Executive Vice President

Areas of Expertise: Access to Higher Education, Child Care & Early Education, Economic Security for Survivors, Flexible Work & Fair-Scheduling, Investing in Single Mothers' Higher Education, Job Training Success, Paid Sick Days, STEM and Innovation, Student Parent Success Initiative, The Status of Women and Girls

Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the Exectuive Vice President of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and Scholar in Residence at American University. Her work covers a wide range of issues, including college access and affordability, job quality, paid leave, poverty, political engagement, and the need for better early care and education options for working parents. She founded and leads IWPRs Student Parent Success Initiative, and has authored dozens of reports and publications, including Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success Among Low-Income Parents,  Resilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children, " and Working First But Working Poor: The Need for Education and Training Following Welfare Reform.  She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, has spoken and delivered keynote presentations in venues throughout the country, and appears in a range of print, radio and television media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Research Professor of Women’s Studies at the George Washington University.

Publications

Making “Free College” Programs Work for College Students with Children

Making “Free College” Programs Work for College Students with Children College is one of the most reliable routes to economic security for parents and their children. College credentials are linked to increased earnings, higher rates of employment, lower poverty rates, and improved economic and educational outcomes among the children of college graduates (Attewell and Lavin…

Bridging Systems for Family Economic Mobility: Postsecondary and Early Education Partnerships

About this Report Promoting family economic security and mobility requires collaboration across key systems that serve families. This report describes opportunities for the early childhood and higher education systems to support each other’s key goals for system advancements to increase economic mobility among America’s families. It provides examples of early education/higher education partnerships at multiple…

Parents in College By the Numbers

Two-generation (2Gen) programs and policies create opportunities that allow adults and the children in their lives to build on each other’s successes. Ensuring that both parents and children have access to affordable, high-quality educational opportunities, for example, is a core component of a 2Gen approach. Investments in the postsecondary success of parents with young children…

The Need to Increase Gender Diversity in Innovation and Patenting Testimony Submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property

Thank you Chairman Tillis, Ranking Member Coons, and Members of the Intellectual Property Subcommittee for holding this important hearing on the diversity gap in innovation and patenting. My name is Barbara Gault, and I am Executive Vice President at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). I appreciate your invitation to testify on IWPR’s work…

Single Mothers with College Degrees Much Less Likely to Live in Poverty

Single Mothers with College Degrees Much Less Likely to Live in Poverty   Earning a postsecondary degree is a well-established pathway out of poverty, and degrees are especially life-changing for women raising children on their own. Analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds that in 2016, single mother poverty rates were an average…

Innovation and Intellectual Property among Women Entrepreneurs

About This Report This report investigates differences in women- and men-owned firms’ intellectual property holdings (including patents), their research and development activities, product innovations, and the relationships between innovative activities and business outcomes such as revenues and access to capital and start-up funding. The report also presents analysis of the characteristics of female and male-…

Understanding the New College Majority: The Demographic and Financial Characteristics of Independent Students and their Postsecondary Outcomes

Independent college students, once considered “nontraditional,” now constitute the majority of students in the United States. As of 2012, just over half of all U.S. college students were independent (51 percent)—meaning they had at least one defining characteristic outlined in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including being at least 24 years old;…