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.

National Stalking Awareness Month: Economic Impacts of Stalking

National Stalking Awareness Month: Economic Impacts of Stalking

This January marks 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 survivors are long-lasting.

1 in 6 (1)

Financial Burden

The financial impacts of stalking are significant and often devastating. Victims of stalking report higher rates of on-the-job harassment, indirect job disruption, and indirect job performance interference than other victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), commonly resulting in lower productivity and lost wages. In addition, victims often incur a number of costs due to property damage and safety seeking measures. A number of studies examine the financial burden of stalking:

  • Analysis of one nationwide survey of stalking victimization found that forty percent of stalking victims lost five or more days of work.
  • Another study found nearly one in four victims (24.4 percent) experienced property damage in conjunction with stalking.
  • Three in 10 stalking victims accrued out-of-pocket costs such as attorney fees, damage to property, child care costs, moving expenses, or changing phone numbers.
  • Another study that interviewed 187 women who were recent stalking victims in south-eastern Pennsylvania found these victims incurred an median of $1,000 in costs (in 1998 dollars) due to moving expenses, losses in salary or having to forfeit tuition, property damage, legal fees, and taking measures to increase personal security.

1 in 4 (1)

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

  • In 2015, Black women earned 61.2 percent and Hispanic women earned 56.3 percent of White men’s median annual earnings.
  • Women of color also saw large declines in median annual earnings from 2004-2014–Black women by 5.0 percent and Hispanic women by 4.5 percent.
  • 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.
  • Almost one in five (19.7 percent) immigrant women live in poverty, compared with 14.7 percent of U.S.-born women.
  • Over one quarter (26.7 percent) of Native American women lived in poverty in 2014—the highest poverty rate among all racial/ethnic groups of women.

Next Steps

As advocates raise awareness during National Stalking Awareness Month, it is critical to look forward at ways we can continue to support those affected by stalking.

  • Service providers can increase outreach by developing resources and programs to address the gap in public knowledge regarding how to identify stalking and how to access safety. Because stalking victims often need more financial support to relocate, service providers can establish flexible financial funds and build relationships with security companies and housing providers.
  • Educational institutions including universities, schools, job training programs, and employers should have a clear policy on stalking that defines stalking behaviors and outlines victim reporting procedures and safety accommodations, such as no-contact orders, available resources for health support, and potential schedule changes.
  • Providing victims with information about Crime Victim Compensation (CVC) and economic relief in the justice system will help support their future economic recovery.

Advocates, educational institutions, and employers all play a role in supporting victims’ independence and recovery from the costs of abuse, and these groups must recognize and respond to the economic barriers and costs victims face. For more recommendations on how policymakers and communities can promote economic security among stalking victims visit IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors Project.

 

Unknown Economic Costs Stalking Victims Pay

As we turn our calendars to a new year, at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), we renew our efforts to advance solutions that put an end to violence against women.

This January marks the 15th observance of National Stalking Awareness Month. Stalking is a serious crime that affects nearly one in six women and more than one in 19 men in the United States in their lifetime. Through surveillance and monitoring of bank accounts, property invasion or damage, unwanted phone calls, and other unwanted contact at home or at work, stalkers – often former intimate partners – can cause survivors to lose their jobs due to interference and sabotage or have their financial resources depleted due to identity theft or efforts to secure their safety.

graph

January is also recognized as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. While hidden, research suggests that human and sex trafficking in particular is widespread and increasing in the United States. Traffickers often target individuals who have previous experiences of psychological trauma, histories of family violence or child sex abuse, drug dependency, homelessness, and social isolation. Individuals with limited economic resources—minors and individuals with limited educational opportunities, work opportunities, or family support—are also at a heightened risk of trafficking. Victims experience the effects of trafficking throughout their lives, due to costs of treating the physical and mental health consequences of victimization, diminished employment opportunity due to a lack of legal work histories, and the arrest and conviction of victims who are forced into illegal sex work, despite laws protecting survivors.

