Mary Gatta

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Expert Profile

Dr. Mary Gatta is currently a Senior Scholar, at Wider Opportunities for Women. Prior to that she served as a Director, Gender and Workforce Policy at the Center for Women and Work, and on the faculty in the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University. She holds a PhD and M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University and a B.A. in Social Science from Providence College. Her areas of expertise include gender and public policy, low wage workers, earnings inequality, and evaluation research on workforce projects.

Her scholarly interests center on the broad issues of women, low-wage work and workplace skills, and social welfare policy including workforce development, poverty, and welfare. Dr. Gatta’s work stems from an intellectual curiosity about issues surrounding work, and particularly the work of those most vulnerable in our society; and also an activist approach to use her research to impact the lives of low-wage workers via public policy and workplace understandings.

Currently, Dr. Gatta is working on major projects on workplace flexibility for low-wage workers, including workers in small business, restaurants and tourism, and manufacturing. In addition, she developed a large research project, “Where are Women in the Workforce Development System”, to explore the experiences of women as they navigate the workforce development system, in particular via the One-Stop Career Centers, along with the impact this policy has on actually providing the skills and education to raise women out of poverty. What is most unique about her project is that she conducted participant observation analysis, where she posed as a client of the workforce system over a six month period.

Dr. Gatta has published several books, articles, and policy papers. Her latest book, Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development released from Lexington Press's imprint Press for Change, chronicles groundbreaking thinking and research on new and innovative workforce development initiatives that delivers skills training to single working poor mothers via the Internet. Her book, Juggling Food and Feelings: Emotional Balance in the Workplace was released from Lexington Press in 2002. She is currently one of the editors on an upcoming book A US Skills System for the 21st Century: Innovations in Workforce Education and Development released by Cornell Press in January, 2011.
In addition to books, Dr. Gatta has published numerous scholarly articles and public policy papers on topics including gender equity in academia, the gender based pay gap, and welfare policy.

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