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IWPR publishes its research in formats ranging from short fact sheets to longer form research reports. The Institute publishes on topics addressing the policy needs of women, including pay equity, retirement security, family leave, paid sick days, and employment.

For a full overview of our research areas and to view publications by topic, please visit our Initiatives area. All publications are available for free download on our website or you may choose to buy them through the Google Checkout icon to the right of the publication listing.  To request a publication by phone or e-mail, please contact Mallory Mpare at 202-785-5100 or

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Latest Reports from IWPR

The Gender Patenting Gap
by Jessica Milli, Barbara Gault, Emma Williams-Baron, Jenny Xia, and Meika Berlan (July 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reviewed and analyzed published data and literature on women and patenting, finding that women hold an extremely small share of patents, and that at the current rate of progress, gender equity is more than 75 years away. This briefing paper presents a snapshot of the data and related recommendations.


Paid Sick Days Benefit Employers, Workers, and the Economy
by Jessica Milli, Jenny Xia, and Jisun Min (July 2016)

Millions of workers have gained access to paid sick days in recent years through new laws in five states, 23 cities, and one county across the country. Yet millions more still would not be paid if they need to stay at home when they are sick or need to care for a family member who is ill. As of 2014, 51 million workers lacked access to paid sick days. Research has documented many benefits of paid sick days policies for workers, businesses, and communities as a whole. These benefits would multiply substantially if more workers gained access to paid sick days. This briefing paper summarizes research on the benefits of paid sick days and the effects of paid sick days policies in places that have them.


Women Continue Strong Recent Job Gains: 78 percent of Jobs Added in 2nd Quarter of 2016 Went to Women
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (July 2016)

July Jobs Report Confirms New Labor Market Normal: Smaller Gender Gap in Payroll Jobs following the Great Recession. Across the Recovery, Women Have Gained 45 Percent of Jobs Added Since June 2009, a Higher Share than They Lost in the Recession


Access to Paid Sick Time in Duluth, Minnesota
by Jenny Xia (May 2016)

Approximately 46 percent of workers in Duluth, Minnesota lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness and workplace injuries, reduces health care costs, and supports children and families by helping parents to care for their children’s health. This briefing paper presents estimates of access to paid sick time in Duluth by sex, sector of employment, occupation, part/full-time employment status, and personal earnings through analysis of government data sources, including the 2012–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2012-2014 American Community Survey (ACS).


Mothers in College Have Declining Access to On-Campus Child Care
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2016)

As Mother’s Day approaches, the 3.4 million mothers in college are performing a complicated balancing act. According to new IWPR analysis, availability of on-campus child care continued to decline in 2014, with just half of public four-year institutions providing on-campus child care services, down from a high of 55 percent in 2003-05 (Figure 1). At community colleges, where the largest share of parents are enrolled, only 45 percent report having an on-campus center, down from over half (53 percent) in 2003-04 (Figure 1). Given the importance of a higher education to a family’s economic security and their children’s future success, ensuring that student mothers have access to affordable, quality care must be a priority for educational institutions, higher education advocates, and policymakers.

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2015 Annual Report Newsletter
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2016)


Paid Sick Time Access in Michigan Varies by County of Residence
by Jessica Milli, Ph.D. (April 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that 56.3 percent of workers aged 18 years and older in Michigan have access to paid sick time (Figure 1), based on its analysis of data from the 2012–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), IWPR Nearly two million workers (43.7 percent) lack access. Residents of Isabella, Gratiot, and Clare counties are the least likely to have paid sick time with fewer than half of all workers having access.


The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2015 and by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Asha DuMonthier (April 2016)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. Data for both women’s and men’s median weekly earnings for full-time work are available for 119 occupations. Across occupations the gender earnings ratio of women’s median weekly earnings to men’s ranges from just 52.5 percent (women at the median making about half as much as men who are ‘securities, commodities, and financial services sales agents’ ) to 111.2 percent (women making more than men as ‘wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products’). There is only one occupation—‘bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks’–where women have the same median weekly earnings as men.


