-wage working women!

1 Elizabeth Graettinger Cole

Donor

Rating: 5

Women Employed tackles the root causes of the issues facing women today. By mobilizing women to make a difference in the policies that impact all women's ability to attain a high quality, affordable education and advance in their careers, Women Employed is laying the groundwork for generations to come. On behalf of my own two little girls, I'm incredibly grateful for the work Women Employed engages in every day!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

From helping make sexual harassment illegal in the 70s to helping pass the Pregnancy Fairness Act just four months ago, WE does not settle! It's laser focus on working women's issues is why I have been volunteering with WE for nearly 10 years.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a former Board member of Women Employed and can testify to the dedication, expertise, and compassion that Women Employed brings to its mission of serving working women. The lives of women nationwide have been improved because of Women Employed's efforts. From strengthening EEO enforcement to advocating for educational opportunities to providing sound, real-world advice to women on legal and career issues, Women Employed is a champion for women. And by benefiting women, WE benefits families and society as a whole.

I am proud to have been a volunteer, on the board and now a supporter as a general member of the public. Hooray for Women Employed!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From my perspective as a volunteer member of the WE Advocacy Council, Women Employed is an organization filled with people who are deeply committed to their mission and values -- to diligently advocate on behalf of women in low-wage employment to improve labor conditions and opportunities. I always feel energized and more informed after WE events. The organization has also proven nimble over the years, adapting its central issues to meet the changing needs of women in the low-wage sector in order to address the social, political, and economic realities of the historical moment (although of course, many of the same issues persist, as well).

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed represents my values through its mission and dedication to issues that affect low-income women. They have a strong team, an incredible history of achievements, and continue to make great strides in bolstering the higher education and financial stability if this population. I'm proud to volunteer with WE!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Women Employed is by far one of the best run and most effective non-profit organizations I have ever worked with. Lead by the dynamic and focused Anne Ladky, Women Employed excels at mobilizing people and organizations to expand educational and employment opportunities for America's working women. Women Employed understands that people need stability and support as they work to create economic opportunities for themselves and their families. WE works on the advocacy level to increase the National Minimum Wage, develop Educational Bridge Programs and continued commitment from the state of Illinois for need based Tuition Assistance programs. It has been a pleasure to serve on its board these past several years.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I first heard of this organization through a work colleague. I attended an event and was immediately impressed with the women involved and their dedication to each other, the organization and the issues impacting women of all backgrounds. The knowledge-base and welcoming attitude of those who make this organization run made me immediately interested in playing a larger role - I hope that my schedule will allow for it in the near future!

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Women Employed since the early 90s. This organization has never wavered from its commitment to making life better for working women. Over all these years Women Employed has consistently retained the most intelligent, hardest working, most thoughtful and passionate staff of any I've known. They've accomplished so much and continue to work hard.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

I learned of this organization through a close friend who works for the organization, and has told me a lot about what its goals. Through this connection I have come to respect the great work that this group has done and continues to do in promoting women's equality in the workplace. I especially appreciate what this organization stands for as a woman working in a predominately male career who has seen the challenges women face in the workforce.

9

Donor

Rating: 5

Tell your story here and help others understand this charity My mother has had a connection with this charity for years and helped it out from the beginning. She believed in the cause and continues. It has helped numerous women both get into the workplace and achieve the quality that many firmly believe they deserve.

11

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Women Employed since the '80s. The organization has never let up on it focus on working women, women who are trying to get into the workplace, and women who are underpaid in the workplace. The organization has exercised energetic advocacy, both on the executive level and legislatively, and both federally and at the state level. I can't imagine how they could do a better job.

10

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with Women Employed since the early 1990's as a volunteer, former training consultant and former board member and every interaction I have had with this organization has confirmed my belief in them as a stellar organization that for almost 40 years has worked passionately and steadfastly to improve the lives of working women and their families. They have consistently challenged themselves to be more responsive to their clients.

10

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Best organization that ever happened to me and the working women of Chicago as well as the nation. OK, I'll admit it, I joined in 1973. I was seeing the inequality of the workplace and needed to do something. While working as a bureaucrat I had more rights and freedoms than many other working women, yet I was only one of the two "professionally" graded female employees in my agency. Women Employed helped me find my voice and I was able to work to improve my field as well as other fields. Previous reviews are correct, Women Employed also helped me find some life long friends. I am forever grateful for both.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 1975 I joined Women Employed (WE)and its efforts for equal opportunity for women and minorities. Working together with staff and other volunteers provided friendships enduring to this day, along with a sense of purpose in ensuring better opportunities for women now and in the future. Over the last 3 decades WE has joined with other women's and civil rights organizations to make substantial progress on all leading issues affecting women/minorities: employment descrimination, Family Medical Leave, insurance reform, unfair and/or illegal workplace policies, benefits for low-wage workers - to name a few.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

Working in a male dominated industry throughout my career, as well as being a single mom, I readily understand the challenges and obstacles women encounter to balance work and family life. As such, I wanted to become a mentor and advocate for women, especially when it comes to advancement and education. As I got involved with Women Employed, it quickly became clear to me, that this organization was one of great breadth and history. For over 35 years, Women Employed has been dedicated towards improving the economic opportunities for women, through advocacy and partnership helping make change in laws, policy and increased training and education. Most recently, focusing their efforts on enabling low-income women to advance to better jobs and opportunities through education, training and career development; Women Employed continues to provide real results and make a difference in women lives for the better.

Comments ( 1 )

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womenemployed 05/28/2010

Thanks so much for this really great review! We really appreciate the kind words.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Women Employed is an organization with a strong mission to improve the American workplace for women. The nonprofit agency sticks to that mission in its daily work. I first learned about it when I was about 25 and was really just getting started in my career. At the time, I saw injustices in the workplace but had no way of expressing it or responding to it. I heard about Women Employed and was interested in getting more involved in it. I didn't pursue it at the time, but I never forgot about the organization. Later I applied for a job there, and though I didn't quite fit their needs, they suggested I join their Marketing Committee. It has been interesting.

Comments ( 1 )

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womenemployed 05/28/2010

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a great review. We really appreciate it!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Women Employed is a smart, interesting and important Nonprofit for women of Illinois. It is a clearing house for all issues that are important to women. It invites you to participate on any level that you are comfortable with as well as offering information in a concise direct way. There website has spurred me on to get involved in other political activities nationally as well as locally.

Comments ( 1 )

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womenemployed 05/28/2010

Thanks so much for writing such a great review. We love hearing from you!