IWPR Research News Roundup – July 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

Women View Online Harassment Differently Than Men

By Samantha Leffler |  | 7.20.2017

The author of a new Pew Research Center study on online harassment, Maeve Duggan, said one difficulty she encountered was the subjective nature of online harassment, which people define and react to very differently. “When it comes to online harassment, there’s no one-size-fits-all option,” she explained. Not surprisingly, the nature of the harassment varied based on gender. Though men are somewhat more likely than women to be harassed online (44 percent vs. 37 percent) women — particularly younger women — are more frequently the targets of sexual harassment online.”

Citing: Online Harassment 2017, by Maeve Duggan, Pew Research Center, July 2017

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Women of Color Don’t Feel Safe in Science Jobs

By Meredith Clark | | 7.10.2017

According to a study published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, of the astronomers and planetary scientists surveyed, 40% of the women of color reported feeling unsafe in the workplace because of their gender or sex, and 28% reported it was due to their race. The study’s authors conducted an Internet survey of 474 women.

Citing: Double Jeopardy in Astronomy and Planetary Science: Women of Color Face Greater Risks of Gendered and Racial Harassment, by Kathryn Clancy, Katharine Lee, Erica Rodgers, and Christina Richey, Journal of Geophysical Research, July 2017

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How Party and Place Shape Americans’ Views on Discrimination

By Gene Demby | | 7.2.2017

Younger white people are much more likely than older white people to say that black people face a lot of discrimination. Most Republicans reject the idea that black people do. Black people are the racial group least likely to support same-sex marriage but the group most opposed to laws that would allow businesses to refuse service to LGBTQ+ people. These are just some of the findings in a massive new study on American attitudes about how Americans perceive discrimination, from the Public Religion Research Institute, a nonpartisan group that studies attitudes about culture and public policy.

Citing: Who Sees Discrimination? Attitudes on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Race, and Immigration Status, by Daniel Cox, Rachel Lienesch, and Robert P. Jones , Public Religion Research Institute, June 2017

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Paid Leave for Parents: What’s the right amount of time?

By Kelly Wallace | | 6.29.2017

After conducting a deep dive project, where Schulte and her New America colleagues reviewed numerous studies and talked to a range of experts, they have a recommendation for the optimal duration of paid leave according to available science: Based on infant health, maternal health, gender equality and female labor force participation, they recommend six months to a year of paid family leave.

Citing: Paid Family Leave: How Much Time Is Enough?, by Brigid SchulteAlieza DuranaBrian Stout, and Jonathan MoyerNew America Foundation, June 2017

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Black Girls Are Viewed as Less Innocent and More Adultlike Than White Girls: Study

By Monique Judge | 6.28.2017

The study found that survey participants believe that black girls need less nurturing, need less protection, need to be supported and comforted less, are more independent, know more about adult topics and know more about sex. These results have far-reaching implications and can be a contributing factor to the disproportionate rates of punitive treatment in the education and juvenile-justice systems for black girls.

Citing: Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood, by Rebecca EpsteinJamilia JBlake, and Thalia GonzálezCenter on Poverty and Inequality, June 2017

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

The Gender Wage Gap and Work-Family Supports: Women’s Choices or Policy Choices?

By Ariane Hegewisch and Emma Williams-Baron | Saint Louis University Public Law Review | July 2017

Progress towards closing the gender wage gap has slowed markedly since the early 2000s, at approximately the same time that increases in the labor force participation of mothers also stalled. […] States with better work-family provisions, such as paid family leave and publicly provided prekindergarten classes, are likely to have a lower gender wage gap than states with few supports for working families. […] Rather than focusing on women’s choices as a causation of the gender wage gap, the issue of choice concerns public policies. Without a significantly expanded work-family infrastructure it is unlikely that the gender wage gap will close.

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A Paired-Testing Pilot Study of Housing Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Transgender Individuals

By Diane K. Levy, Douglas A. Wissoker, Claudia Aranda, Brent Howell, Rob Pitingolo, Sarale H. Sewell, and Robert Santos | Urban Institute | June 2017

Much of what we know about housing discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community comes from surveys, but these personal experiences may only represent the most blatant forms of discrimination. To more accurately document discrimination against same-sex couples and transgender home seekers, the Urban Institute conducted studies in Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC metro areas using paired testing, a research tool that can capture discrimination in action. Their findings indicate that in the early stages of the rental search process, housing providers discriminate against gay men and transgender people on some treatment measures but treat lesbians and heterosexual women comparably.

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Meet the Out-of-Work

By Martha Ross and Natalie Holmes | The Brookings Institution | June 2017

Even in the midst of a prolonged economic expansion with a low national unemployment rate, not everyone who wants work can find it. Both job availability and demographics vary markedly around the country, yielding diverse local populations wanting and/or needing work. This analysis aims to deepen understanding of out-of-work Americans, and support local officials in their efforts to help these individuals find jobs. Brookings provides a unique perspective on adults ages 25-64 who are out of work across the United States, using cluster analysis to segment the out-of-work population into distinct groups based on factors such as educational attainment, age, work history, disability, English language proficiency, and family status. Detailed information on these groups is presented, accompanied by information on appropriate and effective programs in order to help local officials, funders, and other stakeholders develop, strengthen, or diversify strategies to connect their residents to employment.

