5 Resources for Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day 2018 is Tuesday, April 10. This day symbolizes how far into the new year women had to work to earn as much as men earned in the previous year. In 2016, women working full-time, year-round made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 19.5 percent.

We hope these 5 resources on the gender wage gap will help inform your conversations about the gender wage gap on Equal Pay Day.. Join the conversation online with #EqualPayDay and follow us at @IWPResearch.

  1. Five Ways to Win an Argument about the Gender Wage Gap

The 80.5 percent wage gap statistic is not misleading. It is actually a moderate estimate of gender pay inequality. IWPR’s fact sheet provides research-backed responses to five common misconceptions about the gender wage gap statistics.

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  1. The Gender Wage Gap: 2017 Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity

The last decade saw the slowest progress on closing the gender wage gap in nearly 40 years, according to IWPR’s recently updated fact sheet. IWPR also found that, with median weekly earnings of $941, men earned $171 more per week than women, who earned $770.

  1. Projections for when the wage gap will close: for women of color and for each state

Women will have to wait another four decades—or much longer—for equal pay.

If current trends continue, it will take 41 years—or until 2059—for women to finally reach pay parity with men. For many women of color, the rate of progress is even slower. Hispanic women will have to wait until 2233—216 years from now—and Black women will wait until 2124 for equal pay.

The pace of progress also depends on where you live. The wage gap is projected to close first in Florida, with women achieving pay parity with men in 2038. In four states—North Dakota, Utah, Louisiana, and Wyoming—the wage gap will close in the 22nd century at current rates of progress.

  1. The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy

Equal pay would cut poverty among working women by half and add $513 billion in wage and salary income to the U.S. economy. IWPR’s briefing paper also analyzes the impact on children with working mothers, finding that equal pay would cut the poverty rate for children with a working mother by half.

Bonus: our state analysis explores the impact of equal pay on poverty and state economies.

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  1. The Economic Status of Women in the States: 2018

How does your state measure up? IWPR’s new state grades on the economic status of women show stagnant or declining progress in most states. Compared with 2015, the last time the state scores were calculated, 11 states received a lower grade on IWPR’s Employment & Earnings Index, which measures states on women’s earnings, the gender wage gap, women’s labor force participation, and women’s representation in professional and managerial occupations.

See your state’s report card at statusofwomendata.org.

Bonus: The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation 2017 and by Race and Ethnicity

There are 4.2 million women who work in occupations with poverty-level wages, more than eight times as many as the 0.5 million men who do, according to a new analysis of the gender wage gap by occupation released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in advance of Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, April 10.

Find more resources on Pay Equity & Discrimination at IWPR.org.

Years of Supporting Women Through Research

Years of Supporting Women Through Research

By Allison Lewis

This Women’s History Month, IWPR is reflecting on its 30 years of researching the issues, such as paid leave and equal pay, that shape women’s lives.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the passage of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which guarantees job protected, but not paid, leave. In August 1989, IWPR released its first report, Unnecessary Losses: Costs to Americans in the States of the Lack of Family and Medical Leave. IWPR’s research showed that, by not recognizing the need for work-life balance in all families, established policies not only failed to support workers and their families, but were costly to taxpayers. Now nearly a quarter century later, the Family and Medical Leave Act has become a cornerstone of U.S. employment law and human resource policy.

IWPR’s research shifted the terms of the policy debate—from focusing almost exclusively on the costs to businesses of providing family and medical leave to the costs to families and the overall economy of not providing leave. IWPR’s paid leave simulation model, which is the only economic model developed specifically to estimate the costs and benefits of implementing a paid family and medical leave system, continues to inform policymakers in cities and states around the country looking to expand access to paid leave for their workers. You can read more about IWPR’s continuing research on paid leave by visiting our Family & Medical Leave page.

This year’s Equal Pay Day is on April 10th. IWPR is proud to continue producing forward-thinking data that connect the impact of policies and people’s pocketbooks. IWPR’s research finds that equal pay would cut poverty among working women by half and add more than half a trillion dollars in additional wage and salary income to the U.S. economy.

Women simply can’t afford to wait 40 years for pay equity— women of color can’t wait up to 232 years as IWPR projections indicate. The movement for equal pay remains a constant focus in IWPR’s research, and with your help we will continue to provide accurate data to lawmakers, activists—and you!

We are living in a watershed moment that holds the opportunity for women to achieve significant gains in leadership at work and in society. Honor the future changemakers this Women’s History Month by supporting the research that will spark action. Donate to IWPR today!


For other ways to donate to IWPR please visit our website.

