Economic, Security, Mobility and Equity (ESME)
Whether paid or unpaid, women’s work is crucial for their families’ economic security and well-being. Greater gender equality in paid and unpaid work will reduce poverty and improve economic growth and prosperity; persistent inequity in employment and family work is costing all of us. Women are held back by the undervaluation of historically female work, workplaces designed as if workers had no family responsibilities, and a broken-down work-family infrastructure.
IWPR’s ESME program highlights the extent of pay inequalities, and the role played by stark occupational segregation in perpetuating unequal pay. We conduct research and analysis on women’s labor force participation and employment trends; workforce development, non-traditional employment, and apprenticeships; the impact of sex discrimination and harassment on women’s career advancement and mobility; the gender pay gap and pay inequity across race and ethnicity; work-family policies and employer practices; the and the impact of automation and technological advances on women workers.
We work with policymakers, employers, advocates, and practitioners to identify promising practices and policy solutions.
This report, Build(ing) the Future: Bold Policies for a Gender-Equitable Recovery, provides a framework for shared prosperity and equitable economic recovery. It examines the impact of the economic crisis and recession on working women, their families, and communities. It provides a blueprint for a gender-equitable recovery that is not only about meeting the immediate economic needs of women and families, but lays out a long-term strategy for creating stronger systems and institutions that reflect the experiences and contributions of women.
The loss of jobs in sectors dominated by women will have a devastating impact of families, especially those headed by single mothers or where women are the primary or co-breadwinner. One in two of more than 30 million families in the U.S. with children under the age of 18 have a breadwinner mother, who contributes at least 40 percent of the earnings to the household.
The gender wage gap in weekly earnings for full-time workers in the United States narrowed marginally between 2018 and 2019. In 2019, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.5 percent, leaving a wage gap of 18.5 percent.
Paid adult care work jobs are expected to increase substantially in the coming years, due to both an aging population and a comparatively low risk of automation for many of these jobs. These jobs, however, are among the lowest quality occupations in the U.S. labor market, with paid adult care workers facing low earnings, limited access to benefits, high rates of injury on the job, and scheduling unpredictability.
Care Workers Join Older Adult and Disability Advocates to Call for Vital Reforms
Last week, disability rights advocates were joined by caregiving professionals and policymakers at a rally in Washington, DC, to call for much-needed investment in the care infrastructure. Rally participants delivered the call to invest in care—with a focus on home and community-based services and living wages for direct care workers—at an important moment, as Congress continues to debate legislature that would provide critical funding like the Build Back Better Act and its reincarnations.
History Is Made! Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson Is First Black Woman Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 7, 2022 Contact: William Lutz | email@example.com | (202) 684-7534 History is Made! Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is First Black Woman Confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court! Washington, D.C. — The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) CEO and President C. [...]
Not Built with Them in Mind: It’s Time to Center Black Single Mothers in Higher Ed
“College campuses were not designed with student parents in mind.” This is now a common refrain echoed among student parent success advocates. It must be acknowledged, too, that the U.S. system of higher education was not designed for women, Black people, anyone parenting while in college, or those who experience life at the intersections of all three of these identities.
Numbers Matter: Clarifying the Data on Women Working in Construction
In 2021, the number of women working in trades occupations reached the highest level ever. However, many women in the trades, particularly women of color, face discrimination in hiring and on the job. Having clear data can create accountability and help ensure that women have access to sustainable careers in the trades.
The Future of the Expanded Child Tax Credit: Holding on to Hope
Expanding the Child Tax Credit was a historic policy moment and a hopeful national experiment on how recurring payments to families with children can impact economic security. How might we build on this to secure a brighter future for women and families?
A Historic Expansion in Paid Family and Medical Leave in the Nation’s Capital
This month, DC’s Paid Family Leave Program was approved to expand in a powerful way, thanks to a law that Councilmember Elissa Silverman successfully entered into the 2022 Budget. The expansion, which will go into effect beginning July 1, 2022, will increase paid leave for private sector workers from 8 to 12 weeks for parental leave, and from 6 to 12 weeks for family caregiving leave and medical leave. Employers will also see a reduced payroll tax rate after the policy’s reevaluation by the City’s Chief Financial Officer.