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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