Women Gain 143,000 Jobs Out of 215,000 Jobs Added in March: Unemployment for Single Mothers Reduced by Nearly Half Since Its Recession Peak
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (April 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the April employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that women gained 143,000 jobs and men gained 72,000 for a total of 215,000 jobs added in March, giving women two-thirds of job growth. March is the 73rd month of uninterrupted job growth in the private sector. The overall unemployment rate increased slightly to 5.0 percent between February and March.


Pathways to Equity: Narrowing the Wage Gap by Improving Women’s Access to Good Middle-Skill Jobs
by Ariane Hegewisch Marc Bendick Jr., Ph.D. Barbara Gault, Ph.D. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (March 2016)

This report addresses women’s access to well-paid, growing, middle-skill jobs (jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree). It documents sex segregation in middle-skill jobs, and discusses how gender integration of good jobs could both reduce skill-shortages and improve women’s economic security. The report focuses on middle-skilled “target” occupations in manufacturing, information technology, and transportation, distribution, and logistics that have high projected job openings and that typically employ few women. Using an innovative methodology based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net database, Marc Bendick, Ph.D., of Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc, joined IWPR researchers Ariane Hegewisch, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. to identify lower paid predominantly female occupations that share many of the characteristics of the “target” occupations and can serve as “on-ramp” occupations to good middle-skill jobs for women seeking to improve their earnings, and employers looking to fill the vacancies. The report is part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Pathways to Equity: Women and Good Jobs initiative, funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation as part of its of its $250 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative. For more information, visit


The Gender Wage Gap: 2015; Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity
by Ariane Hegewisch and Asha DuMonthier (March 2016)

The gender wage gap for weekly full-time workers in the United States widened between 2014 and 2015. The median weekly earnings for full-time work increased for both women and men during 2015, but the increase was more substantial for men than women. In 2015, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.1 percent, a decrease of 1.4 percentage points since 2014, when the ratio was 82.5 percent. Women’s median weekly earnings for full-time work were $726 in 2015 compared with $895 for men. Controlling for inflation, women’s earnings increased by 0.9 percent, while men’s earnings increased by 2.6 percent since 2014.


Women Gain 167,000 Jobs Out of 242,000 Jobs Added in February
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (March 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) analysis of the March employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that women gained 167,000 jobs and men gained 75,000 for a total of 242,000 jobs added in February, giving women 69 percent of job growth. February is the 72nd month of uninterrupted job growth in the private sector. The overall unemployment rate remained steady at 4.9 percent between January and February.


Poverty, Gender, and Public Policies
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., and Stephanie Román (February 2016)

Economic security is a critical part of women’s overall well-being that contributes to their educational attainment, health, family stability, and community engagement. Over the last few decades, women’s increased labor force participation, education, and earnings have helped many women attain economic security. Yet, a substantial number of women in the United States face economic hardship: approximately one in six adult women have family incomes below the federal poverty line. Multiple factors contribute to women’s economic insecurity, including the gender wage gap, women’s prevalence in low-paid occupations, a lack of work-family supports, and the challenges involved in accessing public benefits. This briefing paper presents some basic facts about women’s economic security and explores the causes of poverty among women and the ways that the effects of poverty reverberate throughout families’ lives. It concludes by examining strategies to improve women’s economic security and reduce poverty.


The Need for Support for Working Families
by Lindsey Reichlin, Ariane Hegewisch, and Barbara Gault (February 2016)

With women making up nearly half of the U.S. work force, and most children living in families with an employed mother, helping families balance work and family demands is an increasingly pressing priority. Few families have a “stay-at-home” parent to take care of health emergencies, look after the kids, or help with homework, yet workplace policies have not kept pace with this reality. Many workers do not have the basic work-family supports to provide the flexibility to deal with unforeseen events, or the predictability to meet caregiving responsibilities or to pursue education. This reduces economic opportunities, diminishes the health and well-being of mothers and their families, and pushes some women out of the workforce altogether. This briefing paper summarizes research on women’s employment and family responsibilities, and discusses three areas of workplace policy that provide opportunities to better support women and families: leave policies, child care and elder care supports, and access to workplace flexibility and predictability.


