The Everyday Struggles Too Many of Us Face‏

Let’s Make Change in 2016

It’s hard to support your family when you don’t earn enough to afford the basics, when you’re afraid that getting sick will mean losing your job, and when you don’t know your work schedule until just a few hours in advance. Watch the video below and hear firsthand the everyday struggles of real women working in unstable jobs—then be a champion for them this holiday season by making a gift to help us fight for change.

Make your new or increased gift by December 31st. It will be matched dollar for dollar!

Real Women Talk About Unstable Jobs


Nan Sullivan, Student Advisor at Truman College

The Alarming Trend Putting College Degrees at RiskNan Sullivan, an advisor at Truman College, is seeing a trend—too many of her students have employers who refuse to accommodate their class schedules, oftentimes varying their hours from day to day.

She told us about one student who worked at a grocery store. “At the start of the semester, her job schedule fit with her class schedule. But then her boss changed her hours, and they told her she either needed to work the new schedule or that she would not be able to work there anymore. She ended up leaving her job to stay in school. It was devastating for her. She had no income. She has no family supporting her. So she actually had to live with friends.”

Many students make the decision to drop out of their classes because they simply cannot lose their income. And that puts their financial aid in peril. If they drop too many classes, they become ineligible.

Women Employed is working to end irregular scheduling practices, so that more students can complete their degrees, and so that more workers can support their families. You can help. Learn how »

Harriet Harty

She SaysHarriet Harty is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Allstate, a major sponsor of The Working Lunch. She is also a member of Women Employed’s Board of Directors, an Investor for Change, and the Chair of our Adult College Success Council.

You have such a busy life with a big job, a young daughter. Why do you make time to be involved in WE?
I love the organization’s passion for economic advancement for women—and its persistence. The change WE seeks doesn’t happen overnight—and passion is what energizes us for the long-term work toward our goals.

What do you hope to see for working women in the next 10 years?
Of course, I’d like to see more women in positions of power in every sector. And I want more low-income women to have a voice in decisions that affect them. Using your voice and having an impact is something I always work on with the women I coach and mentor.

Why are you excited to lead the Adult College Success Council?
I’m a huge believer in the importance of education—it’s been the foundation for my own economic independence. My mom made sure we succeeded in school, and I tell my daughter that nothing is more important than her ability to be self-reliant. And I want to make sure that more women can get the education they need, regardless of their financial circumstances.

Learn more about becoming an Investor for Change »

What You Can Do

Women Employed Holiday E-Cards

Peace and financial security. They’re things that every working woman deserves. This holiday season, send a Women Employed e-card to the working women in your life wishing them just that.

Send an e-card today »

Policy Watch

We’re approaching the six month mark. Six months since Illinois has had a budget. Six months since many vital programs have received the state support they need.

The good news is that advocates like you were able to convince Governor Rauner to rescind some of the devastating restrictions he applied to the Child Care Assistance Program, meaning more Illinois parents can afford the child care they need to keep working.

The bad news is that many adult education providers may close because they lack funding. Colleges may be forced to bill low-income students for tuition without the MAP grant money they were promised by the state. And many other important programs are still unfunded.

We’re keeping the pressure on to pass a budget. We’ll keep you posted about taking action!