Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives.
1200 18th Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036
202 785-5100


IWPR publishes its research in formats ranging from short fact sheets to longer form research reports. The Institute publishes on topics addressing the policy needs of women, including pay equity, retirement security, family leave, paid sick days, and employment.

For a full overview of our research areas and to view publications by topic, please visit our Initiatives area. All publications are available for free download on our website or you may choose to buy them through the Google Checkout icon to the right of the publication listing.  To request a publication by phone or e-mail, please contact Mallory Mpare at 202-785-5100 or

Browse our publications below or use our Publication Finder to search for what you're looking for.

Latest Reports from IWPR

Preview not available

The Status of Women in Robeson County, North Carolina
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D. and Claudia Williams (August 2013)

Women in Robeson County, North Carolina, and in North Carolina as a whole, have made significant progress during the last few decades, but more remains to be done to elevate women’s status. Women make important contributions to the economic health of their communities—nearly half of women in Robeson County are in the labor force—but women’s status overall still lags behind men’s, and not all women are prospering equally. This briefing paper provides basic information about the status of women in Robeson County, focusing on women’s earnings and workforce participation, level of education, poverty, access to child care, and health status. It also provides basic demographic information about women in this area.


117,000 Jobs Gained by Women in July: Number of Women’s Jobs Is Approaching Pre-Recession Level
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (August 2013)

According to the IWPR analysis of the August employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth slowed in July for men, but accelerated slightly for women. Of the 162,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls in July, women gained 117,000 jobs (72 percent) while men gained 45,000 jobs (28 percent). In June women gained 102,000 jobs and men gained 86,000 jobs.

Preview not available

Prepping Colleges for Parents: Strategies for Supporting Student Parent Success in Postsecondary Education
by Rachel Schumacher (July 2013)

This brief is a product of the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI) at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). It provides a framework for thinking about the range of supports student parents typically need and example programs. It draws from information and lessons learned collected by IWPR from initiatives supporting student parents at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country. SPSI resources may be used to inform the decisions of leaders on campuses, in communities, and among policymakers to promote better success rates and stronger families for student parents in postsecondary education. This paper was first published in 2013 as a working paper and later updated in 2015.


Student Parents and Financial Aid
by Mark Huelsman and Jennifer Engle, Institute for Higher Education Policy (July 2013)

This brief aims to explain the circumstances of student parents – particularly vis-á-vis the financial aid system – as well as detail major federal programs that could impact student parents’ college-going experience. Given that this population makes up around 1 in 4 students in higher education, it is important that these programs are better understood, utilized, and improved upon where needed.


The Third Shift: Child Care Needs and Access for Working Mothers in Restaurants
by The Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Center for Law and Social Policy, Family Values @ Work, Institute For Women’s Policy Research, MomsRising, National Organization For Women, National Partnership For Women & Families, National Women’s Law Center (July 2013)

Preview not available

Job Growth Remains Steady for Both Women and Men
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (July 2013)

IWPR’s analysis of the July employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) finds that job growth for both women and men continued to improve in June compared to the previous month. Of the 195,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, women gained 113,000 jobs (58 percent) while men gained 82,000 jobs (42 percent).


Balancing Work and Family: How Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Work-Family Legislation Supports Policy Change
by Maureen Sarna, Ariane Hegewisch, and Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (June 2013)

important policies in allowing workers, particularly women who do the majority of family care, to balance employment with care giving responsibilities, including: family and medical leave and paid sick days, child care, and workplace flexibility. By identifying and estimating the costs and benefits of a wide range of workplace policies to both workers and their families, as well as to employers and society as a whole, IWPR has provided strong evidence against claims that these policies harm businesses and the economy. IWPR research has informed legislation at the local, state, and national levels. IWPR’s work has been highly influential in the passage of most of the nation’s leave policies, including the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance Program, California’s Paid Family Leave (PFL), and paid sick days legislation in San Francisco, the District of Columbia, Milwaukee (subsequently overturned by the state government), Connecticut, Seattle, and New York City.