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Source: National Human Trafficking Hotline Data, 2016

In both, economic insecurity is used by abusers to manipulate and entrap victims. Failure to recognize and respond to the intersection of economic factors and violence against women often leaves survivors without the resources necessary to escape and recover from abuse. IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors (ESS) project seeks to build, protect, and restore the economic security of victims and survivors of intimate partner and sexual violence and stalking, so that they may be safe and free of abuse. Through research, technical assistance, and training the ESS project raises awareness of the economic factors that compound the effects of violence against women and impede the safety and future health and security of survivors.

With your generous support, IWPR can continue to provide this important information to service providers, criminal justice agencies, and lawmakers to improve how policies and practices empower women and support survivors’ economic security. Please consider making a donation to IWPR to support this important work.


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

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

Read some of our latest research by visiting www.iwpr.org or clicking the links below to learn more about the intersection of economic abuse with stalking and sex trafficking:

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

Research News Roundup – January 2018

Retail Industry Meltdown Hits Women Hard; Men Remain Unscathed

By Laura Colby |  | 12.18.2017

As embattled U.S. retailers shed jobs over the past year, women have borne the brunt of the losses. Men, on the other hand, have made steady gains in the retail workforce. Women lost 129,000 retail positions in the last year, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Men gained 106,000 positions. The report found that general-merchandise stores — mainly department stores — accounted for the largest share of both jobs lost and jobs gained. Women at those retailers lost 161,000 positions while men gained 87,800 from October 2016 to October 2017.

Citing: Decline in Retail Jobs Felt Entirely by Women by Jennifer Clark, Emma Williams-Baron, and Heidi Hartmann at Institute for Women’s Policy Research, December 2017

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Robots are going to turbo charge one of society’s biggest problems

By Lianna Brinded |  | 12.28.17

The greater adoption of robots in the workplace is heralded as a way to usher greater business efficiency, productivity, and better paid jobs, which in turn will boost the economy. However, the more jobs are automated, the more the gender wage gap will be exasperated, warns a think tank. […] [The report] warned that automation will widen the pay gaps for women and minorities since robots are likely to phase out lower-skilled jobs over the next few decades, and the jobs created in their place will be more highly skilled. Low-wage jobs are five times more likely to be automated than higher paid jobs, according to the report.

Citing: Managing automation: Employment, inequality and ethics in the digital age by Carys Roberts, Matthew Lawrence, and Loren King at The Progressive Policy Think Tank, December 2017

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Why Aren’t More Women and Minorities Studying Economics?

By Sharon Nunn |  | 12.01.2017

The economists guiding policies on everything from housing to health care disproportionately hail from one demographic group: white men. The pipeline that feeds the field is still proportionally lacking women and minorities, according to new research from the Federal Reserve. The imbalance is potentially harmful to the broader economy, the field of economics and students themselves.

Women made up about 30% of the nation’s economics majors, while minorities represent just 12%, according to the Fed study. Both numbers are significantly lower than the share of women and minorities who attend college. Women make up almost 58% of the student body and minorities represent about 21%.

Citing: The Unequal Distribution of Economic Education: A Report on the Race, Ethnicity, and Gender of Economics Majors at US Colleges and Universities by Amanda Bayer and David Wilcox at the Division of Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs, Federal Reserve Board, December 2017

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“Gender gap” hurts small women-owned U.S. businesses

By Jonathan Spicer |  | 11.30.2017

A company is more likely to be denied funding and considered a higher credit risk if it is headed by a woman, according to a Federal Reserve report published on Thursday that shines some light on the so-called gender gap among small U.S. businesses. The 2016 survey showed a somewhat self-reinforcing cycle of women facing higher hurdles than men in not only securing loans but also in increasing profits, revenues and number of employees. Authors of the report by the U.S. central bank’s New York and Kansas City branches said it could help explain why the performance of majority women-owned companies has lagged in recent years, even while their numbers have grown much faster than businesses run by men. One-fifth of U.S. companies had female bosses in 2015.

