Economic Security, Mobility and Equity (ESME)2021-10-28T14:36:08-04:00

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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Wages and Salaries of Child Care Workers: The Economic and Social Implications of Raising Child Care Workers’ Salaries

As more and more mothers enter the paid labor force, and/or work outside of the home, increasing numbers and proportions of children are experiencing care provided in a group context, and/or by someone other than their own parents.

By |March 15, 1988|

OPM Comparable Worth / Pay Equity Study Overstates Women’s Progress In Federal Workplace

A recent report by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) contains numerous misleading conclusions about women’s progress in the federal government and the impact of pay equity (also known as comparable worth) on women’s future employment gains in this sector.

By |November 3, 1987|

Costs to Women and Their Families of Childbirth and Lack of Parental Leave

Testimony before the Subcommittee on Children, Families, Drugs and Alcoholism, Committee on Labor and Human Resources, U.S., using figures and charts from IWPR’s study Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave.

By |October 29, 1987|

The Labor Market, The Working Poor, and Welfare Reform: Policy Suggestions for the Clinton Administration

Research conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research suggests that two types of strategies are needed to solve the programs of the working poor and to improve the living standards of the millions who currently depend on welfare.

By |December 1, 1982|
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