Financing Child Care for College Student Success
by Todd Boressoff (June 2013)

This toolkit provides information about a wide range of funding sources for campus-based child care. It is intended as a resource for early care and education programs, institutions of higher learning, advocates, and policymakers. In addition to descriptions of each resource, it contains over a hundred links to websites of relevant organizations. It is designed as a guide for those seeking to provide quality child care for colleges and university students, considering how to strengthen and expand existing services, or hoping to build networks of support for students with children and other parents on campus.

#G719, Toolkit, 44 pages

Workforce Investment System Reinforces Occupational Gender Segregation and the Gender Wage Gap
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (June 2013)

IWPR’s analysis of training services received by WIA clients shows stark gender segregation in the jobs and careers for which women and men receive training.


Memorandum: Proposed temporary caregiver insurance (TCI) within Rhode Island’s Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program
by Jeff Hayes (June 2013)

IWPR has calculated estimates of the cost of providing temporary caregiver insured leave proposed under Rhode Island's S 0231, which would provide up to eight (8) weeks of wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off work to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a new child.


The Status of Women and Girls in Colorado
by Cynthia Hess, Ph.D., Ariane Hegewisch, Youngmin Yi, Claudia Williams, and Justine Augeri (June 2013)

This report provides critical data and analyzes areas of progress for women and girls in Colorado as well as places where progress has slowed or stalled. It examines a range of interconnected issues affecting the lives of women and girls in Colorado, including economic security and poverty, employment and earnings, educational opportunity, personal safety, and women’s leadership. In addition to discussing the current status of women and girls, the report tracks progress over the last two decades by comparing findings with those from earlier status of women reports by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and Girls Count (1994) and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2000). The 2013 Status of Women and Girls in Colorado report also analyzes how the circumstances of women and girls differ across Colorado’s regions and how women and girls in the state fare compared with their counterparts in the nation as a whole.


Moderate Job Growth for Both Women and Men: Unemployment Rate for Single Mothers Declines to 9.9 Percent
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (June 2013)

According to the IWPR analysis of the June employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for both women and men improved in May compared to the previous month. Of the 175,000 total jobs added to nonfarm payrolls, women gained 82,000 jobs (47 percent) while men gained 93,000 jobs (53 percent). For the first time since December 2008, the unemployment rate for women who head households without a spouse fell below ten percent.


Valuing Good Health in Oregon: The Costs and Benefits of Earned Sick Days
by Claudia William, Jasmin Griffin, and Jeffrey Hayes (May 2013)

This briefing paper uses data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Oregon Public Health Division, and the U.S. Census Bureau to evaluate costs and benefits of Oregon’s House Bill 3390. It estimates how much time off Oregon workers would use under the proposed policy and the costs to employers for that sick time. This analysis also uses findings from previous peer-reviewed research to estimate cost-savings associated with the proposed policy, through reduced turnover, reduced spread of contagious disease in the workplace, prevention of productivity losses from employees working while sick, minimized nursing-home stays, and reduced norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes. The study is one of a series of analyses by IWPR examining the effects of earned sick days policies.


Making Research Count for Women: Launching the Next 25 Years
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)


The Truth in the Data: How Quantifying Women’s Labor Market Experiences Changes the Conversation about the Economy
by Ariane Hegewisch, Maxwell Matite, and Youngmin Yi (May 2013)

From the outset, IWPR has highlighted the wage gap as a key indicator of women’s economic security and gender (in)equality in the workplace. Fact sheets on the overall gender wage gap were published in IWPR’s first years and document how much the earnings ratio between men and women changed over time, as well as how earnings for different groups of women varied over this period of time. From 1996 onwards, the Institute’s research program on the Status of Women in the States has made these data available on a state-by-state basis, including in the report Women's Economic Status in the States: Wide Disparities by Race, Ethnicity, and Region (published in 2004). IWPR also provides state-by-state wage data in Femstats, a section of its website, in spreadsheet form. IWPR’s research has also linked trends in the wage gap to policy developments, changes in the economy, and ongoing changes in women’s lives. Such trends as later marriage, reduced fertility, gains in education, the growth of low-wage jobs and contingent work in the U.S. economy, and changes in the minimum wage, equal employment opportunity enforcement, and collective bargaining all affect women’s opportunities in the labor market, including their labor force participation and the amount of sex segregation they face in employment. IWPR’s studies have ranged from detailed examinations of specific industries to analyses of trends affecting the entire economy.


