Research Making the News

Speaking up takes a financial toll on harassment victims: Study

|Bryce Covert | July 21, 2021

While it’s long been clear that victims of sexual harassment often face retaliation that can damage their careers, the financial cost they shoulder have been difficult to quantify. To put a number on it, a study published Wednesday by Time’s Up and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), “Paying Today and Tomorrow,” sought to nail down what people who had been harassed ended up paying. Victims interviewed faced expenses anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Citing: Paying Today and Tomorrow: Charting the Financial Costs of Workplace Sexual Harassment by Ariane Hegewisch, Jessica Forden, and Eve Mefferd via IWPR (7/21/21)

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Report: To Reach Educational Attainment Goals, Student Parents Must be Reengaged in Higher Education

| Sarah Wood | July 9, 2021

Given that student parents make up a large part of the adult population, re-engaging parents is vital to meeting national and state educational attainment goals, according to new IWPR research. The report, “Re-Engaging Student Parents to Achieve Attainment and Equity Goals,” predicts that only 48% of adults will hold an associate’s, bachelor’s or graduate degree by 2025, meaning an additional 23.5 million adults would need to earn a degree to meet the national goal of 60 percent. On its current track, without the emphasis on recruiting adults with children, the 60 percent goal would not be fulfilled until 2042.

Citing: Re-Engaging Student Parents to Achieve Attainment and Equity Goals by Catherine Hensly, Chaunté White, and Lindsey Reichlin Cruse via IWPR (7/8/21)

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Fewer women than men will regain employment during the COVID-19 recovery says ILO

| July 19, 2021

A new policy brief finds there will be 13 million fewer women in employment in 2021 compared to 2019, while men’s employment will have recovered to 2019 levels. Even though the projected jobs growth in 2021 for women exceeds that of men, it will, nonetheless, be insufficient to bring women back to pre-pandemic employment levels. Only 43.2 per cent of the world’s working-age women will be employed in 2021, compared to 68.6 per cent of working-age men.

Citing: Building Forward Fairer: Women’s Rights to Work and at Work at the Core of the COVID-19 Recovery via ILO (7/21)

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Plans for Free Pre-K and Community College Could Provide a ‘Ladder Into the Middle Class’

| Erica L. Green and Madeleine Ngo| July 16, 2021

Expanding free early childhood education could lead to greater earnings, higher levels of education and lower levels of participation in crime, according to research from James J. Heckman. “You’re creating a ladder into the middle class,” Mr. Heckman said. Mr. Heckman’s research on the Perry Preschool Project, which gave two years of high-quality education to disadvantaged 3- and 4-year-olds in Ypsilanti, Mich., found a return on investment of 7 to 10 percent per year based on increased school and career achievement. More recently, Mr. Heckman and his colleagues found that compared with children of a control group, children of the original participants benefited from their parents’ higher average earnings and were more likely to grow up in stable two-parent households.

Citing: The Dynastic Benefits of Early Childhood Education by Jorge Luis García, Frederik H. Bennhoff, Duncan Ermini Leaf, and James J. Heckman via NBER (7/21)

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Inventor Gender Gap Means Women Have Lost Out on 6,500 Inventions 

| Sam Cox | July 8, 2021

With women representing as few as one in six patent-holders, researchers unpacked the obvious and subtle consequences of this gender divide. According to a new study published in Science, medical patents show distinct gender-related patterns. Women hold fewer biomedical patents. This number has risen but is still nowhere near equal, maintaining a persistent inventor gender gap.

Citing: Who Do We Invent For? Patents by Women Focus More on Women’s Health, but Few Women Get to Invent by Rembrand Koning, Sampsa Samila, and John-Paul Ferguson via American Association for the Advancement of Science (6/18/21)

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More Than 1 Million Nonbinary Adults Live in the U.S., a Pioneering Study Finds

|Washington Post | Caroline Anders | June 22, 2021

Until now, no population estimate of nonbinary LGBTQ adults in the United States existed. There are about 1.2 million nonbinary LGBTQ adults in the United States, according to the first broad-based population estimate of this kind, which was released Tuesday. That’s just less than the population of Dallas, Texas. The Williams Institute, a research center focused on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, conducted the study. Its data offers a portrait of a slice of the LGBTQ community that has long been ignored.

