For over 40 years, Women Employed (WE) has fought for equal opportunity, fair working conditions, improved educational opportunities, and many more initiatives focused on improving the lives of working women. They continue to push Illinois forward through advocacy, awareness, and partnerships. For the past 10 years, young professional women have been a driving force for the organization through Women Employed’s Advocacy Council.
Amanda Collins, staff liaison of the Advocacy Council, spoke with CharityScenes to discuss initiatives, board structure, and how you can get involved! We started by discussing the four main principals of the group and how they guide the activities of the board:
- Women Employed and by association, the Advocacy Council, pride themselves on being at the front line of issues important to working women in Chicago. They are active in local, state, and national government, pushing for improved laws to protect women and to promote better working environments. The Council can be found at rallies, at community events, taking action through WE’s online action network, and actively engaged on WE’s social media pages.
- Action Network: womenemployed.org/action-center
- Facebook: Facebook.com/WomenEmployed
- Twitter: @WomenEmployed
- In addition to personal involvement, Council members activate their networks and communities to take action on WE’s issues and strengthen WE’s supporter base. A lot of the activity here is through the organization’s social media pages and action network, but more traditional methods are used as well. Recently the Council participated in the Chicago Equal Pay Day rally and helped gather 200 signatures for a petition to support the proposed Chicago sick time ordinance, which will grant all working people in the city the ability to earn paid sick time.
- The Council actively supportsWE’s initiatives to inform the community and gather support on the issues facing working women today. Most recently the Advocacy Council attended and volunteered at Women Employed’s signature annual fundraising event—which brings together nearly 1,000 people—The Working Lunch.
Friend Raising and Fundraising
- The Council also schedules informal events to attract new members, thoughtfully raises money through several initiatives, and members personally contribute donations to further the cause and enable the work of Women Employed. Council members also act as volunteers at events throughout the year, offering great opportunities to learn and network!
So you want to support initiatives for working women and get involved?! The Advocacy Council is very flexible (size of the board ranges from 20-50 active members at any given time) and accommodates women ranging in age from 20-40, coming from a variety of backgrounds, and able to contribute varying amounts of time and energy. There is a level of involvement for anyone who is interested! For those truly dedicated to the cause, there is a Leadership Committee which takes a more active role in planning events, running meetings, and moving the board forward. In fact, the current chair, Ambar Mentor-Truppa, founded the Council about 10 years ago and also sits on the Women Employed’s Board of Directors. It’s a testament to the importance of the Advocacy Council as well as the long-lasting benefits council members enjoy by participating.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Advocacy Council, getting an update on the current state of affairs, or are just interested in networking with some awesome women, contact Amanda to join the Council mailing list and learn more about their upcoming summer mixer in June!