Citing: 2016 Small Business Credit Survey: Report on Women-Owned Firms by the Federal Reserve Banks of New York and Kansas City, November 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Undervalued: A Brief History of Women’s Care Work and Child Care Policy in the United States

By Julie Vogtman | National Women’s Law Center | Decenber 2017

Today, more women are in the labor force than ever before, in a range of jobs far wider than their grandmothers might have imagined. Yet in the U.S., child care is largely still viewed as women’s work and—in contrast to nearly every other developed nation in the world—as a private responsibility rather than a public good. Undervalued: A Brief History of Women’s Care Work and Child Care Policy in the United States provides a brief overview of the state of child care in the United States and traces how—through the persistent denigration of the care work performed by women, especially women of color, and resulting public policy decisions—we arrived at this point. And it identifies the policy solutions that are needed to move toward a system that works for both families and child care providers.

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Financial Services Industry: Trends in Management Representation of Minorities and Women

Daniel Garcia-Diaz | U.S. Government Accountability Office | December 2017

Overall representation of minorities in first-, mid-, and senior-level management positions in the financial services industry increased from about 17 percent to 21 percent from 2007 through 2015. However, as shown in the figure below representation varied by race/ethnicity group and management level. Specifically, representation of African-Americans at various management levels decreased while representation of other minorities increased during this period. Overall representation of women was generally unchanged during this period. Representation of women among first- and mid-level managers remained around 48 percent and senior-level managers remained about 29 percent from 2007 through 2015.

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America’s Caregiving Crunch: Are Businesses Ready?

PL+US | December 2017

When most people think about the unmet need for paid leave in the United States, they think of new parents who need time to be with their infants, but just 21 percent of leaves from work are taken for new babies. Every year, more than 40 million people, or 18 percent of the U.S. population, spend an average of 24 hours a week providing unpaid care for a chronically ill, disabled, or elderly family member. The United States is the only industrialized country that does not guarantee paid family leave, which negatively impacts our health, our economy, our businesses, and our families. The lack of national paid family leave law means companies must create their own policies to meet the needs of their employees.

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Improving Job Quality for the Direct Care Workforce: A Review of State Policy Strategies

By Allison Cook| The Working Poor Families Project | December 2017

Direct care workers—including certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care aides—provide most of the paid, hands-on care received by older adults and people with disabilities who require long-term care. As the demand for long-term care has increased due to the aging of the U.S. population, the direct care workforce has become one of the country’s largest occupations. This substantial workforce is essential to quality of care and life for older people and people with disabilities, yet direct care workers remain undervalued in our long-term care system. Direct care jobs are characterized by low pay, poor benefits, insufficient hours, and minimal training and advancement opportunities. In turn, these workers and their families often struggle to make ends meet.

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Paid Family and Medical Leave: Cost and Coverage Estimates of Three Choices in Massachusetts

By Randy Abelda and Alan Clayton-Matthews| Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy | December 2017

The birth of a child, a cancer diagnosis, a hip replacement, or serious illness of a parent, spouse or child. Each requires a worker to take an extended, but temporary, period of time off from work. Most workers will experience such an event at some point in their life. Yet the United States is one of the few countries in the world that does not have a national policy on paid maternity leave and remains an outlier among industrial counterparts without any guarantee of paid parental and medical leave. Currently, six states and Washington DC, however, have such paid family and medical leave (PFML) programs or have recently enacted them. Many other states have paid family and medical leave legislation under consideration, including Massachusetts. Paid family leave acknowledges the realities of today’s workforce in which many workers struggle to balance work and family, while paid medical leave reduces the economic risk of being out of work for a serious, but short-term, health condition by providing partial pay.