Citing: Nonbinary LGBTQ Adults in the United States by Bianca D.M. Wilson and Ilan H. Meyer via The Williams Institute (6/21)

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New Research Reports

Tackling the Gender and Racial Patenting Gap to Drive Innovation: Lessons from Women’s Experiences

IWPR| Elyse Shaw and Halie Mariano | July 19, 2021

The report highlights experiences of inventors and barriers to entry across fields and the unique difficulties women inventors—and particularly women inventors of color—face throughout the innovation and patenting process. The authors make recommendations on how to get more women and women of color in the pipeline. These include tackling systemic racial and gender bias and discrimination, investing in child care and work-life balance supports, and increasing support and funding for accelerator programs for women.

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Re-Engaging Student Parents to Achieve Attainment and Equity Goals

IWPR| Catherine Hensly, Chaunté White, and Lindsey Reichlin Cruse | July 8, 2021

This report builds on past IWPR research exploring the experiences and support needs of student parents, including those who have taken prolonged enrollment breaks, and the policy and practice reforms needed to improve their ability to thrive in and graduate from college. Using data from the American Community Survey, the report sheds light on gaps in educational attainment rates among parents by gender, marital status, and race and ethnicity. It then projects future attainment rates to highlight the integral role parents play in reaching a 60-percent attainment target nationally. The report also demonstrates how gaps in degree attainment by race and ethnicity may persist in the absence of more targeted support for adult learners who are parents of children under 18. This research was generously supported by Imaginable Futures.

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Before the “She-Cession”: A Pre-Pandemic Snapshot Shows More Women in the Workforce than Ever

IWPR| Elyse Shaw and Halie Mariano | June 22, 2021

The “she-cession” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created economic instability for women across the United States. Yet, before the COVID-19 pandemic, women’s employment and earnings were improving nationwide. It is important to track trends in women’s employment and earnings prior to the pandemic to have a full sense of both progress made and the continued barriers that women face. The patterns in women’s pre-pandemic employment and earnings will provide a baseline by which to measure the effect of the “she-cession” on women’s employment and earnings. This brief, which presents 2019 data, provides that important baseline.

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Prioritizing Financial Security in the Movement to End IPV: A Roadmap

FreeFrom| Kirkley Doyle, Pamela Guerra, and Sonya Passi | July 13, 2021

The backgrounds, experiences, and dedication of staff working in the IPV (intimate partner violence) movement enable them to support clients in an unparalleled way. However, staff historically haven’t been valued or supported at the level they should, creating a situation where jobs in the field are unsustainable. The way forward is through robust investment—not only in the creativity, professional development, and financial and emotional well-being of staff, but also in their ability to innovate and respond to client needs. It will take everyone, especially funders and policy-makers, to envision a truly survivor-centered movement and bring these ideas into reality.

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The Economic Benefits of Equal Opportunity in the United States by Ending Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Disparities

Washington Center for Equitable Growth| Robert Lynch | June 29, 2021

In this issue brief, the economic costs of racial, ethnic, and gender inequities are quantified and illuminated by providing estimates of the economic benefits of eliminating them. This analysis imagines an America free of racial, ethnic, and gender disparities, where one’s skin color, ethnic origin, or gender are no obstacle to worker productivity, labor force participation, and advancement—in short, a United States of America where everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their potential.

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Valuing Home and Child Care Workers: Policies and Strategies that Support Organizing, Empowerment, and Prosperity

New America| Abbie Lieberman, Aaron Loewenberg, Ivy Love, Cassandra Robertson, and Lul Tesfai | June 28, 2021

From February to April, New America conducted over 30 interviews with experts, care providers, and union representatives, focusing on three states. This report outlines key considerations for improving care worker job quality through organizing. We also include case studies on care worker organizing in California, Illinois, Washington, and the Cooperative Home Care Associates (CHCA) in New York City, selected based on the effectiveness of organizing strategies in each.

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