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

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

Latest Reports from IWPR

Community College Students Need Fair Job Scheduling Practices
by Lindsey Reichlin, Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (July 2014)

Working is often critical to community college students’ ability to pursue a postsecondary education, but holding a job while in school can threaten a student’s success in college. For students to succeed at both school and work, they need jobs with predictable schedules and they need to have a say in scheduling so that work does not conflict with classes. This is especially important for students who are also parents, who must often schedule child care in addition to work and school.

 

Paid Sick Days Access Varies by Race/Ethnicity, and Job Characteristics
by Rachel O'Connor, Jeff Hayes, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (July 2014)

Paid sick days bring multiple benefits to employers, workers, families, and communities at large. The economic and public health benefits of paid sick leave coverage are substantial, including safer work environments; reduced spread of contagion; and reduced health care costs. Access to this important benefit, however, is still too rare, and is unequally distributed across the U.S. population, with substantial differences by race and ethnicity, occupation, earnings levels, and work schedules. New data also reveals differences by sexual orientation, especially for men.

 

Paid Parental Leave in the United States: What the Data Tell Us about Access, Usage, and Economic and Health Benefits
by Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Jessica Milli, Ph.D., Lindsey Reichlin (June 2014)

This paper was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) as a part of a series of Scholars’ Papers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of American Women: Report of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, 1963.

 
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Quality Jobs and Supports Build Strong Workplaces
by Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (June 2014)

Testimony of Barbara Gault, Ph.D.before the Joint Economic Committee June 18, 2014

 

Securing a Better Future: A Portrait of Female Students in Mississippi’s Community Colleges
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Sylvia Krohn, Lindsey Reichlin, Stephanie Román, and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (June 2014)

This report presents findings from a survey of female community college students in Mississippi conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and commissioned by the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. The survey is designed to identify supports and practices that can help women succeed in community college and attain economic security. It explores women’s motivations for pursuing college, their personal and career goals, their support needs, and the economic, health, and time challenges that they experience. The survey was designed as a part of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s Student Parent Success Initiative, which provides information and tools to promote the success of student parents in postsecondary education.

 

College Affordability for Low-Income Adults: Improving Returns on Investment for Families and Society
by Barbara Gault, Ph.D., Lindsey Reichlin, M.A., Stephanie Román (April 2014)

This report was prepared by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) as a part of a series of papers on defining college affordability sponsored by the Lumina Foundation. The report examines how efforts to understand and improve college affordability can be informed by the experiences and circumstances of low-income adults, students of color, and students with dependent children.

 

Paid Sick Days Access in the United States: Differences by Race/Ethnicity, Occupation, Earnings, and Work Schedule
by Claudia Williams and Barbara Gault (March 2014)

Paid sick days bring substantial benefits to employers, workers, families, and communities. The economic and public health benefits of paid sick leave coverage include safer work environments; improved work life balance, reduced spread of contagion; and reduced health care costs. Access to this important benefit, however, is still too rare, and is unequally distributed across the U.S. population, with differences by race and ethnicity, occupation, earnings levels, and work schedules. Utilizing data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), IWPR finds that in 2012, approximately 61 percent of private-sector workers age 18 and older in the U.S. had access to paid sick days (Figure 1); up from 57 percent in 2009. More than 41 million workers lack access.

 
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