What We’re Reading Today (8/23)

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.)


Market Watch

We need to talk about ‘hot’ female economists

Jillian Berman, August 22



An Air Force Cadet At 25: A Sign Of The Times In Higher Education

Elissa Nadworny, August 23




The Fight for Equal Pay: Women, Minorities on TV Still Making Less Than White Men

Daniel Holloway, August 22



Even Artificial Intelligence Is Sexist

Suzannah Weiss, August 22


Huffington Post

There’s Nothing Subtle About The Sexism In Tech

Emily Peck, August 22


Market Watch

We need to talk about ‘hot’ female economists

Jillian Berman, August 22


Huffington Post

Georgia Woman Claims She Was Fired Because Of Her Period

Alanna Vagianos, August 22



These 22 College Students Will Change Your Perspective on What It’s Like to be a Young Woman in America Right Now

Ashley Edwards Walker, Jessica Militare and Kate Friedman, August 23


Teen Vogue

Atlanta Could Elect a Queer Muslim Woman for the First Time

Emma Sarran Webster, August 22


The New York Times

Labor Wants to Make Nafta Its Friend. Here’s the Problem.

Eduardo Porter, August 22


The Washington Post

Virginia parents to receive free baby boxes, part of a campaign to promote safe sleep

Michael Alison Chandler, August 23


Market Watch

Young middle-class adults spend their money (to help them in job interviews)

Maria Lamagna, August 23



The Washington Post

The hard work of school reform is paying off in the District

WaPo Editorial Board, August 22



The New York Times

Why I Refuse to Avoid White People

Chloe Valdaray, August 22


The Washington Post

Where do we learn that poverty is shameful and dangerous? At the movies.

Stephen Pimpare, August 23


The Washington Post

Want to see proof of institutional racism? Let weed open your eyes.

Courtland Miloy, August 22


The Wall Street Journal

Right-to-Work Sore Losers

WSJ Editorial Board, August 22

What We’re Reading Today (8/22)

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.)


The Root

Black Women and Girls May Run the World, but They’re Not Safe in It

Andre Perry, August 22



The Wall Street Journal

How Retiring Baby Boomers Hinder U.S. Wage Growth

Eric Morath, August 21


USA Today

Bro culture is under attack, but women say it’s far from tamed

Marco della Cava and Kevin McCoy, August 21


USA Today

‘Delivery economy’ creates wave of low-wage jobs

Kellie Ell, August 22


Market Watch

Only 37% of Americans believe today’s children will grow up to be better off

Alessandra Malito, August 22


The New York Times

Sex Education Based on Abstinence? There’s a Real Absence of Evidence

Aaron E. Carroll, August 22



The New York Times

A New Tune on Women’s Rights in the Arab World
Shereen El Feki, August 22



Could Gossip Be Causing Teen Pregnancy?

Shay Maunz, August 21



Chilean Court Votes To Ease Total Ban On Abortions for the First Time In 30 Years

Lauren Evans, August 21




I Almost Died During Childbirth. I’m Not Alone.

Rachel Stuhler, August 21


USA Today

Voices: I write about race because … We are not your slaves!

Ricky Jones, August 22


The New York Times

Why Is the Fed So Scared of Inflation?

NYT Editorial Board, August 22


The New York Times

Live in a Poor Neighborhood? Better Be a Perfect Parent.

Emma S. Ketteringham, August 22


The Washington Post

Abstinence-only education doesn’t work. We’re still funding it.

John Santelli, August 21


The New York Times

Let Consumers Sue Companies

Richard Cordray, August 22


The Washington Post

3 in 10 strong Trump supporters accept or are indifferent to white supremacist views

Philip Bump, August 22



The New York Times

The Wonder Women of Botswana Safari

Hillary Richard, August 22

What We’re Reading Today (8/21)

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.)


The New York Times

How Hate Groups Forced Online Platforms to Reveal Their True Nature

John Herrman, August 21


The New York Times

Fat Bias Starts Early and Takes a Serious Toll

Jane Brody, August 21



Pregnant Meteorologist Gives Powerful Response to Body-Shaming on Air

Suzannah Weiss, August 21


The Washington Post

Labor groups step up pressure on Trump to deliver

David Weigel, August 20



3 Women Who Quit Their Jobs at Google Share Stories of Workplace Racism and Sexism

Tess Kornfield, August 19



The Washington Post

Baltimore uses trauma research to improve life for poor parents and their children

Mark Beckford, August 20


The Washington Post

Homeless LGBT youth find a place to call their own in D.C.

Madhumita Murgia, August 19



The Washington Post

Child labor: The inconvenient truth behind India’s growth story

Josh Jacobs and Reeva Misra, August 21



The New York Times

What Will Trump Do to American Workers?

Paul Krugman, August 21


The Washington Post

What do black Americans have to lose? Under Trump, we’ve already lost a lot.

Cedric L. Richmond, August 21


The Wall Street Journal

The Teamsters’ Impunity

WSJ Editorial Board, August 20


The Washington Post

Racism doesn’t exist all by itself, it has support.

Tom Toles, August 18



Men Need to Stop Telling Women to “Take a Joke”

Jennifer Wright, August 20



The New York Times

The Solar Eclipse: What to Expect

NYT, August 21

Charlottesville: What the Data Say on Women of Color

Charlottesville: What the Data Say on Women of Color

The recent “Unite the Right” events in Charlottesville saw the mobilization of violent individuals by organizations working to exploit hate and fear in an effort to advance white supremacy.  The emboldened white nationalist movement in the United States requires redoubled efforts to address racism in America in all its forms, from structural racism and inequitable public policies, to outright terror.

As an organization focused on how intersections of gender, race, and ethnicity affect opportunity, safety, and prosperity, we feel it is an important time to examine what we know about the status of women of color in our society, and to consider how policy can work toward equity and move away from policies that reinforce racism.

The Status of Black Women in the United States and the Status of Women in the South reports present social and economic indicators, illustrating how women, White women, and women of color are doing in comparison with White men. These reports also provide the indicators and additional data on a state-by-state basis and can help inform action toward humane policies motivated by principles of equity.

Findings like these can help to focus action in unsettling times:

  • Women who work full-time, year-round earn less than similarly-employed men. In the South, the site of recent violent racist incidents, women earn 70% of what White men earn, 4 percentage points lower than in non-southern states.
  • The poverty rate among women in the South l (16.4 percent) is nearly 20 percent higher than in all other states outside the South (13.7 percent). Among women from the largest racial and ethnic groups in the South, Black women have the highest poverty rate at 25.5 percent, followed by Hispanic (23.4 percent) and Native American women (20.9 percent). For perspective, the poverty rate among men in the South is 12.2%.
  • Nationally, Black women are two and a half times more likely to be murdered by men than are White women. South Carolina has the highest murder rate in the country at 2.32 per 100,000 women—nearly double the national rate.
  • Young Black women aged 18-19 were four times more likely to be imprisoned than young White women. Girls and women of color are the fastest growing populations in American prisons.
  • In the South, median annual earnings for U.S.-born women are 28 percent higher than earnings for immigrant women.

Despite challenges, Black women and other women of color have consistently been at the front of the social justice movements, pushing for social and policy changes that benefit society as a whole.

In recent months, false narratives have succeeded in altering public debate and policy leaving evidence-based rigor behind. Grounded in evidence and democratic values, voices that seek openness, tolerance, and equity must be raised and strengthened.

Intern Spotlight: Jiani Yang

image_uploaded_from_ios_1024.jpgName: Jiani Yang

Major/Year/School: MA in Higher Education Administration, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, George Washington University.

Position: Research Intern, Student Parent for Success Initiative

Past Internship: Summer Intern at The Columbian College of Arts and Science Undergraduate Academic Advising Office

What drew you to an internship at IWPR?

Last spring, my history of higher education class had a series of discussions about the history of women in higher education. It was such an eye-opening journey. After speaking with some experts in the field and recognizing many issues still affecting girls and women around the world, I decided to learn more about how to empower girls and women through education. IWPR positively influences women’s status through conducting research based on strong data and analysis, which resonates with my personal and career goals.

What research areas do you focus on?

Currently my research focuses on IWPR’s Student Parent Success Initiative. This program addresses the needs of low-income student parents, especially single mothers, in accessing and completing higher education degrees through research on topics like access to child care.

What has been the best part of interning at IWPR so far?

I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet so many fun, driven, and brilliant people at IWPR. Everyone I talk with is helping me to grow both as an intern and a person. Most common tasks for research intern are fact-checking IWPR publications and collecting information. Honestly, I didn’t expect to like them. But these two activities have allowed me to learn new knowledge and develop a more mature and sophisticated research approach.

Any advice for future IWPR interns?

I have two pieces of advice for future IWPR interns. First, believe in yourself. No matter how well you think you’ve prepared for this internship, there are going to be some curve balls your work throws at you. However, it is crucial to remember you’re here to learn and you will be successful. Second, don’t be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. It is absolutely easier said than done. I had tremendous support from my fellow interns when I first came to IWPR. If you feel overwhelmed by new work, don’t feel embarrassed to ask for help.

What are your future career interests?

For the foreseeable future, I will start my Ed.M. in Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University in fall 2018. I expect to incorporate new knowledge into my research on women and girls’ education.

Favorite lunch spot? My favorite lunch spot is OKI Bowl DC & Sake. I love their chashu and beef rice bowls.

Favorite D.C. museum? I can’t pick a favorite, since I haven’t visited many museums in Washington, D.C. But art museums are my favorite type of museum. I had a great time during my most recent trip to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. I’m no art expert, but I find the aesthetics of traditional and modern art appealing and soothing.

Favorite podcast or reading material on your commute? I am fairly new to podcasts, but so far favorite one is Planet Money. Planet Money is educational, informative, and entertaining. I chose Planet Money in an attempt to learn some economics knowledge, but its light, comedic, and thought-provoking storytelling made me stay.

What else do you like to do in your spare time? I love to have brunch with friends and chat for hours. Also, I enjoy a good cup of coffee, and a quiet place to read.

Learn more about IWPR’s internship program here.

Five Ways Washington State’s Recent Paid Leave Law Breaks New Ground

Five Ways Washington State’s Recent Paid Leave Law Breaks New Ground

By Kelly Rolfes-Haase

On July 5, Gov. Jay Inslee signed Washington State’s new Family Leave Act (FLA) into law. Starting on January 1, 2020, eligible employees will be entitled to up to twelve weeks of paid, job-protected leave for qualifying family or medical reasons, capped at sixteen weeks of combined family and medical leave, plus an additional two weeks available to mothers who experience pregnancy-related complications.

Washington joins California (2004), New Jersey (2009), Rhode Island (2014), New York (2018), and the District of Columbia (2020) in putting a state-level paid family leave policy in the books. Compared with these existing state paid leave systems, however, Washington’s law has several key features that make it a pioneer on the paid family and medical leave policy landscape.

Below are five ways in which Washington State’s FLA breaks new ground.

1.      Independent Funding System

In designing their paid family leave policies, California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and New York were able to build upon the administrative infrastructure of their existing temporary disability insurance (TDI) systems by expanding benefits to cover periods of family care. Because Washington State does not have a TDI system, its paid family leave policy will require the establishment of new administrative architecture and a trust fund for the collection and disbursement of benefits. The new law calls for premiums to be collected starting in 2019, one year prior to when benefits will be available, and for the first two years, premiums have been set at 0.4 percent of an employee’s wages (up to an income limit of around $130,000).[1] Thereafter, the state will set premiums based on the balance in the trust fund account. The premiums are currently set to be shared between employees and employers, with employees paying 63 percent of the premiums and most employers covering the remaining 37 percent.

2.      Greater Coverage for Low-Income Workers

Washington’s law provides lower income workers with a proportionately higher wage replacement rate than higher income workers with the goal of making leave more accessible to all workers.[2] Employees taking leave will receive 90 percent of their wages on earnings at or below half of Washington’s average weekly wage, plus 50 percent of their wages on earnings above Washington’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum benefit (currently set at $1,000/week). This makes Washington State’s family and medical leave payments among the most generous in the country, as existing state programs provide only between 55 percent and 67 percent replacement rates.

Unlike the family and medical leave laws in California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, eligibility is based on hours worked and not on earnings. The FLA covers all employees in Washington State (with the exception of federal employees) who have worked for at least 820 hours in the last four out of five calendar quarters (about 15 hours per week, on average). In addition, workers who are self-employed may choose to participate in the program as long as they opt in for at least three years.