Contributions to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research are fully tax-deductible.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences.

www.womenandgoodjobs.org   |   www.statusofwomendata.org

Leading Economists Comment on the AEA’s Draft Code of Professional Conduct

(On January 17, 2018, Peter L. Rousseau, Secretary-Treasurer of the American Economic Association asked AEA member for comments on the code of professional conduct as drafted by an AEA Ad Hoc Committee. The draft Code of Professional Conduct is available here:
https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/member-docs/draft-code-of-conduct 

The ad hoc committee’s interim report is available here: https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/member-docs/code-of-conduct-interim-report

The comment period closed on March 15; 211 comments were received)

Heidi Hartmann, Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Michael Reich, University of California Berkeley, and Eileen Appelbaum, Center for Economic and Policy Research offered the following comment:
The Draft Code of Professional Conduct is seriously incomplete. It offers no method for the AEA to update the code or ensure that it is being followed. Nor does it make any provision to have allegations of noncompliance investigated and resolved by appropriate enforcement actions. To say that “the AEA strives to promote these principles through its activities” is a lovely statement of intent, but a thorough review of AEA activities is called for to assess whether the AEA is in fact creating an environment for “the perfect freedom of economic expression.” And then the review must be followed up with specific actions.

We note that the Interim Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Consider a Code of Professional Conduct notes the many problems in the profession that were reported to them and suggests a number of steps that could be taken to ensure that the profession and the AEA do in fact work to improve the climate in the profession.

We suggest the AEA accept the additional proposals contained in the report and establish a standing committee on the Code of Conduct and task it with:  1) assessing how well the AEA and the profession generally are living up to the code of conduct, 2) monitoring and encouraging progress, and 3) making annual reports, containing recommendations for further action when needed, to the AEA and the membership for how further improvements can be made.  These annual reports should be widely shared with department chairs and deans, large employers of economists, and relevant public agencies. Finally, the committee should be charged with 4) investigating complaints of violations of the Code of Ethics, sanctioning violators, and otherwise enforcing the code of conduct throughout the profession.

While the Ad Hoc Committee explained its choice of a parsimonious code, it also noted a more complete code would require more time, a committee devoted to the effort, and resources to solicit feedback from the members. We suggest that the committee be provided with an adequate budget and staffing to carry out a comprehensive, ongoing effort to expand the code of ethics to deal with issues such as harassment, particularly harassment that occurs at AEA sponsored events, and to reform the culture of discourse and hostile treatment of diverse ideas and diverse people within the field.

Neither the draft code of conduct nor the Interim Report notes the importance of creating an environment where diverse ideas as well as diverse economists are welcomed. For example, in discussing the diversity of the Executive Committee and Officers, the Interim Report suggests that the range of departments, colleges, and careers be considered as dimensions of diversity.  Diversity of schools of thought within economics is also important and should be included and indeed welcomed. For another example, when discussing best practices for addressing bias, the interim report fails to mention bias against economic ideas that are outside the mainstream.  Finally, in addition to considering and spreading best practices for avoiding bias, the committee should be charged with reviewing and assessing best practices for enforcement methods among those used by other professional associations.

At the same time, Mr. Rousseau announced that the AEA decided to create a website/message board designed to provide additional information and transparency to the job market for new PhDs. This is planned to be operational in time for the 2018-19 job market cycle.

These action was taken by the AEA in response to a petition signed by more than 1100 economists (initiated by Michael Reich and Heidi Hartmann) asking the AEA to produce job market information that would surpass what is currently offered by the EJMR (Economic Job Market Rumors), which powerful research by Alice Wu shows is misogynistic as well as racist in the language used to describe job market candidates.

For more on the EJMR controversy and the overwhelming response that also led to the draft code of conduct, please check out the Bloomberg Benchmark episode on the topic that interviews IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann.

Five Facts to Know on International Women’s Day

Five Facts to Know on International Women’s Day

Not only is March Women’s History Month, but March 8th is International Women’s Day. While women have made progress at work, in education, and in leadership, women still face a frustratingly stagnant wage gap and, as recent news makes clear, still experience pervasive harassment at work.

In line with this year’s theme of #PressForProgress, IWPR has compiled five things to know this International Women’s Day:

  1. Women will have to wait another four decades—or much longer—for equal pay

If current trends continue, it will take 41 years—or until 2059—for women to finally reach pay parity with men. For women of color, the rate of progress is even slower. Hispanic women will have to wait until 2233—216 years from now—and Black women will wait until 2124 for equal pay. The last decade saw the slowest growth in women’s wages in nearly forty years.

