National organizations exist to protect, promote rights of working women in U.S.

February 03, 1992|By Carol Kleiman | Carol Kleiman,Chicago Tribune

There are lists of the best- and worst-dressed women, the most respected women, the sexiest women, top companies to work for and the most "family-friendly" businesses.

But an important list is missing: The top non-profit agencies that help women succeed -- and survive -- on the job.

They do exist and are concerned about equal rights, flexible hours, pay equity, job sharing, pension rights, older women's employment and career guidance and training.

Though there are hundreds of local organizations throughout the country, the following list is of national organizations only:

Equal Rights Advocates: Provides legal advice and representation on employment issues such as sexual harassment and pay discrimination. Address: 1370 Mission St., San Francisco, Calif. 94103. Phone: 415-621-0505.

* Institute for Women's Policy Research: Studies economic issues affecting women, such as pay equity, family leave and the glass ceiling. Address: 1400 20th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-785-5100.

* National Committee on Pay Equity: Researches, lobbies and publishes studies of issues relating to comparable worth -- the theory that salaries should be based on job requirements, not gender. Address: 1126 16th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-331-7343.

* National Organization for Women: Does advocacy, research, lobbying and counseling on employment issues. Address: 1000 16th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-331-0066.

* National Women's Law Center: Attorneys handle cases and act as friends of the court on important lawsuits relating to women. Address: 1616 P St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Phone: 202-328-5169.

* New Ways to Work: Helps corporations and individuals plan flexible hours, job-sharing, part-time work and other work arrangements. Address: 149 Ninth St., San Francisco, Calif. 94103. Phone: 415-552-1000.

* 9to5, National Association of Working Women: A membership organization that helps employed women handle job discrimination and is an advocacy group for equal opportunity and safe and healthy work environments. Address: 614 Superior Ave. N.W., Cleveland, Ohio 44113. Phone: 216-566-9308.

* Older Women's League: Advocacy group for older women, especially in the area of benefits, pensions, Social Security and career opportunities. Address: 730 Eleventh St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Phone: 202-783-6686.

* Wider Opportunities for Women: National advocacy and employment group. Disseminates free information on job opportunities and career training. Address: 1325 G St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005. Phone: 202-638-3143.

* Women's Economic Agenda Project: Does research and advocacy and organizes and lobbies on issues relating to low-income women. Address: 518 17th St., Oakland, Calif. 94612. Phone: 501-451-7379.

* Women Employed: A national advocacy group for workin women. Does research and training and offers career strategy ++ and legal advice. Address: 22 W. Monroe St., Chicago, Ill. 60603. Phone: 312-782-3902.

* Women's Legal Defense Fund: Does advocacy, lobbying and represents women with lawsuits. Address: 1875 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009. Phone: 202-986-2600.

These organizations are important to employed women because they "provide advice, support and sometimes legal assistance for a variety of work-related issues, and they try to influence legislation and employers about workplace concerns," said Louise Fitzgerald, associate professor of psychology at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

Ms. Fitzgerald, who has a doctorate in psychology and is an advocate for women's rights, stresses that non-profit agencies that are devoted to a "smorgasbord" of issues are "essential because all of these are incredibly important to women."

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