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Access to Reproductive Health Care for U.S.-Based Refugees

By Jamila Taylor and Anusha Ravi | Center for American Progress | June 2017

At the intersection of reproductive health care access and refugee resettlement in the United States exists a community that is uniquely affected by both limitations. Upon entering the country, refugees can face barriers to accessing health care in general, including limited access to employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and limited resources or language capability to acquire quality health care services. Additional barriers to accessing reproductive health care in particular—social stigma, restrictive state and local legislation, as well as other hurdles—are compounded by refugees’ limited access to health care in general. While refugees often enter the United States as low-income, there has been significant research showing that refugees integrate well over time by entering the labor force, moving up the occupational ladder, and starting businesses after resettlement. Combined with the proven positive economic indicators for women and families that have increased access to reproductive health care, it is crucial that the refugee community have access to these comprehensive, high-quality services to economically thrive in America.

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Coupling Child Care with Pathways to Nontraditional, Higher Paying Work: Bridging Mississippi’s Skills and Wage Gap

By Matt Williams | Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative | June 2017

Mississippi has a “Middle Skills Gap,” or a labor force scenario in which available jobs that require some postsecondary education or technical training outnumber workers who are qualified to fill them. This particularly impacts single moms with dependent children under the age of 18, who tend to be stuck in low-wage jobs and don’t have the training or education to get into work that pays income above poverty level. This policy brief highlights the need to invest in pathways to higher paying work and presents a solution to Mississippi’s “Middle Skills Gap” that promises to place mothers with child care needs onto pathways toward higher-paying jobs by coupling nontraditional workforce training with critical supports.

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5 Stats to Know on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

5 Stats to Know on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

Monday, July 31, is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, marking how far into 2017 Black women must work to earn what White men earned in the previous year. A new report, The Status of Black Women in the United States, by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) in collaboration with the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) takes a comprehensive look at Black women’s status across six topic areas related to their political, health, and economic well-being.

The average Black woman working full-time earns only 63 cents for every dollar earned by a White man. This gap is wider than for women overall, who earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. There isn’t one single reason for the gender wage gap: discrimination, the undervaluation of women’s work, occupational segregation, and the lack of work–family supports all contribute.

Here are 5 other stats to know on #BlackWomensEqualPay Day:

  1. At the current rate of progress, Black women will not see equal pay with White men until 2124.

If change continues at the same slow pace as it has for the past fifty years, it will take 42 years—or until 2059—for the median annual earnings of all women to finally reach pay parity with all men. Black women, however, would have to wait an extra 65 years on top of that, until 2124 to achieve equal pay with White men (Hispanic women will have to wait over two centuries, until 2248.)iwpr_bwepd (6)

  1. Black women have among the highest labor force participation rates for women.

Black women participate in the labor force at higher rates than White, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American women, with 62.2 percent of Black women in the workforce,   Black women are the only group of women, among the large racial/ethnic groups included in the study, with a higher labor force participation rate than their male counterparts Almost four out of five (77.7 percent) Black mothers with young children participate in the workforce, higher than any other group of mothers.

  1. More than 8 in 10 Black mothers (80.6 percent) are breadwinners.

Black families depend on Black women’s earnings. Many Black women are raising families on their own, and more than half (50.6 percent) of Black mothers in married couples with young children are breadwinners—the largest share among women of any of the largest racial and ethnic groups.

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  1. Between 2004 and 2014, Black women saw substantial declines in real wages, greater than for women from most other large racial/ethnic groups.

Black women’s real median annual earnings for full-time, year-round work declined by 5.0 percent between 2004 and 2014—more than three times as much as women’s earnings overall.

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  1. Black women in unions earn 32 percent more than their nonunionized counterparts.

Black women workers working full time and represented by labor unions earn an average of $192.10, or 32.2 percent, more per week than Black women who are not in unions. Black women’s union wage advantage is greater than the union advantage among all women (31.3 percent). In the South, Black women in unions experience an even greater advantage than in the rest of the country, earning 34.5 percent more than their non-union counterparts.4

Policy Recommendations

A number of policy interventions can help address low and declining wages Black women. First, raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation will increase the earnings and economic security of Black women working in low wage jobs. Raising the minimum wage could improve the earnings of breadwinner mothers, reduce poverty, and reduce gender and racial earnings inequality.

Second, the U.S. government should fully enforce Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made discrimination in hiring, pay, and promotions illegal, to improve Black women’s access to well-paid jobs.

Third, improving Black women’s access to good middle-skill occupations and providing equitable access to earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship opportunities will improve both Black women’s economic security and meet employers’ needs for a skilled workforce.

Stay Informed

Follow  the discussion on social media with #BlackWomensEqualPay or visit blackwomensequalpayday.org. You can also follow IWPR on Instagram and Twitter  at @IWPResearch, or follow us on Facebook for regular updates on our research.  You can also sign up for our bi-weekly e-alerts to stay up to date on the latest releases.