Investing in Success: How Quality Early Child Care, Education, and Workforce Training Improve the Well-Being of Girls and Women
by Holly Firlein, Barbara Gault, Ph.D., and Bethany Nelson (May 2013)

Recognizing that education is the gateway to opportunity, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has been a significant source of research on education and training, including work on early care and education, girls' experiences in the K-12 system, high quality workforce development opportunities, and postsecondary attainment. Its work has explored the importance of education for improving women's earnings, the importance of access to quality early care and education for mothers’ labor force outcomes, methods for improving job quality among early care and education providers, the role of child care in spurring and sustaining economic development, the importance of low-income women's access to postsecondary education as a poverty reduction tool, strategies for increasing the success of student parents in college through providing child care and other supports, and inceasing women's representation in higher paying, traditionally male careers such as in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.


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.


Health, Safety, Violence, and Disaster: How Economic Analysis Improves Outcomes for Women and Families
by Susan Martin, Ph.D. and Youngmin Yi (May 2013)

IWPR’s women’s health and safety efforts highlight the social and economic aspects of health, safety, and security issues. Over the past quarter century, the Institute has addressed women’s access to health insurance, the costs and benefits of preventive health services, reproductive health and rights, including the economic benefits of economic freedom, and the link between women’s socioeconomic status and health. IWPR’s examinations of safety issues have drawn attention to domestic violence as well as the effects of terrorism and disasters on women’s well-being. Its research has informed policy decisions by identifying both the limitations on access to health care services and ways to expand access, as well as the gender and racial/ethnic disparities in health outcomes. The Institute’s reports and resources have addressed a range of policy issues such as access to paid sick days including analyses of the health benefits of providing paid sick-days, breastfeeding protections under the Affordable Care Act, and in-home services for the elderly and others who need long-term care. For example, IWPR’s fact sheets and briefing papers include a 1994 analysis of the proposed Clinton health care reform o access to health insurance for women of color, a policy update on abortion since the passage of Roe v. Wade, published in 2003, and an estimate in 2012 of potential benefits and cost savings, focused on savings from reduced emergency room use, anticipated with the adoption of mandatory paid sick days in New York City.


The Gendered Dynamics of Income Security: How Social Science Research Can Identify Pathways Out of Poverty and Toward Economic Security
by Courtney Kishbaugh and Jeffrey Hayes, Ph.D. (May 2013)

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) addressed issues of women, poverty and income security issues from its beginnings. IWPR’s first publication on these topics, Low-Wage Jobs and Workers: Trends and Options for Change (published in 1989), finds a growing share of adults working in low-wage jobs and a growing share of families relying on low-wage work for a major share of family income. It also finds that women and people of color are far more likely to work in low-wage jobs than white males. Federal or federally-funded data sets analyzed for the study included the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID). Low-Wage Jobs and Workers, a report funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and jointly disseminated with the non-profit Women Work! (then the National Displaced Homemakers Network), became the first of many influential policy pieces centered on poverty and income security. Since then, IWPR has continued to expand its research on poverty issues, focusing primarily on the topics of Social Security and older women’s economic security, welfare reform and its impact on women and children, the impact of unemployment on low-income women and their families, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region. IWPR’s work has shed light on the experiences and needs of particularly vulnerable and underserved communities, inspired national and international conversations about these issues, and informed policy change.


Women’s Share of Seats in Congress, 1960-2013 with Projection for Political Parity in 2121
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2013)

Document Actions
Go to Home Page