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.
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.
Qualifying for Unpaid Leave: FMLA Eligibility among Working Mothers
This brief explores the reasons and likelihood that working mothers take leave under the FMLA.
Estimating Usage and Costs of Alternative Policies to Provide Paid Sick Days in the United States
This brief explores the costs and benefits of alternative sick days policies applied at the national level: San Francisco’s Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, the Vermont Act, and the proposed federal Healthy Families Act.
Estimating Usage and Costs of Alternative Policies to Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave in the United States
This brief summarizes a simulation analysis of five different paid family and medical leave model programs selected to show a range of generosity of provision and based on working programs in three states (California 2002 legislation and 2016 revisions, New Jersey, and Rhode Island) and a federal proposal (the FAMILY Act), all applied to the national workforce.
Estimating the Distributional Impacts of Alternative Policies to Provide Paid Sick Days in the United States
DOWNLOAD REPORT This brief explores the distributional impact of three alternative policy models for providing paid sick days to U.S. workers taken from actual policies in the states (San Francisco and Vermont) and a federal proposal (Healthy Families Act). Depending on the reason [...]
Paid Leave and Employment Stability of First-Time Mothers
This brief finds a significant relationship between the use of paid leave and greater employment stability among first-time mothers.
Equity in Innovation: Women Inventors and Patents
DOWNLOAD REPORT This report compiles existing data on women and patenting. It explores both women’s underrepresentation among patent holders and their relative success in being granted patents when they apply for them. The report identifies the technology classes that women are most likely [...]