Social and Economic Equity

Understanding how individuals and institutions contribute to increased economic success and well-being for women, especially for those experiencing the greatest disparities

The Center on Women, Gender and Public Policy has a strong track record of both producing research that reveals gender disparities in social and economic equity, and translating that research into the policy realm.  In this focus area, we have had a significant impact both in Minnesota and around the globe.

Selected projects

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Under contract with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, CWGPP’s Debra Fitzpatrick led a team of researchers in an analysis of the most effective and efficient mechanisms for delivering partial wage replacement for workers taking family and medical leaves.  The research was the foundation for legislation that passed the Minnesota Senate in 2016.  Learn more

Women's Economic Security 

Based on its own research and analysis of others research, CWGPP served as a core advisor on the design and passage of the 2014 Women’s Economic Security Act, a comprehensive, model legislative approach to addressing the persistent gender wage gap. Learn more.

As part of its efforts in the area of women's economic security, the Center co-hosts an Annual Women's Economic Security Summit.  At the 2015 Summit, CWPP Co-Director Debra Fitzpatrick presented opening remarks on trends for women and girls in the state. Watch video of the opening session. Learn more and watch each of the Summit panels.

Equal pay policy

Minnesota is a national leader in the arena of pay equality, passing the nation’s first and only “comparable worth” law in effect since the 1980’s and the most comprehensive approach in the Women’s Economic Security Act (learn more). CWGPP is leading a collaborative working group examining and recommending next generation additions and improvements to public and private sector equal pay and pay equity policies, designed to keep Minnesota in the forefront of this critical policy area. 

Workforce segregation

Segregation of women, especially women of color, in undervalued, low-wage caring and service occupation is one of the leading contributors to the persistent gender pay gap.  CWGPP co-director Debra Fitzpatrick conducts research that reveals the economic consequences of workforce segregation and the role of institutions in perpetuating that segregation (more) [hyperlink: ], designing public and private policy responses in collaboration with a multi-sector group focused on creating greater opportunities for women in higher paying, nontraditional occupations.

The Status of Women and Girls in Minnesota

This research project, a collaboration of the Center on Women and Public Policy and the Women's Foundation of Minnesota, examines key economic and social indicators for women and girls in Minnesota, illuminating remaining inequities. Learn more.


Faculty Expertise at the Humphrey School

Ragui Assaad, professor and area chair, Global Policy 
Christina Ewig, professor and faculty director, Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy
Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, professor 
Deborah Levison, professor
Jodi Sandfort, professor and area chair, Leadership and Management
Joe Soss, professor, and area chair, Social Policy and Policy Analysis
Carrie Oelberger, associate professor

Faculty Expertise Across the University of Minnesota

Colleen Manchester, professor, Carlson School of Management 
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development
Phyllis Moen, professor, College of Liberal Arts
Frances Vavrus, professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development

Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
257 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455