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.
Tax Benefits for Low-Income Families With Children: Two Competing Proposals, Parts I and II
This briefing paper presents a comparison of the impact on family income of two currently proposed bills that increase tax credits for low-income working families with children: S.5 in the U.S. Senate, the Act for Better Child Care, and H.R.3 in the House of Representatives, the Early Childhood Education and Development Act.
The Minimum Wage Increase a Working Woman’s Issue
Equal pay is a fundamental issue affecting working families. While the number of women workers in the labor force has steadily increased, the contribution of women's wages to family income has also grown, with women's earnings now providing a significant portion of total household income.
Unnecessary Losses to African American Workers
When a person temporarily leaves their employment because of the arrival of a child, illness of a family member, or her or his own illness, economic costs arise for three groups: workers, employers, and society.
Raises and Recognition: Secretaries, Clerical Workers and the Union Wage Premium
Though secretarial and clerical occupations were not always female intensive, they are currently the largest women's occupational category in the US.
Women in Telecommunications: An Exception to the Rule
Women telecommunication workers are an exception to the rule that women earn low pay for the work they do.
The growth of temporary work - both as offered through the temporary help services industry (THS), and directly by employers- presents some new and largely unrecognized questions of public policy.