This report examines the valuable role women play as caregivers to both their children and to their aging parents. It looks at the impact of widowhood, and the difference in life expectancy between men and women and how that affects a growing number of older women --espeically those over age 86-- who are living below the poverty line. And it examines the special role that Social Security plays in meeting the income security needs of women from communities of color.
by Carroll Estes, Terry O'Neill, Heidi Hartmann, Ph.D. (May 2012)
According to IWPR analysis of the May employment report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth continued in April with 115,000 jobs added to nonfarm payrolls. In April, women gained 84,000 jobs (nearly three-quarters of jobs added) and men gained 31,000.
by Institute for Women's Policy Research (May 2012)
Single motherhood is very common. Around half of today’s mothers will spend at least some time as the sole custodial parent. At any one time, almost one quarter of mothers are single mothers. Read more about single mothers in this report, including on employment, income, and poverty.
Paid Time Off (PTO) banks are an alternative to traditional paid leave plans that consolidate multiple types of leave (paid vacation, sick, and personal days) into a single plan. An employer does not designate leave for any particular reason, but instead simply gives employees one “bucket” of leave. Nearly one in five employees in the United States receive leave in the form of a PTO bank, but the contours of such policies are often little understood—especially outside of the human resources community. While private consulting firms have published studies on the use of such plans in the private sector for years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just began releasing some information about consolidated leave plans (i.e., PTO banks) in 2010. This report explores what is known, and what needs more study, about PTO banks.
Each year, OWL team members, board members and other volunteers gather together to decide the most pressing issue facing midlife and older women. This issue is then researched and information is gathered to compile the Mother’s Day Report. These reports are free to all and we hope that you enjoy them!
2012 Women and the Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as They Age
This year’s report looks at how factors such as unemployment and underemployment, pay inequality, caregiving, age and gender discrimination, and education, training, and technology are impacting women age 40 and older. The report highlights existing programs that produce real results and offer innovative solutions and policy-driven recommendations to expand economic diversity and accelerate our nation’s productivity.
New “Retirement Revealed” data looks at women’s retirement planning and financial situations, with additional insights based on age and marital status, and a special report about women currently raising children.
Three essays in favor and three opposed from the U.S. News and World Report Debate Club
From U. S. News & World Report:
After battles over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the mandate by President Obama’s healthcare law that religious institutions cover contraceptives for employees, another storm is brewing in Washington over women-oriented issues. The Senate is expected to call a vote in the coming weeks on the Paycheck Fairness Act, an update on 1963’s Equal Pay Act, which made wage discrimination based on one’s sex illegal. With a reported 77 cents to the dollar pay gap between women and men, respectively, persisting nearly five decades later, the Paycheck Fairness Act is designed to help those who believe they are victims of gender-based wage discrimination by making wages more transparent, by requiring that employers prove that wage discrepancies are tied to legitimate business qualifications and not gender, and by prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination. The bill, supported by the Obama administration, was passed by the House in January 2009 only to be stalled in the Senate in November 2010, and was reintroduced in both chambers in April 2011. Democratic National Committee Chair and Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz recently urged presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to take a stand on the bill, bringing it back into the political limelight and putting the pressure on Senate Dems to prioritize a vote on the legislation.
Proponents say that more must be done to close the pay gap between men and women, particularly with much greater participation by women in the workforce since the Equal Pay Act became law. Opponents say that the proposed new law misdiagnoses the problem, questioning the data cited by its supporters, and would unfairly harm small businesses as the economic recovery struggles to pick up steam. Should the Senate pass the Paycheck Fairness Act? Here is the Debate Club’s take.
With a growing need for family-friendly workplace policies, a new study commissioned by the National Partnership for Women & Families, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, concludes that providing paid family leave to workers leads to positive economic outcomes for working families, businesses and the public.
The research, conducted by the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, finds that women who use paid leave are far more likely to be working nine to 12 months after a child’s birth than those who do not take any leave.
The study, led by The University of Manchester and Monash University, Melbourne, and published in the International Journal of Obesity, examined whether a recently developed measure of anti-fat prejudice, the universal measure of bias (UMB), predicted actual obesity job discrimination. The researchers also assessed whether people's insecurity with their own bodies (body image) and conservative personalities such as, authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation were related to obesity discrimination, as they are related to homophobia and racism.
Psychologist and lead researcher Dr Kerry O'Brien said the nature of the study was initially concealed from the participants to avoid biased results, and simply advertised as a study on whether some people are better at personnel selection than others.