Study Director

Areas of Expertise: Family & Medical Leave, Health & Safety, Health & Well-Being, Investing in Single Mothers' Higher Education, Paid Sick Days, Pay Equity & Discrimination, STEM and Innovation, The Status of Women and Girls

Jessica Milli is a Study Director at IWPR and Scholar in Residence at American University. She oversees IWPR’s work on paid sick days, providing technical assistance to dozens of communities across the country exploring paid sick days policies. In addition, Jessica leads IWPR research projects on breastfeeding and women in patenting.

Jessica has presented her work at events around the country and has testified before state and local legislative bodies on IWPR’s research. She has been interviewed in Bloomberg, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Marketplace, The Nation, TIME, ABC News, Fortune, and other national and regional outlets.Prior to joining IWPR, Jessica taught economics courses ranging from principles of microeconomics and economic statistics, to game theory and labor economics at several institutions including UW-Milwaukee, UW-Whitewater, and Randolph College.

Jessica received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her studies, she applied her focus of Labor Economics to relationships within households and what economic factors put women at more risk of experiencing domestic violence. Her dissertation analyzed the complex relationship between domestic violence and various measures of women’s socioeconomic status, such as welfare receipt and employment.

Publications

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-…

The Need to Promote Gender Diversity in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Patenting: Written Testimony Submitted to the House Small Business Committee

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. IWPR was founded by labor economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, and has an interdisciplinary staff of scholars in economics, sociology, and psychology. As a…

Access to Paid Sick Time in San Antonio, Texas

Access to Paid Sick Time in San Antonio, Texas Approximately 39 percent of workers in San Antonio lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by preventing the spread of illness (Kumar, et al. 2013; Drago and…

Access to Paid Sick Time in Dallas, Texas

Access to Paid Sick Time in Dallas, Texas Approximately 41 percent of workers in Dallas lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by preventing the spread of illness (Kumar, et al. 2013; Drago and Miller, 2010)…

Valuing Good Health in Austin, Texas: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days

Policymakers across the country are increasingly interested in ensuring that workers can earn paid time off to use when they are sick. In addition to concerns about workers’ ability to respond to their own health needs, there is growing recognition that, with so many dual-earner and single-parent families, family members’ health needs also sometimes require…

Access to Paid Sick Time in Austin, Texas

Approximately 37 percent of workers in Austin lack paid sick time, and low-income and part-time workers are especially unlikely to be covered. Access to paid sick time promotes safe and healthy work environments by reducing the spread of illness (Kumar, et al. 2013; Drago and Miller, 2010) and workplace injuries (Asfaw, Pana-Cryan, and Rosa 2012),…

Executive Summary: The Status of Black Women in the United States

In collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, IWPR has released a comprehensive report in the longstanding report series, The Status of Women in the States. This is the executive summary of the report. It aims to amplify the historical and current contributions of Black domestic workers to the broader domestic worker movement. Using available data, the…

The Status of Black Women in the United States

In collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance, IWPR has released a comprehensive report in the longstanding report series, The Status of Women in the States. The report aims to amplify the historical and current contributions of Black domestic workers to the broader domestic worker movement. Using available data, the report describes the experiences of…