The 2022 Leader Luncheon XLII: Women of Achievement is being presented by Illinois Bank & Trust.

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YWCA Northwestern Illinois Welcomes Keynote Dr. Chandra Childers at the 42nd Annual Leader Luncheon

The Pandemic, the Shecession, and the Future of Work:  How Do We Recover and How Do We Prepare for the Future?

YWCA Northwestern Illinois will host Dr. Chandra Childers at the 42nd annual Leader Luncheon and Women of Achievement Awards on Monday, March 7, 2022. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed social and economic inequities that are threatening more than 50 years of women’s hard-fought advances in the American workforce and decimating the labor market.  The COVID-19 public health and economic crisis has sparked a national “shecession.”

Chandra Childers is a data-driven researcher who is passionate about identifying and eliminating social and economic barriers to women’s equality in the labor market, their overall economic security, and the wellbeing of their families, particularly for women of color.  Her research focus is on education, employment, earnings, job quality, worker power, and the future of work.  Some of her recent publications include Short-Term Strategies for Addressing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Women’s Workforce Participation, Building a Better Future for Women in New Orleans Post-COVID-19: Opportunities in Skilled Trade and Technical Jobs, Here to Stay:  Black, Latina, and Afro-Latina Women in the Construction Trades, and Women, Automation, and the Future of Work.  She was a member of the National Academies 2019-2020 Committee on the Consideration of Generational Issues in Workforce Management and Employment Practices.  She has been cited in The Nation, The Atlantic, Refinery29, and Market Watch, and has given interviews on NPR’s 1A, WOSU Public Radio, and Top of Mind with Julie Rose, among others.  She has also presented her research at various policy conferences including the annual Budget and Policy Priorities Conference, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute Conference, and the Women in Government Conference.

Due to COVID-19, the Leader Luncheon event will be held virtually on March 7, 2022. The YWCA Women of Achievement Awards recognize individuals who strive to make a positive impact in their community and whose work aligns with the YWCA mission: eliminating racism and empowering women. Nominations are solicited by the YWCA Northwestern Illinois and the Leader Luncheon event committee and are reviewed by a committee comprised of local community members. Nominations for the 2022 YWCA Women of Achievement Awards are NOW OPEN.


2022 Women of Achievement Awards Categories

Business: Includes women in the business and non-profit sectors who make a significant contribution in their field.

Community Leadership: Includes women who are professionals and volunteers in government, public service, politics, and community action.

Mentorship: The purpose of the award is to honor an individual (male or female) who has taught, guided, and inspired women in ways that have changed their lives.

Professions: Includes women in the fields of medicine, law, education, science, engineering, architecture or other fields which require professional accreditation.

Promise: The nominee must be a young woman between the ages of 18 and 35. The award is given to an individual with sufficient community service and professional success to indicate her potential for extraordinary leadership and service.

Racial Justice Award: Includes women who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to promoting racial justice and have worked toward the elimination of racism.

YWCA Northwestern Illinois delivers its mission, “eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all,” to women and families.