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Lt. Gov. Stratton visits SIU to hear from businesswomen, speak to young women’s conference

Stratton speaks to a crowd.
Amihere Benson
SIU News

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton met with women business owners and leaders Thursday, Feb. 29, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center to hear what women need for their businesses to thrive. In addition, participants engaged with each other to build and strengthen their resource network.

Stratton is holding We Chat listening sessions across the state as part of the We Thrive initiative to foster financial freedom and well-being for all women in Illinois. We Chat sessions bring together diverse groups of women to listen and learn from each other.

“Financial well-being for women and girls is really about eliminating systemic hurdles that continue a cycle of inequity," Stratton said. “Recognizable issues – like the wage gap and insufficient retirement planning – are symptoms of that cycle. Conversations like we had Thursday will help us understand what perpetuates inequity and push Illinois towards becoming the best state in the nation for women and girls."

Stratton’s visit to Dunn-Richmond is being done in coordination with the university’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. She will also speak to about 600 young women from Illinois FFA high school chapters, along with industry supporters, this morning (March 1) at the Women Changing the Face of Ag Conference.

Sheryl Tucker, SIU’s provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said Stratton’s visit to campus fits well with SIU’s strategic plan, Imagine 2030, and its pillar of diversity, equity and inclusion.

“Lt. Gov. Stratton has long advocated for women’s economic empowerment, which is key to equity,” Tucker said. “We are proud to have her as our guest, both to listen to women business owners in our community and to share her wisdom with future women leaders in agriculture.”

Kim Rendfeld
Kim Rendfeld – Director of Communications

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