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Post-Event Summary
With only 40 days remaining until the U.S. presidential election, Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institute and Ariane Hegewisch of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research took the stage on Thursday for a lively debate on the status of women’s economic progress and the election’s implications for working women. Furchtgott-Roth and Hegewisch both acknowledged that women have made significant gains in achieving economic equality over the past several decades and agreed that jobs will be among the top concerns for women voters this November. However, they disagreed about which candidate’s policies will best serve women’s economic needs.

Furchtgott-Roth claimed that American women are no longer the victims of systematic discrimination and emphasized that they need more jobs — not more regulations — to advance in the workplace. Hegewisch acknowledged that women first and foremost need jobs, but argued that they also require protections and systems of support to ensure fair professional treatment.  Among the policy measures discussed were the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and paid maternity leave. Hegewisch asserted that such policies will support economic growth and advance the status of women, while Furchtgott-Roth views them as onerous constraints that will ultimately hinder economic growth and result in lower female workforce participation.  

–Caroline Kitchens

Event Description
The female vote has emerged as a crucial battleground in the 2012 election and will likely play a major role in determining the outcome in November. But what exactly is at stake for women? Given the current economic climate, what are the biggest issues facing working female voters, and what should they know before they head to the polls?

At this event, just weeks before the election, two experts in employment and gender policies — Diana Furchtgott-Roth, author of “Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America,” and Ariane Hegewisch, study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research — will address these questions and offer their diverging perspectives on what the 2012 presidential election means for working women.


11:45 AM
Registration and Lunch

12:00 PM
Karlyn Bowman, AEI
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Manhattan Institute
Ariane Hegewisch, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

1:00 PM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Caroline Kitchens at [email protected], 202.862.5820.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Speaker Biographies

Karlyn Bowman is a senior fellow at AEI.  She researches and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, the environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, the North American Free Trade Agreement and free trade, the war in Iraq and women’s attitudes. In addition, Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics resulting from key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the U.S. and writes a weekly column for

Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. She is also a contributing editor of and a columnist for the Washington Examiner, and Tax Notes. From 2003 to 2005, Furchtgott-Roth was chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor. From 2001 to 2002, she served as chief of staff of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers. Furchtgott-Roth was also deputy executive director of the Domestic Policy Council and associate director of the Office of Policy Planning in the White House under President George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993; she was likewise an economist on the staff of President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1986 to 1987. She is the author of “Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economics of Women in America” (AEI Press, 2012) and “Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies are Damaging America’s Economy” (Encounter Books, 2012).

Ariane Hegewisch has been a study director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) since the summer of 2008. She came to the IWPR from the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California,  Hastings College of the Law. She is responsible for the IWPR’s research on workplace discrimination and is a specialist in comparative human resource management, with a focus on policies and legislative approaches to facilitate greater work life reconciliation and gender equality in the U.S. and internationally. Before coming to the U.S., she taught comparative European human resource management at Cranfield School of Management in the U.K., where she was a founding researcher of the Cranet Survey of International Human Resource Management, the largest independent survey of human resource management policies and practices, covering 25 countries worldwide. She started her career in local economic development, crafting strategies for greater gender equality in employment and training in local government in the U.K. She has published many papers and articles and co-edited several books, including “Women, Work and Inequality: The Challenge of Equal Pay in a Deregulated Labour Market” (Macmillan, 1999).

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