New IWPR survey data show that young women remain remarkably optimistic about achieving the “American dream” in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. To ensure young women stay on track toward achieving their dreams, policies that support them in their academic and professional pursuits should be prioritized.
Unequal Present, Unfair Future: Young Black, Latina, and LGBTQ Women Face Greater Economic Challenges during the Pandemic
New IWPR survey data show young women’s experience of economic hardship during the COVID-19 crisis varied across racial/ethnic groups and gender and sexual identities—with some struggling more than others. To achieve an equitable recovery, policies should level the playing field by supporting young women who have been hit hardest.
Higher education is essential to accessing high-demand jobs with family-supporting wages and improving family financial well-being. This was true before the COVID-19 pandemic and is especially true now as the nation continues the process of recovering from one of the worst public health, economic, and social crises in modern U.S. history. Early evidence suggests that the pandemic exacerbated barriers faced by student parents, affecting their college plans.
Build Back Better Plan will Accelerate Gender Equality, Reduce Poverty for Women and Families, and Strengthen the U.S. Care Infrastructure
The Build Back Better (BBB) Framework proposed by the Biden Administration will accelerate gender equality and significantly reduce poverty for women and families. The plan invests in women’s economic security and equity by bolstering our care infrastructure, targeted tax credits, food and nutrition assistance, and higher education and training.
Union membership provides improved access to critical benefits like paid leave, along with better pay, health insurance, and pensions. For women, this advantage is especially helpful for weathering crises like COVID-19 and the resulting “she-cession.”
To ensure student parents are wholly supported in their educational pathways, research is needed to understand the connection between quality, affordable child care and student parents’ academic outcomes. Yet several challenges persist that make rigorous study of this connection difficult. Drawing on interviews with campus child care directors and a review of data and relevant literature, this brief presents a snapshot of the availability and importance of campus child care services for student parent success. It concludes with recommendations to improve conditions for rigorous research on the role of campus child care in the outcomes of college students with children.
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.