March is Women's History Month. During this month we look back and celebrate the contributions that women have made not only to our history, but also our workforce. Illinois workNet is excited about the strides women have made. While there is more work and progress to be made, it is important to recognize the contributions and influence women have had in different industries in the past and present. Read our article for Women's History Month that shows examples of influential women.
The International Women's Day website offers resources to empower women in the workforce, improve equality, and celebrate women forging changes in industries. The City of Chicago designated March 8, 2023 as "Women Employed Day in Chicago" to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Women Employed and their impact on removing barriers to improve the economic status of women.
Women's HERstory Month
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) celebrates Women's HERstory Month, read the Press Release here. Throughout March, DCEO is hosting events, elevating financial and social capital resources to advance women-owned businesses, and spotlighting contributions of women-owned businesses in Illinois. Check out Leadership Profiles of Illinois business leaders, who achieved international success, on DCEO Office of Trade and Investment. Browse unique women artisans, bakers, and entrepreneurs who are part of the Illinois Made program through DCEO Office of Tourism on Enjoy Illinois. Learn how to get involved, attend events, use the social media toolkit, and find additional resources to support women-owned businesses on DCEO's Women's HERstory Month 2023 page.
DCEO's Upcoming Webinars
Stay Positive! Survival Tactics to Manage Your Cash Flow
Wednesday | March 15, 2023 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm | Virtual | Register
Learn to successfully manage your cash flow during any economic climate and in an ever-changing global business setting. Alternative financial capital options exist! Presented by the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) and hosted by OMEE and the Illinois Small Business Development Center (IL SBDC), the March virtual event is part of the monthly webinar series, Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME), which features a different topic and presenter each month. Also joining us in March are our colleagues from the Office of Regional Economic Development (RED).
Expanding HER Opportunities – Certify Your Business as Women-Owned
Thursday | March 16, 2023 | 10:00 – 11:00 am | Virtual | Register
Learn how certifying as a women-owned business can expand opportunities including government contracting, connecting with buyers looking to meet their federal subcontracting goals, accessing leads for bids and proposals and marketing opportunities exclusive to those who have certifications. Presented during Team RED's monthly webinar series, attendees will also learn about no-cost resources to assist along the way no matter what stage her business is in.
Additional events celebrating women-owned businesses across Illinois can be found here.
Your Rights are Important
Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) and Women Employed are raising awareness of pay equity and equal pay rights for women workers through the Fostering Access Rights and Equity (FARE) Grant. The Equal Pay Act of 2003 prohibits employers to pay men and women unequal wages for doing the same work. To learn about your rights, commonly asked questions, and how you can spread the word, visit Women Employed Know Your Rights.
Read about the amendment to the Equal Pay Act of 2003 that prevents employers from asking a candidate's previous wage during the hiring process in Illinois workNet's No Salary History article.
In time for Women's History month, the Illinois Department of Human Rights published a non-regulatory guide on Pregnancy Rights and Related Protections in Illinois featuring scenarios and examples of discrimination in the workplace, healthcare, schools, and other public settings. The new guide intends to prevent discrimination to help residents, employers, businesses, and providers understand rights and responsibilities.
On March 15th from 5:30pm-6:30pm, the Office of Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton and Illinois Council on Women and Girls are bringing together a diverse panel to discuss gender-based violence, individual rights, and available resources. Register here for the "Know Your Rights: Cultural Competency in Gender-Based Violence Services" webinar.
Follow our Event Calendar for upcoming events, explore career fields women are emerging in, and connect with us on social media as we use the hashtags #WomensHistoryMonth #ILWHM2023 throughout the month: