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Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Vice President and Executive Director

Barbara Gault, Ph.D., is the Vice President and Executive Director of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Since joining the Institute in 1997 she has focused on a wide range of issues of importance to women and their families, including poverty, access to education, health, work-life balance, political engagement, and the need for expanded preschool and child care options for working parents. Her publications include Improving Child Care Access to Promote Postsecondary Success Among Low-Income ParentsResilient and Reaching for More: Challenges and Benefits of Higher Education for Welfare Participants and Their Children, "The Costs and Benefits of Policies to Advance Work Life Integration" as well as The Price of School Readiness: A Tool for Estimating the Cost of Universal Preschool in the States; and Working First But Working Poor: The Need for Education and Training Following Welfare Reform.  She has testified in Congress on low-income women’s educational access, has spoken on women’s issues in venues throughout the country including at White House sponsored events, and appears in a range of print, radio and television media outlets. Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Gault conducted research at the Office of Children’s Health Policy Research, and served as a staff and board member of organizations promoting human rights in Latin America. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Coalition on Human Needs, and is a Research Professor of Women’s Studies at the George Washington University.

Commentary

Leveling the Playing Field for Student Parents--National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Talking Points: Baby Blues--Currents

Latest Reports from IWPR

The Gender Patenting Gap
by Jessica Milli, Barbara Gault, Emma Williams-Baron, Jenny Xia, and Meika Berlan (July 2016)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reviewed and analyzed published data and literature on women and patenting, finding that women hold an extremely small share of patents, and that at the current rate of progress, gender equity is more than 75 years away. This briefing paper presents a snapshot of the data and related recommendations.

 

Pathways to Equity: Narrowing the Wage Gap by Improving Women’s Access to Good Middle-Skill Jobs
by Ariane Hegewisch Marc Bendick Jr., Ph.D. Barbara Gault, Ph.D. Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (March 2016)

This report addresses women’s access to well-paid, growing, middle-skill jobs (jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree). It documents sex segregation in middle-skill jobs, and discusses how gender integration of good jobs could both reduce skill-shortages and improve women’s economic security. The report focuses on middle-skilled “target” occupations in manufacturing, information technology, and transportation, distribution, and logistics that have high projected job openings and that typically employ few women. Using an innovative methodology based on the U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net database, Marc Bendick, Ph.D., of Bendick and Egan Economic Consultants, Inc, joined IWPR researchers Ariane Hegewisch, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. to identify lower paid predominantly female occupations that share many of the characteristics of the “target” occupations and can serve as “on-ramp” occupations to good middle-skill jobs for women seeking to improve their earnings, and employers looking to fill the vacancies. The report is part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Pathways to Equity: Women and Good Jobs initiative, funded by a grant from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation as part of its of its $250 million, five-year New Skills at Work initiative. For more information, visit www.womenandgoodjobs.org

 

The Need for Support for Working Families
by Lindsey Reichlin, Ariane Hegewisch, and Barbara Gault (February 2016)

With women making up nearly half of the U.S. work force, and most children living in families with an employed mother, helping families balance work and family demands is an increasingly pressing priority. Few families have a “stay-at-home” parent to take care of health emergencies, look after the kids, or help with homework, yet workplace policies have not kept pace with this reality. Many workers do not have the basic work-family supports to provide the flexibility to deal with unforeseen events, or the predictability to meet caregiving responsibilities or to pursue education. This reduces economic opportunities, diminishes the health and well-being of mothers and their families, and pushes some women out of the workforce altogether. This briefing paper summarizes research on women’s employment and family responsibilities, and discusses three areas of workplace policy that provide opportunities to better support women and families: leave policies, child care and elder care supports, and access to workplace flexibility and predictability.

 

The Role of the Federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) Program in Supporting Student Parent Success
by Mary Sykes, Lindsey Reichlin, and Barbara Gault (February 2016)

Affordable, quality child care is crucial to the postsecondary success of the 4.8 million undergraduate students raising dependent children. Despite the growing number of postsecondary students who are parents, campus-based child care has been declining in recent years.

 

Paid Sick Days Access and Usage Rates Vary by Race/Ethnicity, Occupation, and Earnings
by Jenny Xia, Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Hailey Nguyen (February 2016)

Utilizing data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), this briefing paper estimates the proportion of public and private sector workers ages 18 and older with access to paid sick days, and their use of paid sick days, by race and ethnicity, immigration status, occupation, earnings, job level (supervisor/nonsupervisory status), and other demographic and occupational characteristics.

 

4.8 Million College Students are Raising Children
by Barbara Gault, Lindsey Reichlin, Elizabeth Reynolds, and Meghan Froehner (November 2014)

Over a quarter (26 percent) of all undergraduate students, or 4.8 million students, are raising dependent children. Women are disproportionately likely to be balancing college and parenthood, many without the support of a spouse or partner. Women make up 71 percent of all student parents, and roughly 2 million students, or 43 percent of the total student parent population, are single mothers. Single student fathers make up 11 percent of the student parent population.

 

Campus Child Care Declining Even As Growing Numbers of Parents Attend College
by Barbara Gault, Lindsey Reichlin, Elizabeth Reynolds, and Meghan Froehner (November 2014)

Affordable, reliable child care is a crucial support for the 4.8 million college students raising dependent children, but is often tough to find. High child care costs, difficulty obtaining subsidies, and scheduling challenges often create significant obstacles for student parents, and may contribute to their relatively low rates of college completion. Postsecondary systems can play an important role in promoting college success by helping student parents locate and pay for the child care they need to succeed in school

 
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