The Voice for Women’s Education and Economic Equity
We Work! is a quarterly magazine sent to Women Work! members.
In this Issue
Message from the Chair and President Page 4
Woman of Triumph: Danielle Smith Page 5
Work That Fits Page 6
The Issues: Coalitions In The Field Page 8
Legislator Profile: Edward M. Kennedy Page 9
In The Field: iWorks! Works for Women Page 10
2007 Conference Special Page 12
Employer Spotlight Page 14
Woman to Woman page 15
Woman of Triupmh
I never imagined that, as a 61-year-old grandmother, I would be a full-time college student and be honored as my school’s Regent’s Scholar. But my story begins much earlier than that. It is a story that started before many of my fellow students were born. The story of a five year old child, hospitalized with pneumonia, who dreamed of one day becoming like those angelic nurses who cared for her. The story of a young woman who started the path to that dream, only to meet the football hero. And you can probably guess what happened next. Marriage, children, mortgage payments… and the dream went quietly into the closet.
For years employers have offered benefits to workers, their spouses and children, but as family demographics change many employers have recognized that employees’ families may no longer consist of a traditionally married couple with children. Today more than 9,000 companies in the United States offer domestic partnership benefits to their employees. Offering these benefits supports workplace equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people, and also provides important supports to cohabiting heterosexual couples and their children.
In the Field
According to Kathy McCabe, Secretary/Treasurer of Illinois Women Work!, most cases of domestic violence occur because the abuser knows that he wants to abuse and can abuse. While much can be done to change the mindset of these abusers, female empowerment is imperative in ending the cycle of violence against women.
Woman of Triumph
I quit my law enforcement job and ended up without an income, unemployment benefits or a job. Why quit a good-paying job? I was not fully available for my new baby. At 23, I was a single mother paying for child care and supporting my new baby while working long nights and weekend shifts. I was always on night shift and my baby had to go to a sitter and then in the day I was so tired I usually slept. This was not the life I wanted for my new daughter, Talissa.
Woman to Woman
Women contact Women Work! every day for career advice and many of their questions and concerns are similar. We turned to Erin Currier, Women Work! Vice President for Projects and Research, for answers to the question she hears most frequently.
I need to find a job…where do I start?
The Internet is a great place to begin your job search. The Women Work! Job Finder is an easy-to-use web site where you can post your résumé and search for jobs (www.womenwork.org).
The Issues: FMLA Turns 13
Signed into law by President Clinton on February 5, 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) was the first national policy directed at easing Americans’ work-life balance. The law guarantees workers up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to care for themselves or their family members. The FMLA has provided desperately- needed job security for millions, and particularly for women who perform the bulk of family caregiving. Yet, millions more are still ineligible for FMLA protections.
The Issues: The Faces of RITA
Sandy Aguilara, a young single mother from Idaho, is currently struggling to balance part-time employment with full-time schooling and parenting. Paying rent and child care bills on parttime wages is challenging, and Sandy often finds that she has little left over to pay for school. Sandy is studying to earn an associate’s degree and hopes that with education she can get a promotion at the bank where she works.