Center for American Progress

Fact Sheet: Building an Economy That Delivers for Women
Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: Building an Economy That Delivers for Women

This fact sheet offers a brief summary of CAP’s “Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy,” which provides federal and state policymakers with the tools they need to center women in their economic plans and grow the economy.

A woman pushing a stroller walks through an atrium with light pouring in and a small pool reflecting plant life
A woman walks past the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City March 2022. (Getty/Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

From substantial spending at high-profile events such as Beyoncé, the “Barbie” movie, and Taylor Swift, to the gender wage gap falling to a record low and women’s employment hitting record highs, women are showcasing their economic power. And they are demonstrating that an economy that delivers for women is an economy that delivers for all. 

But a lack of action from policymakers is holding back women’s economic power. March 6 marked Equal Pay Day—one of the starkest reminders of the economic inequities women still face. The gender wage gap for women working full time, year-round would not close until 2067 if it continues on the same path it has followed from 2000 to 2022. And if the United States had kept up with its peers in the G7 from 1990 to 2022 on labor force participation for women ages 25 to 54, there would have been 4.8 million more women in the labor force in 2022.

An economy that delivers for women is an economy that delivers for all.

To tackle these issues and create an economy that works for women, the Center for American Progress has launched the “Playbook for the Advancement of Women in the Economy” to equip current and aspiring policymakers with a strategy to grow the economy by building women’s economic security.

Explore the full playbook

The playbook provides policy recommendations at the federal and state levels that center women in order to deliver good jobs, guarantee family planning and care, and build a labor force to meet the demands of the country’s future.

5 actions for federal and state policymakers

  1. Protect and increase abortion access: As of February 2024, seven states have heavily restricted abortion access up to the first 18 weeks of pregnancy, and another 14 have created full bans that outlaw abortion at all stages of pregnancy, with Black women and Native American women disproportionately affected. Studies have shown that access to abortion has effects on wages, labor force participation, and educational attainment, resulting in better economic outcomes for women, their families, and the economy overall.
  2. Provide affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care: Among parents who are not working full time, 3 in 5 say that they would choose to do so if they had access to affordable child care.
  3. Raise the minimum wage to at least $17 per hour: Women, particularly Black women and Latinas, are overrepresented in low-wage jobs and would be able to earn more income that they could spend, save, or invest.
  4. Guarantee comprehensive, inclusive paid family and medical leave: Every year, the economy loses more than $22.5 billion in lost wages alone due to lack of paid family and medical leave.
  5. Support all women, including older women, disabled women, and women affected by the legal system, to meet their employment goals. Doing so will build a labor force for the future that can better tackle the nation’s most complex problems and allow all women to build economic security for themselves and their families.


It’s important for federal and state policymakers to center women in their economic plans—a proven strategy for growing the economy to the benefit of all. Without these actions, the United States will continue falling behind its international peers.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Rose Khattar

Former Director of Economic Analysis, Inclusive Economy


A subway train pulls into the Flushing Avenue station in Brooklyn.

Inclusive Economy

We are focused on building an inclusive economy by expanding worker power, investing in families, and advancing a social compact that encourages sustainable and equitable growth.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.