3.      Maximum Length of Leave

WA State Paid Leave Blog New Law

In addition to the twelve weeks of paid family leave provided through Washington’s law, the FLA also provides employees with up to twelve weeks of medical leave, with the total period of benefits capped at sixteen weeks (or eighteen weeks for women who experience pregnancy-related complications). Washington’s law makes it one of the most generous in terms of the maximum length of family leave available. Although California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island allow for significant periods of medical leave under their TDI systems, they guarantee only four to six weeks of leave for family reasons. New York, the District of Columbia, and now Washington plan to offer longer periods of family leave—eight weeks increasing to twelve, fourteen weeks, and twelve weeks, respectively.

4.      Job Protections

The FLA provides job protections that extend beyond the twelve weeks of protection provided by the FMLA: up to the law’s cap of sixteen weeks of combined family and medical leave (or eighteen weeks for women who experience pregnancy-related complications). The law uses the more stringent FMLA requirements for employer size and hours worked for access to job protection benefits, however, which is estimated to exclude about 40 percent of private-sector workers nationally.

As a result, the FLA’s job-protection benefits are only available to employees working for larger employers (50+ employees) who have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last year.[3]

5.      Support for Businesses

All employers in Washington State (including state and local governments) must participate in the family and medical leave insurance program, although waivers are available for employers that already have private paid family and medical leave programs in place that provide at least the benefits guaranteed under the state law.

The law also provides additional supports for small businesses. First, employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to pay the employer portion of the insurance premium, although their employees must make contributions and are eligible for paid leave. Second, if small employers choose to contribute to the fund, they may apply for a grant to assist with the cost of hiring a temporary worker or to cover other wage-related costs associated with employee leave. Finally, employers with 150 employees or fewer may apply for the same grants, all of which are funded by the family and medical leave insurance account.

Washington State’s new Family Leave Act represents an exciting development on the state-level paid family and medical leave policy scene. The law’s independent funding system, the progressivity, generosity, and coverage of its paid benefits, the length of leave available, the additional job-protection benefits provided, and its supports for small businesses make the FLA unique compared with existing state policies. Washington’s decision to implement a paid family and medical leave system in the way that it has, to borrow the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, will make it a laboratory of democracy for the rest of the country to watch and learn from moving forward.

To view more of IWPR’s research, visit IWPR.org

[1] The wage base limit subject to taxation for Social Security

[2] California is set to adopt a more progressive benefit structure starting in 2018, and the District of Columbia’s leave payments will also be progressive once they are implemented in 2020.

[3] In order to receive job protection under FMLA, employees must work for an employer with 50 or more employees, have worked for her/his employer for at least one year, and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the last twelve months.

Intern Spotlight: Abigail Clayborne

abigail.jpgName: Abigail Clayborne

Major/Year/School: Bachelor of Business Administration with a Concentration in Accountancy and a Minor in Economics. Rising Junior. The George Washington University.

Position: Administrative (Accounting/HR) Intern

Past Internships: none

What drew you to an internship at IWPR?

I knew I wanted an accounting or business internship this summer to jumpstart my business career, but I wanted to be a part of an organization with a greater purpose than just crunching numbers. My internship at IWPR has allowed me to gain valuable business skills while also supporting and learning from a forward-thinking organization.

What does a typical day at IWPR look like?

Each day is different; I could be helping with next year’s budgets, managing accounts payable, or reconciling bank accounts. I love working with numbers and am always eager to take on a challenging problem!

What has been the best part of interning at IWPR so far?

Hands down, the people. Everyone here is incredibly intelligent and passionate about the work that they do. I am surrounded by some very talented and driven people who inspire me to work hard and learn as much as I can each day that I am here.

Any advice for future IWPR interns?

Make the most of your time at IWPR and jump at every available opportunity— you won’t realize how much you have learned and grown until you are done with your internship!

What are your future career interests?

I have just accepted an internship offer with PwC for next summer. I hope to stay with the firm after graduation and see where the opportunities take me!

Favorite lunch spot? CAVA— its fast, easy, and delicious. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only a block away either.

Favorite D.C. museum? The Air and Space Museum. I am still amazed by the fact that we are able to fly massive metal objects through the air!

Favorite podcast or reading material on your commute? I only have a 15 minute walk to work, but I love listening to some smooth Indie tunes on my way in.

What else do you like to do in your spare time? I am a cheerleader at GW, so I love meeting up with my teammates and working on stunts or new skills whenever we can!

Stay tuned throughout the summer as we highlight other IWPR interns and learn more about IWPR’s internship program here.