Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made a stop in downtown Corning on Friday, meeting with about 40 women from local businesses and non-profit organizations as part of her economic empowerment for women initiative.

The Corning stop – hosted by The Cellar, a Market Street wine bar and restaurant – was one of a series of similar roundtables she’s held across the state for the purpose of gathering feedback on what needs to be done in Congress to create opportunities for women.

“I have a very strong legislative agenda for economic empowerment. I have a bill about fair pay – giving women access to more information, so they can ask for pay equality in the workplace,” Gillibrand said. “We also have a lot of loan programs that target women and minority-owned businesses, so they can get the capital they need to start their businesses.”

Gillibrand discussed some of the challenges women face in the business world, such as pay inequity – about 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. She also touched on some of the day-to-day challenges they face, such as being stretched thin by juggling work with child care, elder parent care and housework.

She then heard comments on local issues from about a dozen of the women in attendance.

The first to speak was Carla Hibbard, director of the Steuben Child Care Project – an arm of Bath-based Pro Action which helps parents find child care and provides support services for providers.