In March, more than 200 union women gathered in East Brunswick, New Jersey, for the 12th annual AFL-CIO Women in Leadership Development (WILD) conference. Conference founder Laurel Brennan, secretary-treasurer of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO spoke on the theme of economic empowerment. “Women still earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man, a statistic that unfortunately hasn’t improved in the past decade,” says Brennan. “This conference enables our union sisters to focus their collective power and energy on public policy injustices that affect women and families, such as gender pay inequality. The best pay equalizer is still a union contract.”
The biggest event of its kind, WILD brought women from across the country together. Participants attended workshops on obstacles to economic prosperity for women and ways to overcome them.