Research Making the News

CDC: ER visits for suspected suicide attempts among teenage girls rose during pandemic

| Allyson Chiu | June 11, 2021

In the early months of 2021, visits to emergency departments for suspected suicide attempts increased roughly 50 percent for adolescent girls compared with the same period in 2019, according to a report released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, which analyzed emergency department data from certain weeks in 2020 and 2021, found that trips for suspected suicide attempts among adolescents, especially girls, ages 12 to 17, began to increase in May 2020. From February to March 2021, the visits among girls rose 50.6 percent compared with 2019. For boys, the increase was 3.7 percent. […] The findings from this study suggest more severe distress among young females than has been identified in previous reports during the pandemic, reinforcing the need for increased attention to, and prevention for, this population.

Citing: Emergency Department Visits for Suspected Suicide Attempts Among Persons Aged 12-25 Years Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, January 2019 – May 2021 by Ellen Yard, Lakshmi Radhakrishnan, Michael F. Ballesteros, Michael Sheppard, and others at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June 11, 2021).

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Increasing minimum wage to $15 would raise pay for half a million child care workers, report finds

| Alexandra Hutzler | June 9, 2021

More than a half-million child care workers would see a pay raise if the minimum wage was increased to $15 per hour, according to a new report. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that more 43.5 percent of child care workers, or 560,000 people, would benefit from the minimum wage being bumped to $15 per hour in the next four years. Roughly 95 percent of the child care workers who would get a pay raise are women, and 36 percent are Black or Hispanic. Black and Hispanic child care workers would see their yearly income rise by $3,200 and $3,100, respectively. “Low wages for child care workers reinforce existing racial and gender inequality, since both Black child care workers and women are particularly likely to see their wages increase with a $15 minimum wage,” Julia Wolfe, a co-author of the report and state economic analyst for EPI, said in a statement.

Citing: More than half a million child care workers would benefit from a $15 minimum wage in 2025 by Julia Wolfe and Ben Zipperer at the Economic Policy Institute (June 9, 2021).

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Barriers for Black women set U.S. economy back by $500 billion, report finds

| Chabeli Carranzana | June 8, 2021

The wage gap and barriers to economic mobility have not only set Black women’s advancement back, but also depressed the United States economy by about $507 billion over the past six decades, according to a new report from financial services firm S&P Global. The report found that if educational attainment among Black women had kept pace with White women from 1960 to 2019, the U.S. economy would have generated an additional $107 billion in economic activity. That figure swells to half a trillion if Black women had been in positions that better matched their education and skill sets during that time period.

Citing: How the Advancement of Black Women Will Build A Better Economy for All by Beth Ann Bovino and Rafia Zafar at S&P Global (June 8, 2021).

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Surprise: Women and minorities are still underrepresented in corporate boardrooms

| Alisha Haridasani Gupta | June 7, 2021

In corporate boardrooms, little has changed; boards have been, and continue to be, predominantly male and white, according to a new study. The study, by the Alliance for Board Diversity and Deloitte, found that white women gained the most number of seats, increasing their presence at Fortune 100 companies by 15 percent and at Fortune 500 companies by 21 percent. But, in total, they still represent just about a fifth of all board seats. And minority women — which includes Black, Hispanic and Asian women — represent the smallest slice of boardrooms at both Fortune 100 (around 7 percent) and Fortune 500 (around 6 percent) companies. More than half of directors newly appointed to board seats last year were white men.

Citing: Missing Pieces Report: The Board Diversity Census of Women and Minorities on Fortune 500 Boards, 6th Edition by Deloitte and the Alliance for Board Diversity (June 8, 2021).

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The huge diversity issue hiding in companies’ forced arbitration agreements

| Megan Leonhardt | June 7, 2021

A new report from the American Association for Justice released Monday shows that arbitrators at JAMS, American Arbitration Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, three of the largest arbitration service providers in the country, are mostly male and overwhelmingly white. Female arbitrators make up less than a third of the overall arbitrators employed by the three organizations, while less than 1 in 5 arbitrators identify as Asian, Black, Hispanic and races other than white. […] AAA said in a statement to CNBC Make It that the diversity of its arbitrators does vary by sector. Last year, arbitrators on its employment panel were 42% diverse in terms of gender or ethnicity and its consumer panel was 31% diverse. AAA also attempts to provide parties with a list of arbitrators that is at least 20% diverse, although this may not be possible in some cases.

