The Council's primary initiative is to serve as the principal source for research on issues impacting women economically in Tennessee. Since its creation, the Council has produced ground-breaking reports on the economic impact of issues such as job training, domestic violence, wages and earnings, political participation, preventive healthcare and women-owned businesses. The Council has worked with colleges and universities around the state, with experts in the field of economics, with local businesses and governments and with regional organizations to hold public hearings and gather data.
Immediately below, you will find the Council's publications by category, followed by a timeline, and lastly a summary and link to each report, beginning with the most recent.
TECW RESEARCH BY CATEGORY
Full Report, Executive Report, Press Release
The Costs of Gender Bias in Tennessee’s Workforce explores how the traditional view of women as caregivers—as opposed to providers—puts them at a disadvantage in male-dominated fields and roles, where they are seen as having a “lack of fit.” Particularly in these environments, both men and women tend to unknowingly assume that women are less capable or reliable than men, which translates into inefficiencies for both employers and women. By measuring the impact of bias in experimentation, observing behaviors in the labor market, and evaluating historical gender customs, this report triangulates and identifies how gender stereotypes disrupt economically significant processes, create costly inefficiencies for businesses, and undercut the financial health of women and their households.
In this 2013 study, violent acts against Tennessee women were shown to be so prevalent and so damaging that they likely cost regular Tennesseans $886,171,950 or more annually. The majority of this expense is manifest in tax dollars and health care payments, but other expenditures like charity, lost wages, workplace expenses and inefficiency played significant roles as well. More shocking than this annual cost to the community—which likely exceeds $1 billion, in truth—is the comprehensive and devastating impact that these crimes have on women and girls in Tennessee. Included with these findings are details about domestic and sexual violence in Tennessee and recommendations to strengthen education and prevention efforts.
The Tennessee Economic Council on Women's 2012 update of its highly regarded county-by-county assessment of targeted economic indicators across the state. The Status of Women in Tennessee Counties discusses topics ranging from median income and the wage gap, to educational attainment, healthcare access, and standards of living. The first study in this series was done in 2005. In producing this second work, it is very clear that women have made important gains in Tennesse, but it is equally evident that the Council's work in research, advocacy, and outreach continue to be vitally needed.
ELIOS: economic equity, literacy, independence, opportunity and stability; this is the Economic Council’s goal for every woman in Tennessee. This 2011 report analyzes the successes achieved by Tennessee women and the challenges they face as they strive to improve their economic ELIOS and that of their families. Changing economies, an unstable job market, increased family demands, the inaccessibility of business loans and the rising costs of education affect us all. More than ever before, women are being asked to do more with fewer resources. The good news is that women are tenacious and succeeding as never before.
Completed in 2010, The Economic Impact of Women-Owned Businesses studies the differences between male and female entreprenuers, their firms, and the roles that they play in our state as employers, taxpayers, and economic engines. It's findings reveal that women still play a relatively undestated role in Tennessee as business-owners and continue to face a variety of unique obstacles, such as a scarcity of start-up capital.
In October 2009 the Economic Council on Women released its second report on the wages and earnings of women in Tennessee. This report, The Economic Impact of Wages and Earnings for Tennessee Women, provides a history of wages, statistical analysis of the relationships between income, occupation and gender specifically in Tennessee, and ideas for closing the wage gap and providing economic stability.
The Council’s 2008 research focused on preventive healthcare and its prevalence, accessibility, and significance for Tennessee women. The magnitude of women’s health issues—mortality rates from cardiovascular diseases rivaling those of men, with absolute population losses eclipsing the male population loss—is complicated by women’s increased barriers to healthcare. This research explores the health significance of preventive care, its availability in Tennessee, and the economic benefits of prevention.
Achieving an Equally Gendered Government: The Economic Impact of Women’s Political Participation in Tennessee (2007)
In 2007, the Council published Achieving an Equally Gendered Government: The Economic Impact of Women’s Political Participation in Tennessee. This report examines the rewards of women partaking in political governing, and connects the unequal economic status afforded women to a lack of female voices at the political bargaining table. To discover more about how women’s presence in politics is evidenced to empower this majority of citizens, read the full report.
Domestic violence costs the state millions every year. The Council discovered the extent of this burden on the Tennessee economy when it undertook researching the many facets of the economy affected by domestic violence. From the legal costs to the healthcare costs, lost productivity to the burden on social systems, domestic violence erodes not only the social fabric of our families and communities, but also the economic underpinnings of our society. This 2006 report brings to light the myriad impacts of this once invisible crime. An article by Council Chair Carol Berz and former Executive Director Lauren Howard provides an overview to this issue.
The Status of Women in Tennessee Counties report offers an economic profile of women in each county of Tennessee and examines how women’s rights and equality vary among the counties. The report presents data and overall rankings in two categories of women’s economic status: employment and earnings and economic autonomy. Indicators of women’s status in each category make up the composite rankings of the counties.
In 2005, the Council delivered its first report on pay equity, written by then Council member and Ralph Owen Distinguished Professor of Economics Yasmeen Mohiuddin of the University of the South. The Gender Wage Gap provides an overview of the relationships between income, occupation, and gender, using national statistics.
An article by former Council Research Analyst Lauren Howard complements these more detailed glimpses into Tennessee’s pay equity by examining the general trends of women’s wage disparity. Published in a Middle Tennessee State University magazine on women’s issues, Wage Disparity: Still a Concern? constructs a case which supports the Equal Pay Remedies and Enforcement Act of 2004 and set the stage for the Council’s work the following year.
Studying the issue of job training for women became a focal point of the Council early in its existence, and the Job Training Task Force was dedicated to examining the state of job training for women in Tennessee as directed by the founding legislation of the Council. The following 2005 report looks at career centers across Tennessee and the approach toward education and training for low-income women, as well as highlighting the opportunities which exist in non-traditional jobs. A directory of job training programs in the South is provided, complemented by a listing of non-traditional job training programs for women throughout the country.