Skip to contentNational Women's Law Center

Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis

Katherine Gallagher Robbins

Katherine Gallagher Robbins is Director of Research and Policy Analysis at the National Women's Law Center. She oversees the Center's research with a primary focus on women's economic security and educational equity. Dr. Gallagher Robbins holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a BA in Government from the College of William and Mary. Before attending graduate school she worked as an organizer for the California Public Interest Research Group at the University of California, San Diego.

My Take

White House: Raising the Minimum Wage and Tipped Minimum Wage Helps Close Wage Gap, Reduces Poverty

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: March 26, 2014 at 11:41 am

A new report  issued by the White House this morning provides more compelling evidence that raising the minimum wage is critical for advancing fair pay and economic security for women. The report evaluates the impact of the Fair Minimum Wage Act proposed by Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Miller (D-CA) and, like the NWLC analysis of the proposal, finds that women would especially benefit from raising the minimum wage, now just $7.25 an hour, to $10.10 per hour, increasing the tipped minimum cash wage – now just $2.13 an hour – to 70 percent of the minimum wage, and indexing these wages for inflation.

Here are some key findings from the report:

Read more...

Six New Facts on Why We Must Raise the Minimum Wage and Advance Equal Pay

We like numbers! We’ve previously identified 10 reasons why raising the minimum wage is a women’s issue. Well, we’ve been crunching some new employment and wage data and wanted to share these new six facts (and a chart!) that underscore why it’s critical to raise the minimum wage and advance equal pay and equal opportunity for women:

  • Three-quarters: The share of workers in the 10 largest low-wage occupations (defined in this analysis as those with median hourly wages of less than $10.10 per hour) who are women (76 percent), compared to 47 percent of all workers who are women.
Read more...

President Obama's Budget Expands Investments in Infrastructure and Manufacturing - But Women Are Falling Behind

The President’s budget proposes billions for infrastructure and manufacturing – critical job investments for both women and men. For this investment to pay off for working families, we need to prioritize programs that move women into nontraditional, higher paying jobs. Yet the budget simultaneously eliminates the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) program.

WANTO supports community-based organizations that provide training to women in pre-apprenticeship programs and technical assistance to employers and labor unions. WANTO promotes nontraditional occupations for women and provides support for women’s success in the trades. Eliminating WANTO may slow women’s entrance into traditionally male-dominated fields, and leaves vulnerable the organizations who received support through WANTO for almost a decade. Women are already losing traction in these fields, accounting for just 10 percent of the gains in the 272,000 jobs added in the construction and manufacturing industries in the last year, despite comprising 22 percent of these industries.

Read more...

President Obama's Proposed Expansion of the EITC Will Benefit 6.1 Million Working Women

In President Obama’s FY15 budget he proposes expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) [PDF] for workers without dependent children.

This expansion would benefit women at all stages of their lives. It will help young women entering the workforce, including financially independent students. It will help mothers, whose earnings have been reduced because of caregiving, after their children have left home. It will also help older women seeking to supplement or increase their Social Security benefits.

Women are a majority of low-wage workers, and this proposal means that the tax code would no longer push low-wage, childless workers into poverty. Instead, it rewards work, boosts incomes, and reduces poverty.

Read more...

Gender Wage Gap for Union Members Is Half the Size of Non-Union Workers' Wage Gap

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released new data on union membership for 2013. The data show women’s union membership held steady in 2013 after dropping sharply the year before – and that’s a relief for women seeking better wages and equal pay.

NWLC analysis reveals that the wage gap among union members is half the size of the wage gap among non-union workers and female union members earn over $200 per week more than women who are not represented by unions—an increase that represents a larger union premium than men receive.

This release is especially timely. Earlier this week the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that challenges the right of low-wage workers, overwhelmingly women, who provide home care services under Illinois’ Medicaid program—and potentially the right of all public employees—to be represented by unions. Today’s data make it clear that this case has high stakes for working women and men.

Here are all the details:

Read more...