November 9, 2021

Contact: William Lutz | | (202) 684-7534

Infrastructure Bill is Crucial for the Country, Build Back Better Bill is Crucial for Women

Washington, D.C. — The Institute for Women’s Policy Research today urged lawmakers to move quickly to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better bill on the heels of the Friday passage of the infrastructure package, calling the Build Back Better bill critical for the women of the U.S. and for our economic recovery from the pandemic.

“President Biden’s infrastructure bill is crucial for our economic growth, but the Build Back Better bill is crucial for America’s women as they return to the workforce post-pandemic,” said C. Nicole Mason, President and CEO of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “The Build Back Better bill contains many programs that will help women balance work and family life and facilitate their return to work, including child care and increased access to education for young children. The bill is a win-win for women and the American economy and we hope Congress will come together to pass it soon.”

Last week’s jobs report reiterated how women are struggling post-pandemic compared to men. The report showed a return to growth, with women gaining 304,000 jobs, the majority 57.3 percent, of 531,000 jobs added to payroll. But the data also show an increase in the rate of unemployment for adult women from 4.2 to 4.4 percent, while men’s unemployment fell from 4.7 to 4.3 percent. And women continue to lag behind men when compared to employment levels pre-pandemic, especially in the child care and elder care industries, which are disproportionately staffed by women.

A key headwind for American women returning to the workforce is poor access to child care. A May 2021 survey by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that close to two-thirds of women with children report being very or somewhat worried about balancing work responsibilities with their own family needs. The Build Back Better plan will help address these concerns by providing the much-needed assistance for women to secure child care services, so they can pursue their careers and provide for their families.

The paid leave program in the Build Back Better bill is also a vital benefit for America’s working women. A 2021 IWPR survey showed that the majority of women working in the construction trade who had to take time off due to COVID had to do so without pay. In total, more than 2.3 million women left the labor force due to the pandemic, including many women of color.

“Affordable child care and paid leave are key to getting women back into the labor force,” said Mason. “The more women that enter the workforce, the faster our economy recovers from the pandemic. It’s a simple equation and the Build Back Better plan is key to making it work.”


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research strives to win economic equity for all women and eliminate barriers to their full participation in society. As a leading national think tank, IWPR builds evidence to shape policies that grow women’s power and influence, close inequality gaps, and improve the economic well-being of families. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter.