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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

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.

 

Accelerating Change for Women Faculty of Color in STEM: Policy, Action, and Collaboration
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Youngmin Yi (November 2013)

This report is part of a project to address the underrepresentation of women faculty of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) led by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). It summarizes highlights from a convening held in May 2013 that brought together nearly 50 experts, including professors, academic administrators, and representatives of government, professional societies, the corporate sector, and women’s organizations. It addresses the barriers that make it difficult for women faculty of color to advance in STEM fields, key programmatic and policy shifts that would promote their success, and strategies for implementing promising changes and taking them to scale. The convening and report are part of IWPR’s research on education and training, which includes early care and education, girls’ experiences in the K-12 system, postsecondary attainment, and high-quality workforce development opportunities for STEM and other careers. IWPR’s recent research in this area includes a profile of programs at community colleges designed to engage women in STEM fields, as well as reports exploring pedagogical methods to increase women’s participation in engineering.

 

Defining College Affordability for Low-Income Adults
by Barbara Gault (November 2013)

PowerPoint presentation on "Defining College Affordability for low-income adults: Improving returns on investment for families and society" prepared for the Lumina Foundation's Authors Conference.

 

Gender Poverty Gap Grows in Recovery: Men's Poverty Dropped Since Recession, Women's Poverty Stagnates
by Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D., Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (September 2013)

The persistent gap in male and female poverty has been growing during the economic recovery, with 16.3 percent of females, and 13.6 percent of males living in poverty in 2012. The gender poverty gap reached an historic low in 2010 just after the official end of the recession, when 16.2 percent of females, and 14.0 percent of males lived in poverty (Figure 1).

 

Enhancing the Status of Women: How Engaging Women in Leadership Creates a More Inclusive Democracy and Improves Women’s Lives
by Elyse Shaw, Drew McCormick, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D., and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (May 2013)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has been at the forefront of research on issues and policies that affect women’s continued participation and leadership in society and politics. Through its analysis of the issues of greatest importance to women in society, IWPR has greatly contributed to social and policy changes. The research done by IWPR in the area of democracy and society across the years has shown the ways in which American society benefits from the advancement of women in leadership positions and women’s increased civic and political engagement. IWPR’s research also highlights policy changes that would help women achieve greater equity. IWPR continues to work both internationally and domestically to provide relevant data on issues of importance to women’s lives and has disseminated its research through various conferences to ensure that advocates and policymakers alike have the tools to enable them to participate in making policy changes that benefit women and their families.

 
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College Students with Children are Common and Face Many Challenges in Completing Higher Education Summary
by Bethany Nelson, Megan Froehner, and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (March 2013)

The role of parenthood in postsecondary outcomes needs greater focus from the higher education reform community. Unless the care-giving responsibilities of low-income adults are actively acknowledged and addressed, efforts to improve postsecondary access and completion for low-income adults, be they through online learning, improved on-ramps, developmental education, institutional accountability, financial aid, or curriculum reform, are likely to fall short of their full potential for change. Colleges, universities, and their surrounding communities must take steps to help students succeed in their work as both students and parents.

 
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Improving Outcomes for Marginalized Girls in the Secondary Education and Workforce Development Systems
by Rhiana Gunn-Wright and Barbara Gault, Ph.D. (January 2013)

This Article, published in the Georgetown Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, discusses the educational status of marginalized girls, outlines challenges that can undermine their success in school, presents promising educational and workforce development programs for marginalized girls at both the secondary and postsecondary levels, and provides recommendations for public policy solutions to improve their opportunities. To purchase pdf or printed copies of this article, please visit: https://articleworks.cadmus.com/geolaw/z5800213.html

 
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