• Research and Action Annual Report

    Meeting Teens Where They Are

    In our Research & Action Annual Report 2017, read about how we are leveraging research and action to help teens improve their education, communication, and wellbeing.

    Read our Research & Action Report>>
  • Women's Review of Books

    Longtime Editor Says Farewell in New Women's Review of Books

    January/February 2018

    This issue looks at books about credibility in the age of Trump, gendered labor laws, and more. It will be the last issue curated by Amy Hoffman, M.F.A., who will be sorely missed.

    Read select articles for free>>
  • How a WCW Mentor Adds to a Wellesley Education

    How a WCW Mentor Adds to a Wellesley Education

    Wellesley College students Rebecca Leu '19 and Katie Madsen '19 share what they've gained from the invaluable working relationship with their WCW mentor, Linda Charmaraman, Ph.D.

    Watch the video>>
  • Lunchtime Seminar Lineup

    Meet, Think, Learn With Us This Spring

    Spring 2018

    Our spring Lunchtime Seminar Series will feature lively discussions on NCAA Women's Basketball, preventing youth depression, activism for scholars, sexual assault prosecution, teacher wellbeing, and child marriage.

    View the lineup and save the dates>>
The Wellesley Centers for Women is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.



A World That Is Good for Women Is Good for Everyone TM


Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A with Erika Kates: A New Staff Partnership Studies Justice for Victims, Justice for Offenders, and E...


Erika Kates, who recently joined the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) as a senior research scientist, previously served as research director at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her fields of most extensive experience include women in prison and the effect on women of the intersecting policies of welfare, workforce development, and higher education. She has published extensively, especially on the latter subject. The Educational Development Center recently included her in a book featuring 20 people who have made significant contributions to gender equity in education.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Women and Children: The Human Rights Relationship


Wellesley Centers for Women is proud to partner with UNICEF for “Women and Children: The Human Rights Relationship,” a conference that examined the intersections and gaps between women’s and children’s rights in Asia. Held December 9-10 in honor of Human Rights Day, the conference brought together rights advocates from across the region to dialogue on and build shared agendas based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Rangita de Silva-de Alwis, WCW senior advisor on international programs, leads the ongoing initiative.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Squeeze Play: Why Title IX Is Not Enough


Q&A with Laura Pappano

Laura Pappano is the first writer-in-residence at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). An experienced journalist, Laura Pappano has been widely published in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Boston Globe Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Working Mother, and The Harvard Education Letter, among other publications. While at WCW, Laura Pappano is working on a book proposal that will combine her more than 20 years writing about education with her interest in women’s issues. Her new book, co-authored with Eileen McDonagh, Playing with the boys: Why Separate is Not Equal in Sports, has just been released by Oxford University Press.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Adolescent Literacy and Achievement: Widening the Path to Success

by Michelle Porche and Stephanie Harris

Is Literacy Enough?, which we co-authored with Catherine Snow and Patton Tabors, we explore the continuities and discontinuities of early literacy skills on adolescent achievement. In this book, we describe the original 83 low-income students who began participating in the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development at the age of 3, and we conclude with the outcomes for the 47 participants who continued in the study until they reached young adulthood. When this study began, Dr. Snow, the Principal Investigator, set a groundbreaking path into the importance of language as a foundation of early literacy. Results from this study have influenced conceptual and practical approaches to early reading instruction, helping to set national standards. At the end of the 16-year study many hypotheses were borne out, even as new questions were generated about our most vulnerable children.

Wellesley Centers for Women

The WCW 2004 International Research and Action Conference: Innovations in Understanding

In April, the Wellesley Centers for Women waspleased to welcome colleagues working in 46 countries across the globe to the WCW 2004 International Research and Action Conference: Innovations in Understanding Violence Against Women. Chaired by Linda Williams, Victoria Banyard, and Nada Aoudeh, this truly international meeting was designed for researchers, activists, advocates, and practitioners from theacademic, nongovernmental, community-based, and government domains.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Taking Stock: Evaluation Research Paves the Way for Better Programming

Research projects at the Wellesley Centers for Women can take a variety of forms. The mix of approaches ranges from the most “traditional” in which researchers develop an hypothesis, design a study to test it, draw a sample to use in gathering information, and go into the field to collect data, to secondary analyses of existing data sets, and to reviews of published research, such as WCW’s 1992 report for the AAUW, How Schools Shortchange Girls.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Work, Life, and Social Class: A Life-span Perspective

The aging of the baby-boom generation is producing profound changes in many sectors of society, the labor force being no exception. According to federal census data, there are currently about 22 million adults aged 55+ in the workplace, and that number represents only the oldest baby boomers.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A: Interview with Wendy Wagner Robeson

You have been conducting research in child development and child care at the Wellesley Centers for Women for over 15 years. What initially inspired you to pursue this career? And what continues to inspire you?

Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I started my undergraduate studies intending to study elementary education. However, I soon decided I should be prepared to teach all grades, as well as English and math. To do this meant taking extra classes, many of which met during the summer. One summer I took a linguistics class and fell in love with psycholinguistics and language development. I went on to receive my master’s degree in early childhood education and was able to study even more about linguistics. While pursuing my doctoral degree in language development at Harvard Graduate School of Education, I became interested in social policy and my interest in child care blossomed. At WCW I am able to combine my interest in child development and child care, and have been motivated by the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Battered Women: What Goes Into the Stay-leave Decision?

The question most frequently asked of advocates and professionals who work with battered women is: “Why do women stay with men who abuse them?” The short answer is that they don’t: most women who are abused by an intimate partner do not stay with their abusers permanently. Most leave eventually, although the process of leaving may take months or years, with many starts and stops. Unfortunately, the end of the relationship does not necessarily mean the end of the abuse. For these reasons, a more fruitful question to ask is: “What goes into the decision to stay or leave?”

Wellesley Centers for Women

Still Stuck in Low Wage Jobs: Is It Time That We Solve the Youth Worker Compensation Problem?

Afterschool practitioners and youth workers play a critical role in today’s society, serving as positive adult role models, mentors, coaches, tutors and friends for young people, and a vital support for working parents. Too often, however, these practitioners do not receive the recognition or resources they need to feel valued in their work by the public and, more importantly, by their employers. While most youth workers are educated, satisfied and committed to making a difference in the lives of the children and youth they serve, too many report being underpaid, underappreciated, and at times overworked, often holding down multiple jobs just to make a living wage. Stress and burnout are all too real and recruitment of qualified administrators and staff remains challenging. For our most vulnerable youth who depend on quality out-of-school time programs, it is imperative that private and public policy makers understand the domino effect that results from underpaid youth workers.