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 the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. 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

The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

Women make up almost half of the workforce, yet they continue to earn less than men on average in nearly every single occupation for which there is sufficient earnings data for both men and women to calculate an earnings ratio (Hegewisch and DuMonthier 2016a). In 2015, women working full-time, year-round earned just 80 cents for…

Projected Year the Wage Gap Will Close by State

If the earnings of women and men who are employed full-time, year-round change at the rate they have between 1959 and 2015, the gender wage gap in the United States will not close until 2059. The wage gap is projected to close first in Florida, with women achieving pay parity with men in 2038. In…

Access to Paid Sick Time in Maryland

Approximately 39 percent of private sector workers in Maryland 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 2010) and workplace injuries (Asfaw, Pana-Cryan, and Rosa 2012),…

Access to Paid Sick Time in Maryland

Approximately 39 percent of private sector workers in Maryland 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 2010) and workplace injuries (Asfaw, Pana-Cryan, and Rosa 2012),…

Equity in Innovation: Women Inventors and Patents

This report compiles existing data on women and patenting. It explores both women’s underrepresentation among patent holders and their relative success in being granted patents when they apply for them. The report identifies the technology classes that women are most likely to patent in, and examines the overall success of patents granted to women as…

The Economic Status of Women in New York State

This briefing paper assesses women’s economic status in New York state, drawing comparisons with other states in the Middle Atlantic region and the nation overall. It examines how women in New York fare on two composite indices—Employment & Earnings and Poverty & Opportunity—and their component indicators. (For more on these indicators and IWPR’s Status of…

The Gender Patenting Gap

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reviewed and analyzed published data and literature on women and patenting, finding that women hold an extremely small share of patents, and that at the current rate of progress, gender equity is more than 75 years away. This briefing paper presents a snapshot of the data and related recommendations.

Paid Sick Days Benefit Employers, Workers, and the Economy

Millions of workers have gained access to paid sick days in recent years through new laws in five states, 23 cities, and one county across the country. Yet millions more still would not be paid if they need to stay at home when they are sick or need to care for a family member who…

Paid Sick Time Access in Michigan Varies by County of Residence

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) finds that 56.3 percent of workers aged 18 years and older in Michigan have access to paid sick time (Figure 1), based on its analysis of data from the 2012–2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), IWPR Nearly two million workers (43.7…