Dear Mr. Treasury Secretary: a word from the National Council for Research on Women

Dear Timothy Geithner,

As you and your team begin to strategize about how to take on the complexities of the current economic crisis, we at the National Council for Research on Women urge you to spearhead an era of economic recovery and growth. First and foremost, we encourage you to put in place adequate regulations that safeguard the overall health of the economy along with mechanisms for transparency that are monitored for effectiveness. We recognize that regulations, in fact, have been in place but were not adequately utilized in the euphoria of seemingly endless profit opportunities. This needs to be addressed and rectified. And, going forward, we need to ensure a broader sense of responsibility and accountability and bring more diversity of perspectives to tables where decisions are made. Over the past several years, those tables have looked too homogenous, monochromatic, and overpopulated by a certain gender. We would like to see this change and have more women involved. Our research shows that women tend to take a more studious approach to addressing risk and to consider multiple factors in their decision-making. Second, as you plan for an economic recovery, you will, of course, remain very concerned about the middle class—we think of the autoworkers, and the many across sectors who are losing their jobs. But please do not overlook those at the bottom of the economic ladder, too. Think of women heads of households, for instance, many of whom have none of the safety nets that have been stripped away over the past decade. Nearly 30% of families headed by single women lives in poverty, 53% of working mothers have not one day of sick leave, and one in ten working women have no health insurance. Women are also 68% of minimum wage workers which makes them incredibly vulnerable to economic turbulence. We send you our congratulations, wish you well, and look forward to working with you to build a more equitable and inclusive economy.

Best regards,

Linda Basch

President, National Council for Research on Women


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