Besides Beyonce: 8 Important Takeaways from The Shriver Report

The Shriver Report: A Women’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink was released today, and it’s getting a lot of attention for it’s high-profile essays from the likes of Beyonce and Lebron James, among others. But it also offers more complex academic essays that feature new and groundbreaking research into the lives of American women.

President Obama recently described economic immobility and inequality as the the defining issue of our time, and this report lays out a clear case for why that’s true with breath-taking facts and stories.

So besides Beyonce’s essay, here are 8 important takeaways from the The Shriver Report. Download your own copy of the report here, and let us know what resonated most with you.

1 Today, 1/3 of American women live in poverty, or on the brink of it. This means they’re living paycheck to paycheck and spending every dollar that comes in on necessities. That leaves them just one repair or emergency away from wiping out any savings they can accumulate.

270% of single mothers with children are in poverty. That’s 42 million women, and 28 million kids. As Maria Shriver writes, “They are not women wanting it all. They’re alreading doing it all–working, providing, parenting, care-giving.”

379% of Americans favor expanded access to high-quality affordable childcare for working families. Low-income workers, including single mothers, do not have access to family-friendly benefits including flex-time or sick days. The majority of all Americans recognize how this prohibits working mothers from retaining employment or pursuing education, but we’re far from seeing this become law.

4It is more expensive to be poor than not to be poor. The inability to pay rent or a security deposit leads to over-priced living situations. Loans and credit, if they’re approved, come with higher interest rates.  Without loans and credit, the only tools for juggling earnings are “pay-day advance centers,” or similar predatory options. Lower priced used cars results in more frequent repairs. The list goes on.

597.6% of women with paid maternity leave return to the same employer with the same or higher pay. Meanwhile, 30% of low-income women without paid maternity leave end up changing employers when returning to work. Low-income workers are more likely to see a wage drop when changing employers.

6169 out of 173 countries provide women with paid maternity leave. The United States is not one of them.
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72/3 of women work in just 5% of the occupational categories. Except for teaching and nursing, they are the lowest paid occupations

8The college majors dominated by women have the lowest earning potential. Conversely, college tuition rises 7% every year on average, and women are more likely to take on loan debt, and more of it. The result is that women are making an increasingly expensive investment while seeing comparatively lower life-long earnings than men.

Where to find these eight facts in the report:

  1. From “The Powerful and Powerless” by Maria Shriver
  2. From “The Powerful and Powerless” by Maria Shriver
  3. From “Marriage, Motherhood, and Men” by Ann O’Leary
  4. From “Time to Wake Up: Stop Blaming Poverty on the Poor” by Barbara Ehrenreich
  5. From “A Women’s Place is the Middle Class” by Heather Boushay
  6. From “A Women’s Place is the Middle Class” by Heather Boushay
  7. From “Get Smart: A 21st-Century Education for All Women” by Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale and Dr. Nicole Smith
  8. From “Get Smart: A 21st-Century Education for All Women” by Dr. Anthony P. Carnevale and Dr. Nicole Smith
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