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Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Chartbook on Women's Progress

Summary of publication

This report was written by Ariane Hegewisch, Jeff Hayes, Jessica Milli, Elyse Shaw, and Heidi Hartmann of the Institute for Women's Policy Research. 

The report reviews the changes that have taken place in women's lives over the past several decades from the vantage point of five different generational cohorts of women.  Issues examined include: the gender wage gap, occupational segregation and job polarization, the need for work-family supports, and changes in retirement expectations. The report looks ahead to what women can expect in the future.

Key findings:

· Women have made huge gains in education, but the gains are not universal.

· The wage gap between women and men has narrowed, but the gender wage gap remains.

· The labor market remains strikingly gender segregated.

· Women have increased their labor force participation, but still bear a disproportionate share of family caregiving responsibility.

· Different patterns of work have lifelong consequences for the retirement security of women.

· Policy changes are needed to enable women to achieve financial security.

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