The Gender Wage Gap and Public Policy
by Cynthia Costello, Ph.D. and Ariane Hegewisch, M.A. (February 2016)

Women’s earnings are crucial to their families’ economic well-being. Women are close to half of all employees in the United States, they are half of all workers with college degrees, and they are the co- or main breadwinners in close to two thirds of families with children,1 yet they persistently earn less than men. Whether the gender wage gap is measured based on annual, weekly or hourly earnings, within or across occupations, women’s median earnings are lower than men’s. If progress toward closing the gender wage gap continues at the same pace as during recent decades, women and men will not reach equal pay until 2058 (Hess et al. 2015). This briefing paper sets out the basic facts about the gender wage gap, summarizing data on earnings differences between women and men by race and ethnicity, education, and occupation. It then discusses reasons for the gender wage gap, its consequences for women and their families, and policies that can help to close it.


The Role of the Federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program in Supporting Student Parent Success
by Mary Sykes, Lindsey Reichlin, and Barbara Gault (February 2016)

Affordable, quality child care is crucial to the postsecondary success of the 4.8 million undergraduate students raising dependent children. Despite the growing number of postsecondary students who are parents, campus-based child care has been declining in recent years.


Status of Women in the South
by Julie Anderson, M.A, Elyse Shaw, M.A., Chandra Childers, Ph.D., Jessica Milli, Ph.D., and Asha DuMonthier (February 2016)

The Status of Women in the South builds on IWPR’s long-standing analyses and reports, The Status of Women in the States, that have provided data on the status of women nationally and for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia since 1996. The Status of Women in the South uses data from U.S. government and other sources to analyze women’s status in the southern United States, including Alabama, Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Florida Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. States are ranked and graded on a set of indicators for six topical areas and, whenever possible, data is disaggregated by race and ethnicity to allow closer examination of the status of women of color in the South. Like all Status of Women in the States reports, The Status of Women in the South can be used to highlight women’s progress and the obstacles they continue to face and to encourage policy and programmatic changes that can improve women’s opportunities. This report is funded by the Ford Foundation, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Women’s Funding Network. Additional funding was provided by a variety of state and national partners. With advice and guidance from the Status of Women in the South Advisory Committee, this report has been informed by The Status of Women in the States: 2015, which also benefited from the expertise of its National Advisory Committee.


The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (February 2016)

Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower lifetime pay for women, less income for families, and higher rates of poverty across the United States. In each state in the country, women experience lower earnings and higher poverty rates than men. The economic impact of this persistent pay inequality is far-reaching: if women in the United States received equal pay with comparable men, poverty for working women would be reduced by half and the U.S. economy would have added $482 billion (equivalent to 2.8 percent of 2014 GDP) to its economy. This fact sheet presents state-level data on the impact equal pay would have on poverty and each state’s economy.


Supportive Services in Job Training and Education: A Research Review
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Yana Mayayeva, Lindsey Reichlin, and Mala Thakur (February 2016)

This report presents findings from a review and analysis of literature on the importance, effectiveness, and availability of support services for participants in job training programs in the United States. It assesses current knowledge about these services by examining reports on training and education programs, as well as literature on the importance of supportive services for low-income individuals in general. The report also examines the availability of supportive services in the workforce development system, funding sources for these services, and common barriers to employment and training—such as lack of access to child care, transportation, and stable housing—that these supports can address. The report was informed by interviews with 25 experts on workforce development and supportive services. It is a part of a larger Institute for Women’s Policy Research project on the role of supportive services in promoting job training and employment success that is funded by the Walmart Foundation.


Paid Sick Days Access and Usage Rates Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Occupation, and Earnings
by Jenny Xia, Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Hailey Nguyen (February 2016)

Utilizing data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), this briefing paper estimates the proportion of public and private sector workers ages 18 and older with access to paid sick days, and their use of paid sick days, by race and ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, earnings, job level (supervisor/nonsupervisory status), and other demographic and occupational characteristics.

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