Meet Nancy LeaMond
Get to know the latest Engage Woman!
What is the one change you believe would lead to the biggest improvement for women’s economic security?
It’s really hard to pinpoint just one. The reality is that women’s struggle for financial security is the result of a number of things that compound over time. There’s the persistent gender pay gap that often starts with a woman’s first job and continues throughout her working life. Then, there are all the factors that cause many women to drop out of the workforce or “lean out” when they start a family or are taking care of parents, spouses, and other adult loved ones: the demands on their time, a lack of flexibility at work, the high cost of childcare and long-term care, etc. Taken together, these realities add up to women having lower lifetime earnings, which leads to lower savings and even lower Social Security benefits. To really improve women’s economic security, we need an all of the above approach that includes closing the gender pay gap and making sure women have access to paid leave, affordable child care and long-term care options, a tax credit for family caregivers, and retirement savings plans at work.
What attracts you to Engage?
We support Engage because the organization brings people together for thoughtful conversations about issues that affect women’s day-to-day lives. There’s no political bluster or partisan posturing at Engage events. Everyone has a point of view, but the discussions are always respectful and constructive. This kind of dialogue is the foundation we need to foster more bipartisan initiatives in Congress and with the Administration. By working together to put some bipartisan points on the board, we can build up momentum to tackle more of the big problems in front of us.
Why do you think it’s important for women to engage with the political system?
There’s an old saying, “It’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness.” The only way to make progress on an issue you care about – whatever that may be – is to get involved. Engaging with politics is an important way to do that since elected leaders are making decisions every day on issues that affect American families. As a group, women’s involvement in the political process is important because we bring an important perspective and set of experiences to the table.
Nancy LeaMond is the Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer at AARP.