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IWPR’s Top 10 Research Findings of 2017

For IWPR, this year emphasized, at a basic level, the importance of facts and how easily inaccurate information can lead to harmful policies. We are grateful for our partners, supporters, social media followers, and others who have helped share our research and have used it to spark change for women and their families.

Below are our Top 10 findings from the year and a sampling of the impact of our research so far. The work continues in 2018!

1. The economic, social, health, and political status of Black women varies widely by U.S. state.

In June, IWPR and the National Domestic Workers Alliance released The Status of Black Women in the United States, one of the most comprehensive reports on Black women in every state, which builds on IWPR’s signature Status of Women in the States series to explore how Black women are faring across six different topic areas.

  • Findings from the report were discussed by eight Black women leaders during a groundbreaking panel moderated by Alicia Garza, Special Projects Director at NDWA and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, on June 7, 2017, at the policy research forum, “From Persistence to Power: Facts, Truth & Equity for Women,” hosted by IWPR, Wellesley Centers for Women, and the Women’s Research and Resource Center at Spelman College. Watch the recording of the panel here.
  • Read NDWA’s Alicia Garza’s commentary in Cosmopolitan, “Black Women Are Working Hard. It’s Time to Work Hard for Them Too.” plus other coverage of the report in The Washington Post, Refinery 29, Mic, the Cut, the AtlanticColorlines, Blavity, Slate, Rewire and the New Republic.

2. Number of single mothers in college doubled over a decade—and they are disproportionately more likely to attend for-profit colleges than non-parent peers.

The number of single mothers in college more than doubled in the 12 school years between 1999 and 2012, to reach nearly 2.1 million students—or 11 percent of all undergraduates. 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).

3. Gender Wage Gap Narrows for First Time in a Decade, but Women Won’t See Equal Pay for 43 More Years

New annual earnings data were released in September, showing the first statistically significant narrowing of the gender wage gap since 2007.

  • Fortune, The Washington Post, Vox, and Mic cited IWPR’s analysis in their coverage of the new wage gap data. IWPR updated its useful wage gap primer, “5 Ways to Win an Argument about the Wage Gap.”
  • Is the wage gap due to “women’s choices” or is it actually due to policy choices? IWPR’s Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron explore the social science evidence in a new article for the Saint Louis University Public Law Review.
  • IWPR’s analysis of unemployment rates among Millennial women garnered attention in Teen Vogue and Mic, while Heidi Hartmann was interviewed for the Sunday New York Times on women’s stagnating labor force participation rate.

4. Child care is critical to keeping women in the labor force and in school—and the Trump Administration’s child care proposals fall far short of what’s needed.

  • In the Fall issue of Dissent, IWPR’s Heidi Hartmann and Gina Chirillo analyze proposals on child care from the Trump Administration and Congressional Democrats, review research from around the world on the benefits of child care, and outline what a child care agenda for the progressive movement in the United States would look like. Hartmann and Chirillo conclude that, “as in many other countries with our wealth, we can and must humanize our economic system by building in time and resources for caring for our families.”
  • In May, the Trump Administration released their budget proposal, which eliminated funding for CCAMPIS, the only federal program that helps low-income student parents access child care. IWPR experts raised awareness about the critical importance of the CCAMPIS program in The Washington Post, The Hechinger Report, and on social media, including a tweet chat with Young Invincibles. Marketplace radio listed the threat to CCAMPIS as one of the “3 things you may have missed in Trump’s budget.” In September, a White House official told Refinery29, “We are working on ways to preserve the program.”

5. Health care costs, job instability, and reduced educational attainment compound the negative effects of violence.

In August, IWPR released a fact sheet that summarizes findings from research literature on the economic consequences and costs of intimate partner violence (IPV), sexual assault, and stalking.

6. Receiving transportation assistance, child care, and other supportive services may improve the chances of completing workforce development programs and finding a job.