Citing: Where White Men Rule: How the Secretive System of Forced Arbitration Hurts Women and Minorities by the American Association for Justice (June 2021).

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New Research Reports

Head Start-College Partnership to Promote Student Parent Family Success: A Roadmap to Guide Collaboration

Institute for Women’s Policy Research | June 8, 2021

This guide is designed for college and university administrators, campus child care directors and staff, early learning faculty, student services staff and counselors, and other campus stakeholders to evaluate the needs of their parenting student body and assess whether a collaboration with Head Start is right for their institutions. It describes the first steps a college or university can take to evaluate whether a partnership with Head Start is a good fit for its campus, and how to begin conversations with a local Head Start grantee or provider about how collaboration might be mutually beneficial.

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Equity Matters: Lessons for Paid Family and Medical Leave

CLASP | Pronita Gupta, Michael Vorgetts, and Gayle Goldin | June 14, 2021

Today, 33 million workers lack access to this benefit because, without a federal guarantee, policies vary across states and limit eligibility. Nine states and the District of Columbia have their own programs. People with low incomes are least likely to have access to paid leave, which most hurts communities of color due to racial and economic inequality. As momentum grows for a federal policy and PFML gains traction in new states, decisionmakers can avoid widening inequities and ensure benefits are accessible to all workers. This report offers lessons from the event to inform state and federal policymakers, administrators, and advocates in developing and carrying out equity-focused paid family and medical leave programs.

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The Economic Well-Being of LGBT Adults in the U.S. in 2019

Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research | Spencer Watson, Oliver McNeil, and Bruce Broisman | June 2021

The Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research (CLEAR) analyzes data from the Federal Reserve’s 2019 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking to create a detailed picture of the financial experiences of LGBT adults before the COVID-19 pandemic. The report finds evidence of significant gaps between LGBT and non-LGBT adults in income, savings, employment, housing, banking & credit, and financial security. The report also shows the financial experience of LGBT people and the wealth gaps they experience are not uniform. The report documents differences in the financial well-being of LGBT people in the United States based on their race, sex, age, and socio-economic status, showing that Black, Hispanic, and female LGBT adults often experienced the steepest disparities in wealth and were at greatest risk of financial distress in 2019.

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Inequalities at Work and the Toll of COVID-19

Health Affairs | Rebecca Wolfe, Kristen Harknett, and Daniel Schneider | June 2021

The often-dire consequences of the pandemic are stratified along race, gender, class, and occupational lines. In this brief we explore how existing inequalities at work across these same categories perpetuate inequalities in the toll of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, many of those currently working in frontline positions faced low wages, few benefits, and erratic schedules. This research highlights the importance of—and inequalities in—on-the-job conditions that affect viral exposure risk and fringe benefits such as paid sick leave and the ability to work from home that allow workers to manage risk. This report also proposes policy recommendations to lessen these inequalities during the pandemic and for the service sector moving forward. We do not recommend a return to pre-pandemic standards but, instead, a movement toward a better and more equitable future for employees.

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Politics and Gender in the Executive Suite

National Bureau of Economic Research | Alma Cohen, Moshe Hazan, and Davis Weiss | June 2021

Are the political preferences of CEOs associated with the representation and compensation of women in the executive suite? The authors find that Democratic CEOs (those who contribute more to Democratic candidates) are associated with higher representation of women in the executive suite. To explore causality, the researchers use an event study approach and show that replacing a Republican with a Democratic CEO is associated with 20%-60% in more women in the executive suite. Finally, the research shows that Democratic CEOs associated with a significant reduction (or even disappearance) of the gender gap in the level and performance-sensitivity of executive pay.

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