Second Edition
Positive Policy Reforms to Enhance Opportunity for Women


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Women in the United States are healthier, wealthier, freer, and more prosperous than ever. This was true when Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), a leading national women’s organization, released its first Working for Women report in 2016, and it is even more true today. 

Four years ago, IWF released its inaugural “Working for Women” agenda detailing policy recommendations and guidance to create a more flexible, modern economy that would empower all women to pursue their dreams. Many of these recommendations have since been implemented. Tax burdens are lower for American workers and our overall economic conditions have improved. As a result, job opportunities are more plentiful, wages are rising, benefits are expanding, and women’s entrepreneurship is skyrocketing.

“There is much more work to be done,” said Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum and lead editor of the report. “Some women still struggle to obtain jobs that suit their skill sets or worry about finding a path to a meaningful, fulfilling career. Many women desire more flexibility than their current job provides. Others worry about how they can afford to take time off when they need to such as to welcome a new baby. Families also face tight budgets and rising childcare costs, and struggle to save adequately for the future.”

The second edition of “Working for Women: A Modern Agenda for Improving Women’s Lives” reflects changes in our economy and current public policies.

“It identifies new policy reforms that encourage job creation and flexibility so that people can make the choices that make sense for their unique situations,” said IWF President Carrie Lukas. “It pushes back on policies like the law recently passed in California that attempts to stamp out gig or contract work arrangements. Anything that tries to force women back into an all-or-nothing, one-size-fits all work environment is the opposite of what we need for a modern, flexible economy. Restricting worker freedom and flexibility hurts women, rather than help them.”

The women’s report details over 20 specific policy reforms that encourage real workplace flexibility and job creation so that women have truly fulfilling employment opportunities. Most importantly, these policies return resources and control to individuals so that they can make decisions that work best for them. The report also advocates for legal reforms that allow victims of discrimination to enforce their rights while also reducing litigation costs for employees and employers.

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“Working for Women” recommendations include:

  • Make Tax Cuts Permanent for Workers 
  • Protect Gig Workers and Independent Contractors 
  • Reform Licensing Regimes
  • Earned Leave
  • Front-load Child Tax Credits
  • Allow People to Save on Their Own for Leave Time
  • Reform the Fair Labor Standard Act
  • Pass Compensatory Time for the Private Sector
  • Allow Employees to Agree to an 80/14 Schedule
  • Remove Other Barriers to Flexible Scheduling
  • Increase Tax Credits for Children
  • Eliminate Regulations That Make Day Care Needlessly Expensive
  • Encourage Saving for Early (and Lifetime) Education
  • Expand Catch-up Contributions to Retirement Savings Vehicles
  • Reduce Capital Gains Taxes
  • Reject Attempts to Increase Social Security Retirement Benefits 
  • Reform Social Security to Protect the Safety Net 
  • Make Social Security More Fair by Rewarding Work
  • Encourage Savings as Part of Social Security
  • Clarify Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Protect Arbitration

For media inquiries about Independent Women’s Forum’s “Working for Women” report, contact Elizabeth Tew at (910) 988-0726 or email [email protected].



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.