  1. As the number of single mothers in college doubled over a decade, access to campus child care declined

The number of single mothers in college more than doubled in 12 school years between 1999 and 2012, to reach nearly 2.1 million students—or 11 percent of all undergraduates. Women of color in college are especially likely to be single parents: nearly two in five Black women (37 percent) and over one-quarter of American Indian/Alaska Native women (27 percent) are raising a child on their own while in college, more than twice the rate of White women (14 percent).

At the same time, access to child care on campus declined in most states and student parent enrollment in for-profit colleges grew by a staggering 138 percent, the most dramatic increase among all institution types. Student parents are more likely to have lower incomes and less likely to graduate than their non-parenting peers.

  1. The financial costs of domestic violence and sexual assault compound physical and psychological trauma

Intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and stalking have profound economic effects on victims and survivors, outlined in an IWPR  fact sheet, which summarizes findings from research literature on the economic consequences and costs of violence against women. In addition to physical harm, survivors and victims often must contend with high medical expenses, lower wages from diminished educational attainment, lost wages from missed work and job loss, debt and poor credit, and costs associated with housing instability.

  1. Black Millennial women are still twice as likely to face unemployment as young White women

A decade after the Great Recession, a slow and uneven recovery has left young women of color behind. In 2016, Black women aged 25-34, experienced an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, which was higher than the peak rate experienced by White women of the same age in 2010 (7.7 percent). For younger women, the disparity is even wider.

“Youth unemployment is a critical issue because prolonged unemployment in the years following high school or college graduation means lost wages and lost opportunities to gain work experience, develop occupational skills, and cultivate a professional network,” IWPR President Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., said about the analysis last year.

  1. Unions can bring a significant boost to women’s paychecks

Unionized women earn $219 more per week, or 30 percent more, than non-unionized women, according to a new analysis by IWPR. In addition, union membership may also help women secure health insurance: About 51 percent of women who are not in unions have employer-provided health insurance coverage, compared with about 77 percent of women in unions.

#PressforProgress

This year, women in industries as diverse as entertainment, media, politics, and professional sports, are saying #TimesUp or #MeToo. Even Economics, a field where only one in three doctoral degree recipients are women, is grappling with how to address misogyny in the field. (Learn more about the effort led by IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and UC-Berkeley’s Michael Reich.)

IWPR will continue to #PressforProgress by producing reliable research and analysis that advances the status of women. Join us by connecting with us on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn) or signing up to receive our email newsletters.

IWPR Update: Research Supports Wins for Austin Workers and Student Parents

IWPR Update: Research Supports Wins for Austin Workers and Student Parents

IWPR Analysis Informs Historic Sick Days Ordinance in Austin

In February, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance to require the city’s employers to provide paid sick days. The ordinance’s historic passage makes Austin, Texas, the first city in the South to guarantee paid sick days to workers. IWPR’s research on access to paid sick days in Austin and the costs and benefits of implementing the proposed ordinance informed city policymakers and coalitions, led by Work Strong Austin. IWPR study director Jessica Milli testified before the council on IWPR’s analysis, which found that implementing paid sick days in Austin would save the city’s businesses $4.5 million per year. Read coverage of this exciting development in The Texas ObserverNext City, the Austin American-Statesman, KUTThe Austin ChronicleThinkProgressand CityLab.

>>Read the briefing paperValuing Good Health in Austin, Texas: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days

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Proposed Trump Budget Includes Modest Increase in CCAMPIS Funding

The Trump Administration’s recently released proposed budget for fiscal year 2019 includes a modest increase in funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program—an important program that helps provide access to affordable child care for student parents—a reversal from last year’s budget proposal, which removed funding for the program altogether.

The Department of Education cited IWPR’s research on single mothers in college in the supporting documents justifying the department’s budget request, noting that, “One significant barrier to completion for low-income students and single parents is the lack of convenient and affordable quality child care services. In 2017, the Institute of Women’s Policy Research published a briefing paper concluding that single student mothers had, on average, over $6,600 in unmet need each year, more than $1,700 higher than the average need of non-parenting women in college, and $2,000 more than married mothers’ unmet need in 2012.

Read more about the Administration’s reversal on CCAMPIS in Refinery29, “Trump Reverses Plans To Cut Student Parent Support Program”

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What the Research Say: #FMLA25 and Paid Family and Medical Leave

What the Research Say: #FMLA25 and Paid Family and Medical Leave

Paid Leave Insurance Would Provide Vital Benefits at an Affordable Cost

photo-1494451930944-8998635c2123Since its signing on February 5, 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been used millions of times by eligible workers to take up to 12 weeks of job protected, but unpaid, leave for their own serious health conditions, having a new child, or caring for seriously ill family members. On the 25th anniversary, IWPR released a new fact sheet showing that the proposed FAMILY Act would cost less than half of one percent of taxable payroll, while extending access to the economic, health, and social benefits of paid leave to millions of Americans.

>>Read the fact sheet

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25 Years after FMLA: Research Finds that Paid Leave is a Great Investment

Despite initial fears among skeptics that it would hurt business, protections guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—passed 25 years ago this week—are now a cornerstone of U.S. employment law and human resource policy, providing peace of mind to millions of workers who have started families, faced serious illness, or cared for a loved one, all without hurting their employer’s bottom line. FMLA was step one. Almost three decades later, workers are still waiting for step two—paid family and medical leave.

>> Read the post by IWPR president Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Job Quality and Income Security Program Director Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D.

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ANNOUNCEMENTS

IWPR and American University’s Program on Gender Analysis in Economics Announce New Partnership

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and American University’s Program on Gender Analysis in Economics (PGAE) are announcing a new partnership to collaborate on gender-focused research relevant for public policy. The new affiliation will support joint events, research projects, and the joint appointment of a research economist, who will have the opportunity to direct an academically rigorous, policy-oriented research program at IWPR and provide high-quality instruction in American University’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

President Heidi Hartmann says, “I am thrilled to partner with AU’s Program on Gender Analysis in Economics, an academic kindred spirit to IWPR’s policy-oriented approach.”

>>Read the full statement

[Call for Papers] Pathways to Gender Equality: Economic Gender Analysis Addressing Current and Future Challenges

PGAE and IWPR are pleased to announce a call for papers for a conference to be held on October 26 and 27, 2018, in Washington, DC, bringing together scholars and policy analysts who see gender analysis as central to solving the important economic issues–increasing inequality, global poverty, the increasing deficit of care. The conference seeks proposals for papers, panels of papers, round tables, and posters. Visit the IWPR website for a full description and to learn how to submit your proposal.

IWPR Recognized as One of Top Think Tanks in the United States

For the third year in a row, IWPR has been recognized as one of the top think tanks in the United States by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania, with recognition for its external affairs program and named a “think tank to watch.” Read the report and see the rankings on the TTCSP website.

NEW RESOURCES & COMMENTARY

National Stalking Awareness Month: Economic Impacts of Stalking

January 2018 marked the 15th observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking continues to affect nearly one in six women and more than one in 19 men in the United States in their lifetime. Research shows that the economic effects of stalking on victims are long-lasting. Wise policymaking would consider the economic impacts of stalking and how to better accomodate victims’ needs.

>>Read more on IWPR’s blog.

Is Your Campus Family Friendly? Data and Tools to Promote Student Parent Success–Webinar Recording Available

In case you missed our webinar, co-hosted with Endicott College, that reviewed new IWPR research on single mothers in college and provided an overview of Endicott’s Family Friendly Campus ToolkitUsing Data to Improve Outcomes, a self-assessment resource for higher education institutions that provides guidance on how to collect data about and from student parents, and for improving the availability of services that can help them succeed, you can access the full presentation and recording of the webinar on our website.

>>Watch full webinar

>>Download full presentation 

IWPR IN THE NEWS

#MeToo

MarketWatch | Next for #TimesUp and #MeToo: More women CEOs (February 4, 2018)

The Root | Playing the Blame Game: Consent Is Both Simpler and More Complicated Than You Think (January 21, 2018)

Bloomberg | As #MeToo Sweeps the World, Economics Profession Has Its Own Reckoning (January 18, 2018)

Equal Pay

NBC News | How women can close their own personal wage gap (January 29, 2018)

Marketwatch | What Rosie the Riveter would make today (January 28, 2018)

CNN Money | The words we use to talk about the gender pay gap (January 22, 2018)

USA Today | Pay gap: 48% of women say they have to work twice as hard as men to take home half the pay (January 18, 2018)

Hollywood Reporter | 3 Ways Women in Hollywood Can Negotiate a Better Deal (January 18, 2018)

CNBC | Michelle Williams reportedly got 1,000 times less than Mark Wahlberg—here’s how to ensure that won’t happen to you (January 10, 2018)

Future of Work

The Atlantic | Why Are Women Still Choosing the Lowest-Paying Jobs? (January 25, 2018)

Bloomberg | What the Gender-Pay Gap in Clothing Says About U.S. Wage Growth (January 25, 2018)

Bizwomen | Women pay the price for automation (January 24, 2018)

Student Parents

The Hechinger Report | A program helps low-income parents graduate at twice the rate of other community college students (February 5, 2018)

Nerdwallet | For Some Single Parents, Online College Holds the Key (January 30, 2018)

Educate (Podcast) | Nearly 1 in 5 female college students are single moms (January 16)

Paid Leave

Slate | The Anti-Trump Wave May Position Hawaii to Lead Way on Work-Family Policies (January 18, 2018)

25 Years after FMLA: Research Finds that Paid Leave is a Great Investment

25 Years after FMLA: Research Finds that Paid Leave is a Great Investment

Summary: On 25th Anniversary of the landmark Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—which guarantees job-protected, but not paid, leave—the evidence is clear: paid leave would provide economic benefits for families and the country at an affordable price.

By Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D.

Despite initial fears among skeptics that it would hurt business, protections guaranteed by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)—passed 25 years ago this week—are now a cornerstone of U.S. employment law and human resource policy, providing peace of mind to millions of workers who have started families, faced serious illness, or cared for a loved one, all without hurting their employer’s bottom line.

To those of us involved in the public dialogue around family leave in the early 1990s, the passage of the FMLA was a win-win-win for workers who no longer had to choose between good health and a good job; for employers who saw reduced turnover costs and healthier, more productive employees; and for taxpayers who had subsidized the lack of a job guarantee for own illness and family care through unemployment insurance and public assistance programs.

FMLA was step one. Almost three decades later, workers are still waiting for step two—paid family and medical leave.

Access to paid leave in the United States varies. The United States is the only high-income country, and one of a few countries in the world, that do not guarantee some pay to women during maternity leave. While most U.S. workers receive some pay while on leave—usually through paid vacation, other “paid time off” hours, or short-term disability insurance, with a small percentage (15 percent) having access to leave for all FMLA-covered reasons—one in three workers who do not receive any pay while absent from work are disproportionately likely to be low-wage workers. These are the workers least able to afford such a leave.

In addition to the economic benefits, studies have shown that access to paid leave improves breastfeeding outcomes, lowers infant mortality rates, and is associated with other health benefits for mothers and children.

As pressure mounts to develop national legislation, policymakers are grappling with how to design a paid leave system and how to pay for it. Costs will vary depending on the length of leave guaranteed and the percentage of wages that will be guaranteed while on leave. But new estimates show that current serious proposals will not break the bank and will have lasting benefits.

Some have proposed a social insurance style system that provides universal coverage, while others propose using tax credits. Social science research shows that the social insurance model provides more bang for the buck.

Analysis suggests that, because a tax credit for paid leave rewards voluntary employer behavior and will mostly go to those employers who are already providing paid leave, it is unlikely to benefit the workers who need it the most, those with fewer skills who earn the lowest wages. A tax credit approach to paid leave is also untested, whereas four states have paid leave insurance systems: California (passed in 2002), New Jersey (2009), Rhode Island (2013), and New York (2016).

While it is too soon to evaluate the impact of New York’s law (which began to pay benefits on January 1, 2018) rigorously, the other three provide rich case studies and data on leave-taking behavior, that inform our economic assumptions about costs of providing paid leave nationally. We now have more reliable estimates of how much a national paid leave program would cost than we have ever had, as well as good estimates of its benefits.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has estimated the costs of the FAMILY Act that has been introduced in both sides of the U.S. Congress (H.R. 947 and S. 337) to provide partially paid leave for family and medical leaves to eligible workers for up to 12 weeks in a calendar year.  Using our paid leave economic simulation model, developed across 20 years by economists at IWPR and the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Northeastern University, we found that the costs for benefits and administration for a national program based on the proposed federal FAMILY Act would cost $28.3 billion or 0.47 percent of taxable earnings.  This equates to about $2.44 per week for a worker with average earnings of $54,000 per year, assuming employers and workers share costs equally.

Our estimates rely on the best available data on who takes leave and for how long, whereas some competing estimates make exaggerated assumptions about the prevalence and lengths of leaves. In addition to costs, we also estimate the benefits, such as reduced employee turnover and greater job stability. Research has shown, for instance, that first-time mothers who utilized paid leave were 26 percent less likely to quit their jobs after the birth of their first child.

Using a social insurance model, paid family and medical leave can be implemented at an affordable cost, spread equitably among all employers and workers, and can provide vital benefits to many workers, especially those in lower wage industries, who are the least likely to be able to take time off from work due to childbirth, illness, or caregiving.

The need for a paid leave system has been clear for at least 25 years and we have decades of evidence to guide us. What exactly are we waiting for?

 

Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., is an economist, MacArthur Fellow, and president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D., is a sociologist and program director on job quality and income security at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.