Our Research

The Women's Fund is the region's expert on the status of women's economic self-sufficiency. 

We believe it is imperative to articulate the barriers of mobility that affix working women to poverty. Our research is always actionable, so it educates and drives systemic policy change for the economic health of our region.

Black Women's Economic Mobility 

In the Summer of 2020, we witnessed a national movement for racial equity and justice, which has illuminated the continued oppression of and discrimination against Black Americans and emphasized the integration of racist policies and practices reinforced in our systems. In our region, the 2028 Jobs Outlook Report emphasized alarming data about the economic well-being of Black women.

We felt compelled to launch a comprehensive research project on the economic mobility of Black women. This report serves as the first in our series—an examination of Black women and the labor / employment system.

READ MORE about our1st Phase, the Analysis of Black Women's Historical Labor Trends & Systemic Barriers to Economic Mobility


Cliff Effect

Cliff Effect is a threshold where a family or individual becomes ineligible for public benefits due to a small raise or promotion, causing their total gross resources to decline. It creates a disincentive for individuals to transition off public benefits and negates the primary objective of these programs— to help lift people out of poverty. For example, if you are offered a dollar an hour raise, if you accept, you cross an income threshold for your child care benefit. You would thousands of dollars worth of child care support, for a $1 and hour raise, leaving you financially worse off. Would you accept the promotion?

The Women’s Fund has studied this significantly and are advocating for a remedy with our elected officials.

READ MORE about our 2020 UPDATED Cliff Effect Research. 

READ MORE about our Cliff Effect research.

READ MORE about our Survey of Cliff Effect legislation.

Pay Equity 

In 2017, we commissioned a study by the UC Economics Center to examine pay disparities in our region. The report concludes that women across the Greater Cincinnati area make on average $0.80 for every $1.00 earned by men, adding up to an average loss of $327,953 in wages over the course of a career.

Through this study we identified multiply policy interventions to remedy this gap. In 2019, we were instrumental to the passage of the City of Cincinnati’s Salary History Ban, one such intervention. This ban will help prevent historic gender and racial disparities from following an employee to their next job.

LEARN MORE about our support for the Salary History Ban. 

READ MORE about our Pay Equity research. 


View Our Research Studies:

2020 - The History of Black Women's Economic Mobility

2019 - 2028 Jobs Outlook Report for Cincinnati MSA

2019 - Survey of Legislation to Ameliorate the Cliff Effect

2019 - Building Pathways to Economic Self-Sufficiency

2018 - Gender Diversity of Boards and Commissions

2018 - The Status of the Minimum Wage in the United States

2017 - PULSE Report: Applying a Gender Lens to the Wage Gap

2017- PULSE Briefing: Unintended Consequences- Changing Workplace Policies to Support Low-Wage Employees

2016 - PULSE Briefing: Teachers’ Wages: Critical to Quality Preschool

2016 - PULSE Report: Outlining the Disincentives and Opportunity Costs for Working Mothers 

2016 - Cliff Effect Qualitative Insights prepared by Design Impact

2014 - PULSE Report: 2020 Jobs and Gender Outlook

  View Presentation on Youtube

2012 - PULSE Briefing: Women, Poverty and Cliffs

2012 - PULSE Briefing: Poverty Indicator

2010 - PULSE Briefing: Social Bonds Among Cincinnati-Area Girls

2009 - PULSE Briefing: Developing Girls’ & Women’s Leadership 

2007 - PULSE Briefing: Women in the C-Suite 

2005 - PULSE Report: A Study on the Status of Women and Girls in Greater Cincinnati 


720 E. Pete Rose Way,
Suite 120
Cincinnati, OH 45202


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