Gender Equity

As part of the Institute’s mission to create a just and inclusive society, Kirwan continues to prioritize research and issues related to gender equity.

In early 2019, the Kirwan Institute partnered with the following departments and organizations to release A Workforce for the Modern Woman: Strategic Planning for a Fair and Equitable Future.

  • City of Columbus Women’s Commission
  • The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio
  • The Women’s Place (The Ohio State University)
  • Association for Staff and Faculty Women (The Ohio State University)

Led by authors Kelly Capatosto, Preshuslee Thompson, and Cyan Blackwell A Workforce for the Modern Woman highlights the barriers women face to success in the workplace, and how this is magnified  when race is taken into consideration. This is especially true for Black and Latina women, who only earn 60.8% and 53% of White Men’s income respectively.

Discussions around the pay gap for men and women have persisted for years. According to the report, in 2018 women’s median annual income was $41,977 compared to $52,146 for men. Beyond inequitable pay structures, women are faced with other increasingly challenging barriers like implicit bias in job postings, microaggressions, sexual harassment and more.

A Workforce for the Modern Woman serves to not only highlight these issues, but act as a guidepost for organizations that seek to create a more equitable workforce where all women can be successful. Each section of the report also includes research-based solutions and action items for implementation.

In April, the report was referenced at the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s panel discussion on the women’s wealth gap, which featured Darrick Hamilton, Suparna Bhaskaran and Kelley Griesmer.


The term intersectionality was coined by Kimberle Crenshaw, a black law professor at Columbia University, in the 1990s. In her 1991 article “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics and Violence Against Women of Color”, Crenshaw outlines the notion that women of color become marginalized as dominant conversation and discourse responds to issues of EITHER race or gender and not both.

The Kirwan Institute is committed to uplifting intersectionality through the release of programming and publications focused on issues directly impacting women of color.

We are also proud to feature the research and work of the following Kirwan Institute Faculty Affiliates :

Dr. Wendy Smooth

Dr. Koritha Mitchell

OPINION: Recent political successes have made LGBT+ people targets for attack

OPINION: Never supported a trans youth organization? Now is the time

Black Feminists Are Mobilizing for Trans Women

Pronouns and Gender-inclusive Language

Included in our gender equity work are a host of trainings and resources informing on the importance of pronouns and gender-inclusive language in the education system and beyond. Examples include:

Creating and Sustaining a Trans-affirming Classroom

Pronouns: What they are and why they matter