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 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…

The Economic Impact of Equal Pay by State

Persistent earnings inequality for working women translates into lower lifetime pay for women, less income for families, and higher rates of poverty across the United States. In each state in the country, women experience lower earnings and higher poverty rates than men. The economic impact of this persistent pay inequality is far-reaching: if women in…

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…