Monday, April 2, 2018

Graphic via Institute for Women's Policy Research
By Erin Macey, Policy Analyst

Indiana has once again received a “D” for the economic status of women in the state, and still ranks dead last among all states for work & family policies. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently updated state grades and data from its Employment & Earnings Index and Poverty & Opportunity Index, part of its Status of Women in the States series. States are currently graded on six areas: Employment & Earnings; Political Participation; Poverty & Opportunity; Reproductive Rights; Health & Well-Being; and Work & Family. The data can be found on IWPR’s interactive website.

Indiana is once again in the bottom third of states, earning a “D” overall. Its rankings on the two updated grades - Employment & Earnings and Poverty & Opportunity – remained unchanged: both D’s. Currently, Indiana’s highest grade is a C- in political participation and its lowest is an “F” in work & family, where the state ranks 51st overall. Indiana’s grade in this area is due in part to lack of legislative support for policies like paid leave, elder and dependent care, child care, and prekindergarten.

"The Indiana legislature has yet to make improving women’s economic status a priority,” said policy analyst Erin Macey. “It’s not surprising that we have seen no progress on these measures.”

The report ranks Indiana #48 in the nation for both Gender Wage Ratio and for Share of All Workers in Managerial and Professional Jobs. In 2016, Indiana’s gender wage gap grew two percentage points, as highlighted in the Indiana Institute for Working Families’ report Wages, Wealth, & Poverty: Where Hoosier Women Stand and Ways our State Can Close the Gaps. The report also showed that women were more likely to experience poverty than men.

A number of bills were offered this year that might have improved women’s economic outcomes in the state. These included improvements to Indiana’s equal pay law, workplace accommodations for pregnant women, increases to the minimum wage, and a paid family leave program. None received hearings.

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