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A just economy must center the needs and interests of many kinds of women, whose roles and identities include mother, caregiver, breadwinner, worker, and immigrant. In order to advance women’s economic security, policymakers need to challenge their assumptions about who women are, and promote legislation and executive action that reflect the realities of women and families today.

Join The Century Foundation and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (Aspen FSP) on Wednesday, March 29, 2023 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM ET, as we present findings from the Aspen FSP Women in the Economy (WE) project about what the economy would look like if it were designed for women. 

Aspen’s WE project features in-depth interviews with 125 working women and a survey of more than 1,200, which show that women workers are experiencing a cash flow crisis; face a financial penalty for caregiving across their lifetime; and are blocked from fully contributing to their families and our economy due to racial and gender discrimination. The event will include interviewees who will share their personal experience about what’s not working in our economy, and offer insights to shape an economic policy agenda that centers women.

Live CART and ASL interpretation will be provided.


  • Secretary Gina Raimondo, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Céline Apollon, senior research partner/consultant, Women in the Economy, Aspen Financial Security Program
  • Chabeli Carrazana, economy reporter, The 19th
  • Sharita M. Humphrey, financial education instructor and money mentor
  • Julie Kashen, director, Women’s Economic Justice and senior fellow, The Century Foundation
  • Heather McCulloch, founder, Women in the Economy, entrepreneur-in-residence, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
  • Liliana Olayo, co-president, COFI/POWERPAC Illinois

Presented by The Century Foundation and Aspen Institute.

Speaker Bios

Gina M. Raimondo serves as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris on March 3, 2021. As Secretary of Commerce, she is focused on a simple but vital mission — to spur good-paying jobs, empower entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and help American workers and businesses compete. Secretary Raimondo was formerly the 75th Governor of Rhode Island and its first woman governor. She grew up in Smithfield in a tight-knit Italian-American family, the youngest of Joseph and Josephine Raimondo’s three children. Her family history and her childhood experiences shaped her core beliefs in hard work, opportunity for all, and the importance of financial security. During her time as Governor, Secretary Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training. She focused tirelessly on creating economic opportunities and good-paying jobs for all Rhode Islanders. Early in her administration, she launched an innovative workforce development program that develops business-led partnerships to address unique workforce challenges.

Céline Apollon is a researcher, urban planner, and designer by trade and a self-taught filmmaker. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Georgia Tech and a Master’s degree in City Planning as a Moelis Fellow from the University of Pennsylvania. Her community and economic development work has been in collaboration with government, nonprofit, academic, and private sector partners both domestically and internationally. Recently she co-directed an award-winning video called “as a WHOLE,” for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which highlights the voices of black residents who have suffered from environmental and racial injustice in Eastwick, Philadelphia. She has been honored to work on the Women in the Economy (WE) research + action project as a Senior Research Partner. She has led the data analysis, design, and content development processes for capturing the key challenges and solutions women are lifting up through interviews and survey responses.

Chabeli Carrazana is The 19th’s economy reporter, covering wage inequality, labor, child care and workplace policies affecting women and LGBTQ+ people. Before joining The 19th, she was a business reporter in Florida, covering the tourism industry for the Miami Herald and the space industry for the Orlando Sentinel.

Sharita M. Humphrey is a nationally recognized and award-winning certified financial education instructor and money mentor. Having previously been broke and homeless, she knows first-hand that financial freedom has a blueprint, and she’s committed to helping people increase their financial knowledge, which will greatly enhance the trajectories of their lives. Sharita has worked with state and local agencies, nonprofits, banks, schools, and higher education institutions, presenting and developing curricula, workshops, and training to increase financial and business literacy awareness and education. This year, Sharita and her family set a goal of purchasing hundreds of acres of land over the next few years to build a family-run farm. During their journey, Sharita will be teaching farmers and their youth how to obtain money to acquire farmland and helping them retain their land for generations to come.

Julie Kashen is a senior fellow and director for women’s economic justice at The Century Foundation, with expertise in work and family, caregiving, economic mobility, and labor. Kashen has more than two decades of experience forwarding these issues in federal and state government and through the nonprofit sector, including helping to draft three major pieces of national legislation. As a labor policy advisor to the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), she helped draft and build momentum for the first paid sick days bill in Congress, the Healthy Families Act. As policy director of the three-year Make It Work campaign, she drafted a visionary child care proposal, whose principles were incorporated into the Child Care for Working Families Act. And as a senior advisor to the National Domestic Workers Alliance, she led the work to create and introduce the first ever national Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. In addition, as deputy director of policy for Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ), she helped New Jersey become the second state in the nation to adopt paid family and medical leave. She is an active member of many child care, paid leave, and equal pay coalitions and tables. Kashen has been affiliated with The Century Foundation since 2015. Kashen holds a master’s in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor’s with highest honors in political science from the University of Michigan.

Heather McCulloch is an entrepreneur-in-residence at the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program and a national thought leader on gender economic equity. She recently launched the Women in the Economy (WE) project at Aspen FSP, a two-year initiative to inform the design of a gender-equitable economy based on the insights, wisdom, and lived experience of working women across America. Heather has more than two decades of experience working as an advocate and thought leader to close the racial and gender wealth gaps and build an equitable economy. Previously, she founded and led Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap (CWWG), a multiracial/ethnic, cross-sector network of leaders working together to transform public policies and systems to advance gender economic equity. Prior to starting CWWG, she founded Asset Building Strategies, a consulting firm that supports nonprofit, philanthropic, public, and private-sector leaders to advance policies and strategies to build the financial security of low-wealth families; and a founding staff member of the national nonprofit, PolicyLink.

Liliana Olayo is the Co-President of Community Organizing and Family Issues/Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew Policies Action Council (COFI/POWER-PAC).  She is an active parent leader in Aurora, Illinois with Padres Lideres Activos.  She is also a COFI Peer Trainer, a COFI Teambuilder supporting Aurora parents to bring their voices to policymaking tables and serves on the COFI Board of Directors. Locally, she serves as the President of the Impact Neighbors group and President of the Bilingual Parents Advisory Council of District 131.