Research Publications



In 1885, a group of AAUW members conducted a survey that debunked the popular theory that higher education was bad for women’s health. That first study established AAUW’s commitment to cutting-edge research relevant to the struggle for gender equity in school and in society.


Today, AAUW conducts groundbreaking research that draws national attention to issues of gender equity in education and the workplace; influences policy-makers as well as educators, parents, and students; and, most importantly, serves as a catalyst for action. Recent reports address topics such as the pay gap between men and women, economic security of older women, sexual harassment on college campuses, and gender equity in science and engineering education.

from the groundbreaking…

Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America (1991)
A nationwide poll of students ages 9-15 examining the impact of gender on self-esteem, career aspirations, educational experiences, and interest in math and science..

to the most recent…cutting edge research on gender equity

Broken Ladders: Barriers to Women’s Representation in Nonprofit Leadership (2018)

Women are underrepresented in leadership positions across all sectors of the economy and American society. In this research, we take a closer look at the broken ladders to advancement that women face even in sectors where they make up the majority of workers: at nonprofit organizations, in postsecondary education, and at philanthropic foundations.

Updated regularly with the most current statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (2018 edition) is a commonsense guide that provides key facts about the gender pay gap in the United States. Topics covered in the report include: the definition of the pay gap and its history; the pay gap in each state; the pay gap by age, race/ethnicity, and education;

Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation (2012) Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation explores the earnings difference between female and male college graduates who are working full time one year after graduation. The report provides an “apples to apples” comparison by looking at the gender pay gap after controlling for various factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked. It also examines one immediate effect of the pay gap on many women: high levels of student loan debt burden. Graduating to a Pay Gap uses the latest nationally representative data available on women and men one year after college graduation.

Behind the Pay Gap (2007)
New research released by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation shows that just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues, even when they work in the same field. Ten years after graduation, the pay gap widens.

Barriers and Bias: The Status of Women in Leadership (2016)

Women are not new to leadership; think of Cleopatra or Queen Elizabeth. Think of the women who led the civil rights and education reform movements. But women are still outnumbered by men in the mosbarriersandbiast prestigious positions, from Capitol Hill to the board room. Why do men still vastly outnumber women in leadership positions? AAUW’s  research report explores this question, drawing from scholarly research and paying special attention to stereotypes and bias.

Research on Pay Equity in Texas


This work was performed as part of a grant from AAUW Association. The report was published in 2005, and summarizes, “Women have made remarkable strides in education during the past three decades, but these gains have yet to translate into full equity in pay. Women still earn less than men earn in nearly every profession and at every stage of their careers…” . To read the full report