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.

 

 

What We’re Reading Today (12/8)

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.)


DOMESTIC POLICY

The Wall Street Journal

Mine the Gap: More Women Embrace Mining Careers

Rachel Pannett, December 8

 

The New York Times

Job Growth Signals Robust Economy, With Gain of 228,000

Ben Casselman, December 8

 

The Washington Post

Exactly how male-dominated are central banks? Here are the numbers.

Cristina Bodea and Tara Iseneker, December 8

 

The Washington Post

The U.S. economy is creating millionaires at an astonishing pace. But what’s it doing for everyone else?

Christopher Ingraham, December 7

 

Moneyish

All-male panels are going extinct and this is a big reason why

Katerina Ang, December 8

 

The Washington Post

Bill would let silenced victims of workplace harassment take their claims to court

Drew Harwell, December 6

 

OPINION

The Washington Post

This woman was a silence breaker on harassment. And she was fired for it, she says.

Petula Dvorak, December 7

 

The New York Times

How Harvard’s Hypocrisy Could Hurt Your Union

Vail Kohnert-Yount and Jared Odessky, December 7

 

The Washington Post

A Welcome College Diversity Push

David Leonhardt, December 7

IWPR Research News Roundup – October 2017

RESEARCH MAKING THE NEWS

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

By Judith Ohikuare |  | 11.3.2017

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

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

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

By Emily Gurnon |  | 10.19.2017

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

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

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New Research Shows Women Freelancers Face a Big Gender Pay Gap

By Nina Zipkin |  | 10.19.2017

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

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

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

By Perry Stein |  | 10.12.2017

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

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

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

By Sarah Gordon |  | 10.4.2017

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

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

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

By Annie Lowrey |  | 9.22.2017

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

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

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NEW RESEARCH REPORTS

Women in the Workplace 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Impact of Low Unemployment Rates on Disadvantaged Groups

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

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

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The 2017 Distressed Communities Index

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

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

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Post-hurricane recovery efforts must include women’s voices

By Heidi Hartmann and Geanine Wester

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

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

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

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

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

Paid Sick and Safe Days

Paid Sick and Safe Days

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

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

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

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

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

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.


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