  • IWPR’s reports on the impact of supportive services on job training success included results from a nationwide survey of 1,887 current or former job training participants, the largest survey to explore the relationship between supportive services and program and employment outcomes and the first to examine which services participants need most. The findings from the Job Training Success series were featured in IndustryWeek, The Atlantic CityLab, and Next City.
  • Watch the recording or read the social media conversation from the panel event, “Supportive Services in Workforce Development Programs: Policies and Practices to Promote Job Training Success,” held in Washington, DC, on February 28 to culminate the release of the Job Training Success report series.

7. Instituting a national paid family and medical leave policy would provide vital benefits at an affordable cost.

  • Who would benefit from a national paid leave policy? How much would it cost? Using data from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Census Bureau, IWPR and IMPAQ International produced a series of analyses finding that a national paid leave policy would especially benefit working women, younger workers, and workers of color and, depending on the policy alternative enacted, cost less than half of one percent of payroll. IWPR’s two recent one-pagers on costs and benefits summarize what the research says.
  • Read more on IWPR’s paid leave research and expertise in recent pieces from Vox, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

8. Equal pay would cut the poverty rate for children with a working mother by half and add $513 billion in wage and salary income to the U.S. economy.

  • On Equal Pay Day, IWPR partnered with org’s #20PercentCounts campaign to provide new data on the impact of equal pay on poverty and the economy.
  • Find new state analysis on the impact of equal pay on poverty and state economies and updated projections for when women in each state will receive equal pay if current trends continue (women in Wyoming will be waiting until the 22nd century).
  • In January, in advance of the presidential inauguration, IWPR President Heidi Hartmann penned an op-ed with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in TIME, “Pay Women More If You Want a Stronger Economy.”

9. Stalking victims face economic barriers to safety: some of the groups most likely to experience stalking also have among the lowest levels of financial resources available to address the issue.

  • A blog post from IWPR’s Sarah Gonzalez Bocinski and Alona Del Rosario, “Supporting Survivors in Business and Entrepreneurship,” highlights the importance of developing trauma-informed business development programs. These programs are increasingly exploring entrepreneurship as a pathway to economic security and independence for survivors.
  • Visit IWPR’s YouTube page to view recent webinars from IWPR’s Economic Security for Survivors project, focusing on promoting job training success and entrepreneurship among survivors.

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

  • IWPR’s in-depth work on women in the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast informed coverage of the devastating hurricanes this summer (Newsweek: “Hurricanes like Irma increase risk for sexual assault”).
  • IWPR President Heidi Hartmann co-authored an op-ed with Geanine Wester of the Florida Red Cross and EmpowHER of the Palm Beaches in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (“Post-hurricane recovery efforts must include women’s voices”) that urged those involved in hurricane recovery efforts to include women in decision-making.

 

 

IWPR Research News Roundup – December 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Women are better in tech than men, says a report

By Erin Carson |  | 11.17.17

A report from the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution measured men’s and women’s digital scores, and found that women had stronger skills than men do. The Brookings report, called “Digitalization and the American Workforce,” looked at “information about the knowledge, skills, tools and technology; education and training; work context; and work activities required” for high tech jobs, and it gave women a digital score of 48 versus 45 for men.

Citing: Digitalization and the American Workforce by Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, and Siddharth Kulmaki, at The Brookings Institution, November 2017

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Women start-ups hampered by bias among male investors: study

By Emily Velasco |  | 11.16.2017

A new study is highlighting one possible reason women aren’t making more headway in Silicon Valley: men prefer to invest in companies run by other men. With men making up 90 percent of venture capitalists, that preference is a bottleneck that keeps women out of the ranks of tech entrepreneurs. […] Because female-led start-ups face tougher funding prospects than male-led start-ups, fewer women enter the tech entrepreneur pipeline that ultimately feeds the ranks of venture capitalists.

