March 2, 2022

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

President Biden’s State of the Union Offers Hope for Women’s Equity in the Workplace, Working Families

President Calls for Passage of Paycheck Fairness Act and National Family and Medical Leave Legislation

Washington, D.C. —Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) CEO and President C. Nicole Mason today praised President Biden as he addressed two key issues for working women and their families in last night’s State of the Union address: the persistent gender wage gap and the need for a national family and medical leave policy.

“Women make 83 cents for every dollar men earn, a gap that the President rightly noted has a profound effect on women, their families, and the American economy as a whole. Closing that gap will take bold action and the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act is an important step in the right direction,” said Mason.

A forthcoming survey from IWPR shows there is a distinct gap between the benefits women desire—such as paid leave and fair compensation—and what they currently receive from employers. At least one in three women workers say they lack a critical benefit, including paid leave, health insurance, or job security and more than 75 percent of women surveyed rate these benefits in particular to be “very important” or “important” when considering future jobs.

“Paid leave is crucial for American workers and their families,” said Mason. “We learned during the pandemic that paid sick leave was not a ‘nice to have’ but a necessity for the most vulnerable workers and for families. Too often, workers have to choose between their jobs and families when faced with life changes or serious health challenges, with dire consequences for their economic security.”

“Gender equity in the workforce and paid leave are two issues vital to the women of America and the President deserves praise for making them a priority. I hope Congress can pull together and make this happen for women and working families,” said Mason.


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.