Economic Security, Mobility and Equity (ESME)2022-03-23T13:22:56-04:00

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.

Building the Future
Build(ing) the Future: Bold Policies for a Gender-Equitable Recovery

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.

Breadwinner Mothers
Holding Up Half the Sky: Mothers as Workers, Primary Caregivers, & Breadwinners During COVID-19

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.

Gender Wage Gap
The Gender Wage Gap: 2019 Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity

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.

Future of Work
The Future of Care Work: Improving the Quality of America’s Fastest-Growing Jobs

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.

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Using Temporary Disability Insurance to Provide Paid Family Leave: A Comparison with the Family and Medical Leave Act

Although women have gradually become more established members of the labor force and mothers' earnings have become more critical to family well-being than in the past, women still provide the bulk of primary caregiving as mothers, wives and daughters.

By |April 10, 1996|

Food Stamps and AFDC: A Double Life-Line for Low-income Working Single Mothers

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in partnership with state and local governments, is the largest food assistance program in the United States.

By |April 1, 1996|

Are Mommies Dropping Out of the Labor Force? No!

Despite a spate of recent news articles reporting a slow down and even reversal of the long-term growth in women’s labor force participation– articles that assume the reversal is led by mothers anxious to stay at home with their children– the data show that most mothers are continuing to increase their participation in the labor force, even during the current recession. More women are working than ever before. Married mothers and mothers of very young children have increased their labor force participation most.

By |March 1, 1996|

Affirmative Action in Employment: An Overview

An IWPR briefing paper providing a review of the employment and wages of white women, black men, and black women relative o white men after implementation of affirmative action policies.

By |January 10, 1996|
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