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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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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