The Foundation researches and educates on women’s issues to acknowledge barriers and identify opportunities.


Commissioned by the WNY Women’s Foundation and created by UB Regional Institute, the 2010 Pathways to Progress Report examined the issues facing women and girls in our community. The report started an ongoing region-wide dialogue about the best ways to support and elevate women and girls.

Pathways to Progress, Vol. 2, a report created by the WNY Women’s Foundation, keeps us moving forward. The new report expands the dialogue with updated data that explore the current status of women and girls in WNY. By diving into the barriers women face throughout their lifespans, the report highlights opportunities and success stories. This educational tool is available to the community thanks to the generous support of the James H. Cummings Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Health Foundation of Western & Central NY, John R. Oishei Foundation, Joy Family Foundation, Patrick P. Lee Foundation, SEFCU, and WNY Foundation.

Download Pathways to Progress, Vol. 2. Read it, digest, and find the connections that you can make to the women and girls in your family, community, and work. The full reference list for the report is available for download and many of the reports cited are included in this data hub. 

In our effort to educate the community and raise awareness, the Foundation has curated research and organized it by topic area. The research below can be filtered by topic with citations and links to original researchers. Alternately, it can be sorted by date of publication. Contact us if your organization has a report to include.

Topic: Motherhood

WNYWF Fact Sheet – Mothers

Published Sep. 2019

Making “Free College” Programs Work for College Students with Children

This briefing paper focuses on characteristics of the student parent population that make inclusive college promise programs an imperative for improving equity in college access and completion.

Published Jun. 2019 Institute for Women's Policy Research

Support Single Mothers in College to Make Education More Equitable for All

To truly address the pressing issues of equity, access, affordability, and completion facing higher education, a growing movement of researchers, philanthropists, student activists, and college administrators are working to integrate family caregiving and support services into a 21st-century vision of college.

Published May. 2019 Stanford Social Innovation Review

Do They Kick Out Pregnant People?’ Navigating College With Kids

tudent parents are mostly women (about 70 percent) they are more likely to be from low-income families and students of color. In fact, 2 in 5 black women in college are mothers, and the majority of them are single.

Published May. 2019 National Public Radio

The Child Care Crisis is Keeping Women out of the Work Force

Challenges of staying at work while raising a child- families forced to make the decision to leave work to become full-time caregiver or to stay at work and struggle to pay childcare's high-costs.

Published Mar. 2019 American Progress

On a Mission to Create Paths Out of Poverty for Single Mothers

According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), only8% of single motherswho enroll in college will graduate with an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years, compared to 54% of married mothers and 40% of women overall.

Published Mar. 2019 ECMC Foundation

Investing in Single Mothers’ Higher Education: Costs and Benefits to Individuals, Families, and Society

Postsecondary education is a reliable pathway to economic security and is increasingly important to securing family-sustaining employment.

Published Oct. 2018 Institute for Women's Policy Research

The Costs of Motherhood Are Rising, and Catching Women Off Guard

College-educated women in particular underestimate the demands of parenthood and the difficulties of combining working and parenting, new research shows.

Published Aug. 2018 NY Times

Single Mothers with College Degrees Much Less Likely to Live in Poverty

Earning a postsecondary degree is a well-established pathway out of poverty, and degrees are especially life-changing for women raising children on their own.

Published Jul. 2018 Institute for Women's Policy Research

Single Moms in College Spend Hours a Day on Housework

Single moms who are enrolled in college full-time spend about two hours a day on active child care, six on supervisory care (meaning time spent looking after their children while doing another another activity such as cooking or cleaning), and about two hours on housework; all told, these women are spending upward of nine hours a day on care and housework.

Published May. 2018 The Atlantic

Time Demands of Single Mother College Students and the Role of Child Care in their Postsecondary Success

Time Use Among Single Mothers in College: Tradeoffs between Child Care, Studying, and Self-Care

Published May. 2018 Institute for Women's Policy Research

College, With Kids, The Chronicle of Higher Education

College student & parenting: how colleges are accommodating for these students.

Published Feb. 2018 The Chronicle of Higher Education

Understanding the New College Majority: The Demographic and Financial Characteristics of Independent Students and their Postsecondary Outcomes

This briefing paper provides an overview of the makeup of today’s independent student population and describes the need to improve higher education data collection to track trends in independent student postsecondary success and completion.

Published Feb. 2018 Institute for Women's Policy Research

Single Mothers in College: Growing Enrollment, Financial Challenges, and the Benefits of Attainment

Data on moms in college by race, unmet financial need, and benefits of their success

Published Sep. 2017 Institute for Women's Policy Research

Coupling Child Care With Pathways To Nontraditional, Higher Paying Work

Workforce Training for Low-Income Mothers

Published Jun. 2017 Mississippi Low Income Child Care Initiative

Modern Motherhood Has Economists Worried

A better balance between work and family could boost the world economy.

Published May. 2017 Bloomberg

The Family-Friendly Campus Imperative: Supporting Success Among Community College Students with Children

Ensuring Economic Security and Meeting the Workforce Needs of the Nation

Published Mar. 2017 Institute for Women's Policy Research

Births: Final data for 2015

Statistics on birth rates, delivery rates, age of mother, teenage pregnancy, and marital status.

Published Jan. 2017 National Vital Statistics Reports

A Fair Shot for Millennial Women and Families

How millennial women are affected by student debt, race, and other demographics

Published Nov. 2016 Center for American Progress

Working Mothers Issue Brief

Labor force participation by family type, race, and poverty

Published Jun. 2016 US Department of Labor Women's Bureau


Despite the medical consensus that breastfeeding reduces major health risks to both babies and mothers, discrimination against breastfeeding workers often forces them to stop breastfeeding or lose their jobs.

Published Jan. 2016 Pregnant at Work

Moms at Work The Working Mother Report

The impact that the intersection of work life has on working mothers, their careers and their families

Published Sep. 2015 Working Mother Research Institute