Citing: Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women? By Michael Ewens and Richard R. Townsend at California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego, October 2017

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What we now know about who struggles with student debt

By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel |  | 11.16.2017

Older African Americans and college students with children disproportionately bear the burden of education debt, according to a pair of reports released this week that researchers say show the need for more nuanced solutions from higher education. Americans over age 50 collectively hold $247 billion in outstanding federal education loans, an amount that has grown threefold since 2003, policy analysts at the Urban Institute found. The impact of that debt differs depending on whether borrowers took out the loan for themselves or for family members, according to a report released Thursday by the think tank.

Citing: The Complexity of Education Debt Among Older Americans, by Kristin Blagg and Victoria Lee at The Urban Institute, November 2017

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Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise, Advocates Say

By Maggie Astor |  | 11.9.2017

The Human Rights Campaign has documented the killings of 25 transgender people in the United States so far in 2017, compared with 23 last year and 21 in 2015. Other organizations, like Glaad and the Transgender Law Center, have slightly different tallies, but the trend holds. Transgender people have been killed this year in Chicago and in Waxahachie, Tex.; in the Ozarks of Missouri and on the sidewalks of Manhattan. They have been shot, stabbed, burned and, in at least one case, pushed into a river. On average, one to two have been killed somewhere in the United States every week.

Citing: Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2017, by The Human Rights Campaign, October 2017

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On #LatinaEqualPayDay, Advocates Are Pushing for Change

By Lyanne Alfaro |  | 11.2.2017

When it comes to median annual earnings, Latinas make 54 cents compared to a dollar earned by non-Latino white men, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). This means Latinas would have to work 10 more months in a year to reach the same level of pay. Women make almost half of the workforce, and only earn 80 cents to every dollar a man makes. But while non-Latina white women could close that gap by 2059, it would take Latinas until 2233 to reach parity.

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 Institute for Women’s Policy Research, November 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Becoming Visible: Race, Economic Security, and Political Voice in Jackson, Mississippi

By Rachel Black and Aleta Sprague, with Aisha Nyandoro | New America | November 2017

This report attempts to reveal how policies created through racial exclusion and oppression are maintained behind a veneer of race-neutrality, and to reject reform efforts that tinker at the margins of this system. In doing so, what we are calling for is nothing less than a new approach to making social policy based on our oldest beliefs about democracy and opportunity that truly affirms the equal humanity and dignity of all people.

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Working with men to support women’s empowerment  

Women for Women International | November 2017

Women’s equality is everyone’s business. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just “women’s issues.” The emerging literature suggests that there are three main reasons for engaging with men for women’s equality: Men hold important positions of power and influence over societies. Engaging with them as ‘gatekeepers’ can promote more efficient normative change via their influence. Men can become allies who understand the benefits of promoting gender equality and work in partnership with women. Men can also be co-beneficiaries, as patriarchal attitudes reinforce stringent masculine norms that dictate how men should behave and limit the roles a man can play in his family and community.

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Persistent Gaps: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2017

By Karen Schulman and Helen Blank | National Women’s Law Center |November 2017

The average annual cost for full-time care ranges from nearly $3,000 to over $17,000, depending on the age of the child, the type of care, and where the family costs can strain families’ budgets, force parents to use lower-cost care even if they would prefer other options for their children, or prevent parents from working because they cannot a ord care. Child care assistance can enable families to overcome these challenges by helping families pay for child care.

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Trends in College Pricing 2017

By Jaclyn Bergeron and Edward Lu | College Board | October 2017

Both the published tuition and fee prices of colleges and universities and the net prices students pay after subtracting grant aid and tax credits and deductions continued to rise between 2016-17 and 2017-18, even after adjusting for inflation. Average net prices in 2017-18 remain lower at public two-year and private nonprofit four-year institutions than they were in 2007-08 (in 2017 dollars). But each year since 2011-12, net prices have risen in these sectors, as well as at public four-year institutions, as the growth in grant aid slowed relative to the growth in tuition and fees.

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