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Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst

Katherine Gallagher Robbins

Katherine Gallagher Robbins is a Senior Policy Analyst for Family Economic Security at the National Women’s Law Center where she examines how tax and budget policies influence the financial stability and security of low-income women and families.  Before joining the Center in 2010, Ms. Gallagher Robbins worked as an organizer for the California Public Interest Research Group at the University of California, San Diego. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a graduate of the College of William and Mary.

My Take

10 Reasons it’s Great that President Obama Supports a $10.10 Minimum Wage

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: November 08, 2013 at 03:31 pm

It’s official.  President Obama, who has long supported a minimum wage increase, has come out in support of Senator Harkin’s (D-IA) and Representative Miller’s (D-CA) Fair Minimum Wage Act

Here are 10 reasons this great news for women and families:

  1. Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers.
  2. Women of color are disproportionately represented among female minimum wage workers.
  3. One in four working mothers would get a raise if the minimum wage were increased to $10.10 per hour.

10 Vital Programs that Cost Less in a Year than Shutting Down the Government Has Cost Taxpayers So Far

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: October 11, 2013 at 01:08 pm

The National Priorities Project reports that shutting down the government costs about $6.667 million per hour.

How does this compare to the annual budgets for programs that are vital to women and families?


Poverty and the Wage Gap Both Hurt Women and Families

56 percent of poor children live in families headed by women.

Census Bureau data released yesterday show that women continue to experience high rates of poverty and a nasty wage gap.

In 2012, the poverty rate for women was 14.5 percent, substantially higher than men’s rate of 11 percent. Nearly 17.8 million women lived in poverty last year.

Poverty rates were particularly high for families headed by single mothers – more than four in ten (40.9 percent) were poor. More than half (56.1 percent) of poor children lived in female-headed families in 2012.

The poverty rates for other vulnerable groups of women were also high: black women (25.1 percent), Hispanic women (24.8 percent), and women 65 and older living alone (18.9 percent).

The wage gap figures also paint a bleak picture for many women.

The cold hard facts are that women working full time, year round continue to be paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts, and the numbers are far worse for women of color, at 64 cents for black women and 54 cents for Hispanic women.

With women as primary breadwinners in over 40% of families today, women and their families simply cannot afford to make do with less.


THIS JUST IN: Women and Families Face a 23-Cent Wage Gap Again This Year

77 cents on the dollar – does that have a familiar ring to you? You guessed it—it’s the amount that women working full time, year round typically made for every dollar that men made in 2012. It’s now been more than a decade with no progress on narrowing the wage gap. That means that American women have been working for over a decade without seeing the wage gap diminish. The wage gap typically cost women $11,608 in 2012. Based on the 2012 wage gap, over the course of a 40-year career a woman would lose $464,300.

The wage gap is even worse for women of color:

  • In 2012, African-American women working full time, year round were typically paid only 64 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Hispanic women working full time, year round were typically paid only 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.

The Story Behind the Numbers: The Wage Gap

Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will release new data on poverty, income, and health insurance in the U.S. in 2012. As we get ready to crunch numbers, we thought it would be helpful to take a deeper look at what these numbers tell us – and don’t tell us – about the wage gap.

The typical American woman who works full time, year round was still paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to her male counterpart in 2011. For women of color, the gaps are even larger. This blog post provides details about the wage gap measure that the Census Bureau and the National Women’s Law Center use, factors contributing to the wage gap, and how to shrink the gap.

What’s behind NWLC’s wage gap figure?

The wage gap figure that NWLC reports at the national level is the same as that reported by the Census Bureau – the median earnings of women full-time, year-round workers as a percentage of the median earnings of men full-time, year-round workers. Median earnings describe the earnings of a worker at the 50th percentile – right in the middle. Earnings include wages, salary, net self-employment income but not property income, government cash transfers or other cash income – so basically the money people see in their paychecks. Working full time is defined as working at least 35 hours a week and working year round means working at least 50 weeks during the last twelve months.