In every state, unionized women out earn women in non-union jobs—an essential wage advantage that would increase women’s economic security following the pandemic-induced “she-cession.” This brief shares insights on the ways unions narrow gender wage gaps and improve economic security for all women.
The COVID-19 pandemic upended life for countless families and brought heightened attention to the plight of working parents. Mothers with young and school-aged children have borne the brunt of the care crisis in the United States, as schools and daycare centers across the country closed. Compared to fathers, mothers have been more likely to exit the labor force prematurely, become unemployed, and reduce their work hours during the pandemic (Heggeness 2020; Landivar et al. 2020).
Student parents face significant challenges that can limit their ability to enter, persist in, and graduate from college. Innovative partnerships between Head Start and the higher education system is a promising strategy to bring together essential supports to meet the needs of student parents and set them up for long-term success. This briefing paper explores what this partnership might look like, and how federal and state policy could encourage greater support for student parents and their families through Head Start.
Tackling the Gender and Racial Patenting Gap to Drive Innovation: Lessons from Women’s Experiences shows the challenges women face in patenting process and provides recommendations to diversify innovation. The report highlights experiences of inventors and barriers to entry across fields and the unique difficulties women inventors—and particularly women inventors of color—face throughout the innovation and patenting process. The authors make recommendations on how to get more women and women of color in the pipeline. These include tackling systemic racial and gender bias and discrimination, investing in child care and work-life balance supports, and increasing support and funding for accelerator programs for women.
The “she-cession” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created economic instability for women across the United States. Yet, before the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s employment and earnings were improving nationwide. It is important to track trends in women’s employment and earnings prior to the pandemic [...]
Young Women Workers Still Struggling a Decade After the Great Recession: Lessons for the Pandemic Recovery
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a “she-cession,” with women experiencing a disproportionate share of job losses (Institute for Women’s Policy Research 2021). Young women ages 16 to 24 years old suffered the largest percentage decline in employment compared to young men and prime-age workers, mainly due to their concentration in service sectors and occupations that had been hit the hardest by the pandemic recession (Sun 2021). The outsized effects of the COVID-19 pandemic recession on young women reflect pre-existing inequalities in the labor market. Achieving an equitable economic recovery requires understanding how the U.S. labor market has been transformed in the past decade and beyond—to the detriment of workers.
Equal pay would significantly reduce poverty for working women and their families across the United States. If working women received equal pay with comparable men—men who are of the same age, have the same level of education, work the same number of hours, and have the same urban/rural status—poverty for working women would be reduced by more than 40 percent.
IWPR’s new survey finds that, on the heels of the economic downturn, working mothers are skeptical about their ability to achieve equal pay. They also report being worried about paying bills and balancing work and family demands. Paid leave and health care are top priorities.
As the Biden-Harris administration seeks to hasten the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, reforming the U.S. higher education system to ensure equitable access and attainment for all adults is more important than ever. The pandemic has disproportionately increased the caregiving, financial, and emotional burdens on student parents and their families—most of whom are mothers, students of color, adult and working learners, students with low incomes, and first-generation students [...]
Longstanding inequities in access to quality jobs and affordable care, along with uneven caregiving responsibilities, create unique challenges for young women of color during this prolonged pandemic recession. Young women (aged 16 to 24) were more likely to lose their job than young men and workers of other age groups in the initial months of the pandemic recession, largely due to their concentration in industries and occupations that have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn.