IWPR Research News Roundup – October 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

What It’s Like To Fight For Equal Pay When You’re A Latina Construction Worker

By Judith Ohikuare |  | 11.3.2017

These contrasts might seem like trite figures, until one considers, based on a projection from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, that Hispanic women may not achieve equal pay with white men until the year 2233. But this is about so much more than statistics — we wanted to hear first-person accounts of Latina women who are fighting against salary discrimination.

Citing: Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s, 1985-2016 (Full-time, Year-Round Workers) with Projections for Pay Equity, by Race/Ethnicity, by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, November 2017

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Most Americans are Unprepared for the Skyrocketing Cost of Long-Term Care

By Emily Gurnon |  | 10.19.2017

The cost of long-term care just keeps going up and most Americans keep believing — incorrectly — that the government will cover most or all of it. “Our population is aging, living longer, and not prepared,” said David O’Leary, president and CEO of Genworth’s U.S. Life division. […] A private room in a nursing home now costs consumers more than $8,000 a month, or $97,455 a year, according to the report, which provides national median figures.

Citing: Genworth 2017 Cost of Care Survey, by Genworth Financial , October 2017

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New Research Shows Women Freelancers Face a Big Gender Pay Gap

By Nina Zipkin |  | 10.19.2017

The gender wage gap in the United States is a persistent, pervasive issue. While the gap has narrowed over time, Pew Research found in 2015, women were paid 83 percent of what men earn. […] But the pay gap isn’t only a problem in corporate America. For those who make their living as a freelancer, the issue still remains, despite not having to contend with the structures and hierarchies of a traditional office, according to a new study from client management platform Honeybook. The company’s analysis of 200,000 invoices found that women make 32 percent less than men for the same job in the creative economy. Women earn roughly $30,700 a year, while men earn more than $45,400.

Citing: 2017 Gender Pay GapHoneybook | Rising Tide , October 2017

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The Healthy D.C. Economy is Leaving Longtime Black Residents Behind, New Study Finds

By Perry Stein |  | 10.12.2017

The booming and increasingly dynamic D.C. economy is leaving the city’s longtime black residents behind, according to a study released Thursday that examines African American employment, population and housing trends in the nation’s capital. The Georgetown University report, which culled data from several recent studies, found that more than half of all new jobs in the District between 2010 and 2020 will require at least a bachelor’s degree, although only 12.3 percent of black residents in 2014 had graduated from college. It noted the average white household in the region has a net worth of $284,000, while the assets of the average black household are just $3,500.

Citing: An Analysis: African American Employment, Population, & Housing Trends in Washington, D.C. by Maurice Jackson, Ph.D, Georgetown University, October 2017

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Some advice for business on the gender pay gap: World Bank research has found compelling case for offering childcare services to staff

By Sarah Gordon |  | 10.4.2017

[…]Advice on what to do [to close the gender pay gap], though, is hardly lacking. Employers can do little to change societal norms which mean that, even in places like Scandinavia where great progress has been made getting more women into top jobs, they still do the bulk of unpaid work in the home. But there are many effective measures companies can take, and a constant flow of research to help them select what works best. The IFC, for example, a member of the World Bank Group, has just looked at 34 companies around the world that offer childcare services to staff, and found that there is a compelling business case for doing so.

Citing: Tackling Childcare: The Business Case for Employer-Supported Childcare by the International Finance Corporation, October 2017

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When Will the Economy Start Caring About Home-Care Work?

By Annie Lowrey |  | 9.22.2017

Home-health and personal-care work is one of the country’s fastest-growing occupational sectors. But it is one marked by low pay and meager benefits, a problem that might become more urgent as the U.S.’s population continues to age. On top of that, care workers face high rates of wage theft, tax and benefits misclassification, and employer fraud, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP), a think tank and advocacy organization.

Citing: Surveying the Home Care Workforce: Their Challenges and the Positive Impact of Unionization, by the National Employment Law Project, September 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Women in the Workplace 2017

By Rachel Thomas et al. | Lean In | October 2017

Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting. There is a pressing need to do more, and most organizations realize this: company commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high for the third year in a row. Despite this commitment, progress continues to be too slow—and may even be stalling. One of the most powerful reasons for this is a simple one: we have blind spots when it comes to diversity, and we can’t solve problems that we don’t see or understand clearly.

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One Quarter of Hispanic Children in the United States Have an Unauthorized Immigrant Parent

By Wyatt Clarke, Kimberly Turner, Lina Guzman | National Research Center on Hispanic Families and Children | October 2017

Approximately 1 in 4 U.S. Latino children have a parent who is an unauthorized immigrant, a finding that is striking in its consistency across data sources and methods. This means that there are more than 4 million Latino children in the United States who are at risk of experiencing parental separation and the stress and fear associated with their family’s uncertain legal status. We also found that the likelihood of a Latino child having an unauthorized immigrant parent varies by country of heritage, suggesting varying levels of risk to children’s well-being.

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Meta-Analysis of Field Experiment Shows No Change in Racial Discrimination in Hiring Over Time

By Lincoln Quilliam, Devah Pager, Ole Hexel, Arnfinn H. Midtoen | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences | October 2017

With the election of the country’s first African-American president in 2008, many concluded that the country had finally moved beyond its troubled racial past. Despite clear signs of racial progress, however, on several key dimensions racial inequality persists and has even increased. For example, racial gaps in unemployment have shown little change since 1980, and the black–white gap in labor force participation rates among young men widened during this time. […] Indeed, while expressions of explicit prejudice have declined precipitously over time, measures of stereotypes and implicit bias appear to have changed little over the past few decades. In this view, far from disappearing, racial bias has taken on new forms, becoming more contingent, subtle, and covert.

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The Impact of Low Unemployment Rates on Disadvantaged Groups

By Cherrie Bucknor and Dean Baker | Center for Economic and Policy Research | October 2017

The 4.2 percent unemployment rate reported for September 2017 is the lowest level since 2001. It is important to recognize that this figure is well below the unemployment rate that many economists— including those at the Federal Reserve Board and the Congressional Budget Office— consider to be  consistent with a stable inflation rate. […] While there have been gains throughout the economy due to the Federal Reserve Board’s decision to allow the unemployment rate to continue to fall (as opposed to raising interest rates sharply to slow the pace of job creation), blacks and Hispanics have benefited disproportionately from the drop in unemployment.

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The 2017 Distressed Communities Index

By Kenan Fikri and John Lettieri | Economic Innovation Group | September 2017

It is fair to wonder whether a recovery that excludes tens of millions of Americans and thousands of communities deserves to be called a recovery at all. Indeed, the consequences extend far beyond the individual communities being left behind. The further we go down the path of geographically exclusive growth, the more we limit our nation’s economic potential as a whole—and the more fractured our society risks becoming in the process. Even residents of prosperous locales have an interest in ensuring a more inclusive map of well-being. The challenge of “reconnecting” distressed communities is urgent and  complex—especially so for policymakers.

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What We’re Reading Today (11/13)

Each morning, IWPR’s @landewatson compiles articles on gender, race, economics, and other policy issues IWPR staff want to know about. See below for what we’re reading today. (Note: articles included do not necessarily reflect the views of IWPR’s staff.)


IWPR IN THE NEWS

NBC New York

Job Hunting? Here Are 4 Ways NYC’s New Salary Question Ban Could Affect You, According to CNBC

November 10

 

DOMESTIC POLICY

Vox

Why the rise of the robots won’t mean the end of work

Joss Fong, November 13

 

The New York Times

Silence Lifts in Statehouses as Harassment Scandals Bring Swift Penalties

Campbell Robertson and Jess Bidgood, November 12

 

The New York Times

Behind the Lucrative Assembly Line of Student Debt Lawsuits

Stacy Cowley and Jessica Silver-Greenberg, November 13
The New York Times

Plugging Into the Gig Economy, From Home With a Headset

Noam Scheiber, November 11

 

CULTURE

Vox

Instead of mourning great art tainted by awful men, mourn the work we lost from their victims

Caroline Franke, November 13

 

Vanity Fair

Gal Gadot Reportedly Won’t Return for Wonder Woman 2 If Brett Ratner Does

Emma Stefansky, November 12

 

OPINION

The New York Times

A Toxic Mix: Sex, Religion and Hypocrisy

Sylvie Kauffmann, November 13

 

The Washington Post

Where do kids learn to undervalue women? From their parents.

Darcy Lockman, November 10

 

USA Today

Secret settlements protect sexual predators

USA Today Editorial Board, November 12

 

The Washington Post

How SNL and Tiffany Haddish went after sexual misconduct

Elahe Izadi, November 12

 

The New York Times

We’re Sick of Racism, Literally

Douglas Jacobs, November 11

 

The New York Times

Women Cracked Wartime Codes. They Can Fix Tech Today, Too.

Liza Mundy, November 11

 

The New York Times

The Lose-Lose Life of the Female Comedian

Marcia Belsky, November 11

Beyond Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Promoting Safety through Economic Security

Beyond Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Promoting Safety through Economic Security

Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM) has provided an opportunity for dialogue about abuse and threats to the safety and wellbeing of our neighbors, friends, and family. This dialogue must continue past the month of October.

As DVAM comes to an end, it is critical to look forward at ways we can continue to support survivors of domestic violence. Economic supports are one of the greatest unmet needs among survivors receiving domestic violence services. Survivors’ economic needs often drive them to stay with abusers longer, leading to increased abuse, injuries, and even fatalities.

The financial effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) are significant and often devastating:

  • On average, IPV stalking victims lose 10 days of paid work, IPV rape victims lose 8.1 days, and IPV physical assault victims lose 7.2 days of work.
  • Total annual health care costs for physically abused women are 42 percent higher than for nonabused women.
  • On average, women lose between $312 and $1,018 in earnings during the year after petitioning for a Protection from Abuse (PFA) civil restraining order.

The economic costs of intimate partner violence are compounded by the economic inequalities faced by specific populations, increasing vulnerability and limiting opportunities to seek safety and justice. For instance:

  • Women of color face a significant wage gap, with Black women earning 63 cents and Hispanic women earning 54 cents for every dollar earned by White men.
  • Women over the age of 65 are more likely than their male counterparts to live in poverty (11.3 percent, compared with 7.4 percent for men), and have nearly $20,000 less in annual total income than their male counterparts.
  • Rural women earn only 79 percent of what women living in urban areas make, and often have limited access to resources such as medical care, legal services, and shelters.

By screening for economic abuse and assessing economic needs, service providers can help address barriers to safety by directing survivors to appropriate services and community resources. Discussing finances in safety planning can also help prevent further economic abuse.

Rebuilding economic security can help pave the way to recovery for survivors. Partnering with workforce development programs or offering career support services can help survivors acquire the skills necessary to obtain quality employment and build economic security. With only 37 percent of domestic violence programs offering legal aid, survivors would also benefit from more in-house legal services or partnerships with discounted or free legal assistance as well as education about their rights regarding housing, employment, and education. In addition, providing survivors with information about Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) and economic relief in the justice system will help support their future economic recovery.

Domestic and sexual violence programs, the civil and criminal justice systems, and communities play distinct and important roles in supporting survivors’ independence and recovery from the costs of abuse, and these groups must recognize and respond to the economic barriers and costs survivors face. For more recommendations on how policymakers and communities can promote economic security among survivors of domestic violence, visit IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors Project.

Post-hurricane recovery efforts must include women’s voices

By Heidi Hartmann and Geanine Wester

The people in cities and towns across Florida and the Caribbean (as well as those in Houston and the coastal areas) find themselves in the unenviable position that the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast found themselves in just 12 years ago: wondering how to rebuild and recover in the wake of a disastrous storm. Many are looking back to the recovery in post-Katrina New Orleans to learn lessons for what to do this time, which is encouraging, and the rescue effort has already benefitted from lessons learned from Katrina.

The distance of 12 years has produced a body of research on the post-Katrina Gulf Coast that can be instructive for those with the unfortunate task of rebuilding whole communities. One lesson that we hope will be heeded in post-Irma and post-Harvey recoveries: include women — particularly women whose voices might not be easily heard, such as poor women and women of color — in recovery planning.

Women are more vulnerable to climate disasters than men for a number of reasons. Evacuating or rebuilding often comes at a cost, yet in every state in the country, women are more likely to live in poverty than men. This is particularly true in Florida, where a recent report by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in collaboration with the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance found that the state ranked in the bottom third of all states for the share of women living in poverty. The outlook is not promising: women in Florida are more likely to live in poverty than they did in 2004.

What’s worse is that women of color in Florida, as is true in other states, have much higher poverty rates than white women. The poverty rates among Florida’s black women (25.2 percent), Native American (21.4 percent), and Hispanic women (21.2 percent) are about twice as high as for white women (11.9 percent) in the state.

Women, particularly low-income women and women of color, have the greatest stake in effective and humane disaster recovery.

Paid Sick and Safe Days

Paid Sick and Safe Days

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking often need time off from work to seek medical care, obtain a protection order, and find shelter or safe housing to protect themselves and their children from harm. Once safe from immediate threats, survivors may need additional time off to work with victim advocates or participate in the justice system. Analysis of data from the National Violence Against Women Survey found that victims of intimate partner violence who were stalked lost an average of 10.1 days of paid work per year, those who were raped lost an average of 8.1 days per year, and those who experienced physical violence lost 7.2 days per year. Taking time off is often necessary to achieve safety, yet it can have a significant impact on survivors’ economic security. Paid sick and safe laws allow survivors to seek critical services when needed without having to jeopardize their ability to pay bills or their employment.

San Francisco was the first city to adopt a policy in 2007. Since then eight states and more than 30 counties and cities have enacted paid sick and safe leave policies. While individual statutes vary, these paid leave laws generally allow eligible employees to accrue time off that can be used to recover from an illness or take care of a sick family member without the loss of income or risk of losing their job. Many statutes include safe leave provisions for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victims to take paid time off to help ensure their safety and well-being. Approved activities may include seeking medical attention for injuries or counseling, obtaining victim and/or legal services, relocating oneself and one’s family, and participating in investigations or court proceedings related to abuse.

Protections for survivors vary by state with some including paid leave for domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking (Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington) while others only cover domestic and sexual violence (Connecticut) or domestic violence (Massachusetts). Of counties and cities with paid sick and safe leave ordinances, San Diego, San Francisco, Emeryville, and Los Angeles, CA; Chicago/Cook County, IL; Montgomery County, MD; Philadelphia, PA; New Brunswick, NJ; Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN; and Seattle and Spokane, WA, have coverage for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. While Berkeley and Oakland, CA; New Jersey City, Newark, Irvington, Passaic, East Orange, Paterson, Trenton, Montclair, Bloomfield, Elizabeth, Plainfield, and Morristown, NJ; and New York City, have paid sick leave policies they do not include safe time coverage for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Coverage also often depends on the size of the employer and occupation, and accrual of paid sick hours often begins at the start of employment. When eligible, employers generally require a certain period of employment prior to accessing paid leave. For survivors protected by these laws, paid leave may mean the difference between risking their income and employement to be safe and maintaining economic independence so that they may be free from abuse in future.

For more information on these statutes and sick and safe leave campaigns, visit A Better Balance, Family Values@Work, or the National Partnership for Women and Families.

IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo Outline Child Care Agenda in Dissent

IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo Outline Child Care Agenda in Dissent

In the current issue of Dissent, IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo review research from around the world on benefits of child care and outline what a child care agenda for the progressive movement would look like.

Child care has been described by the late economist Barbara Bergmann as a merit good; it does more for society than it costs. Parents, many of whom have low incomes especially when their children are young, simply don’t have the funds to invest the optimal amount in their own children. And parents are not the only ones, or even the main ones, to benefit from their investment; well-educated children benefit all of society. As a society we underinvest in children, and only the public sector can fill the gap.

Read more at Dissentmagazine.org.

Back to School? How Experiencing Violence Affects Educational Attainment

Back to School? How Experiencing Violence Affects Educational Attainment

By Lande Watson

As college students across the country head back to campus for the fall semester, some of their peers may not be among them. A new IWPR fact sheet on the economic cost of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and stalking highlights the effect of such violence on the educational attainment of survivors. College-aged women are particularly vulnerable—women ages 18 to 24 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault.

Students who experience IPV and sexual violence often suffer significant physical and psychological trauma, and many do not return to college as a result. Moreover, the likelihood of running into their abuser or rapist on campus, whether in class or even in their residence, can make campus an unsafe and hostile environment for survivors, particularly if colleges do not provide ample support and accommodations.

The economic effects of violence experienced by college students can also be far-reaching. Survivors may face out-of-pocket medical costs, diminished credit, and job instability. Experiencing sexual assault also makes it less likely for survivors to finish college, which may lead to a lifetime of economic disadvantage.

IWPR has reviewed key studies that illustrate how physical and psychological trauma from violence as efforts to economically sabotage victim impedes educational attainment. Survivors complete fewer years of education than students who did not experience violence, are more likely to skip school, and often drop classes or move residence to avoid their assailant. A few findings from these studies include:

  • One survey of single mothers, a growing population of college students, found that women who experienced IPV during adolescence obtained, on average, 0.5 fewer years of education than those who did not experience violence.
  • Data from the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey showed that students who experienced dating and sexual violence were more likely to skip school due to safety concerns than their peers.
  • One analysis of seven waves of data collected between 1976 and 1987 from the National Youth Survey (NYS) of adolescents 11–17 years old showed that having experienced victimization as an adolescent was associated with a decline in effort put into schoolwork and poorer academic performance, even when controlling for income and other factors. While this analysis focuses on adolescents, poor academic performance in middle school and high school may affect survivors’ ability to find academic success in higher education.
  • The Campus Sexual Assault Study, a web-based survey from over 6,800 undergraduate students on the prevalence and nature of sexual assault on college campuses, found that in response to sexual violence, victims often avoided or tried to avoid the assailant, dropped a class, moved their residence, or sought counseling.

Further, out-of-pocket health costs associated with sexual assault or rape can be burdensome for survivors, potentially straining their ability to afford other expenses, such as college tuition. For instance, one study found the average medical cost of rape within the first 30 days following treatment to be $6,737—$948 of which was paid by the victim. In addition to these short-term costs, the lifetime financial cost of rape is significant for survivors, estimated by one study to be $122,461, on average, per victim.

As a new wave of schools fall under federal Title IX investigation for their handling of sexual assault and sexual harassment, university administrators should assess how they can support survivors on campus as they work to continue and complete their education. There are many ways to support survivors on campus: schools can help survivors by connecting them to supportive services—such as financial aid, child care, mental health support, and transportation assistance—that may assist victims in seeking justice, completing their education, and achieving greater economic mobility. Teachers, faculty, college administrators, and other educational personnel should receive training on domestic violence and its economic impact on students’ lives. The Office on Civil Rights at the Department of Education has also recommended that all schools proactively consider remedies for responding to sexual harassment and domestic or dating violence, such as providing counseling services, medical services, and arranging for the complainant to retake a course without penalty.

Colleges can take these steps so that survivors—who otherwise might not return to class this month because they are dealing with the effects of intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking—can come back to school and complete their education.