Economic Security, Mobility and Equity (ESME)2022-03-23T13:22:56-05:00

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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Unemployment rate for Black women fell in June, but so did their participation in the labor force

CNBC By Samantha Subin By comparison, the unemployment rate among white women hovered at 2.9% as labor force participation rate held steady at 57.1%. Hispanic women saw unemployment tick down to 4.5% as labor force participation hovered at 59.6%. “It’s hard to see from this data [...]

By |July 11, 2022|

Jobs Aplenty, but a Shortage of Care Keeps Many Women From Benefiting

The New York Times By  Lydia DePillis, Jeanna Smialek and Ben Casselman Those forced to cut back on work could face lasting disadvantages. They are missing out on an unusual moment of worker power, in which many employees are bargaining for higher wages or switching to more lucrative [...]

By |July 11, 2022|

President Biden Issues Executive Order to Protect Women’s Reproductive Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 11, 2022 Contact: William Lutz | | (202) 684-7534 “Timely and swift action to protect women’s access to critical reproductive health care services, including abortion care, in the states is an urgent priority. Executive Order is Step in Right Direction.” [...]

By |July 11, 2022|

The economic impact for women in states where abortion rights will be restricted or banned is going to be severe

Business Insider By Juliana Kaplan and Madison Hoff There are 13 states with so-called "trigger laws" that will quickly ban — or at least severely restrict — abortions. States with abortion bans or restrictions, as well as those that are likely to ban abortion in the near [...]

By |July 1, 2022|

The end of Roe will cause ‘chaos,’ financial disaster for many women, experts say

FORTUNE By Alicia Adamczyk Beyond the impact overturning Roe will have on individual women’s finances, abortion restrictions will cost the U.S. economy, to the tune of about $105 billion annually, a 2021 report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) found. This is the result of reduced earnings, [...]

By |July 1, 2022|

3 ways the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion could hurt women in the workplace

CNBC By Morgan Smith Meanwhile, if existing abortion restrictions disappeared, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates that women across the U.S. would make about $1,600 more each year, on average. It’s too soon to tell what the economic fallout from the court’s decision will be months, [...]

By |July 1, 2022|
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