Building an inclusive economy means rewriting the rules to create just and equitable outcomes for everyone – regardless of gender, race or class.

Too often, our leaders and policies mistakenly assume that “colorblind” solutions can sufficiently address barriers to economic opportunity for women, people of color, and immigrants. As disparities persist, we know we must rewrite the rules for the better. To truly change unequal economic outcomes, we must address the web of current rules and historical institutions that constrain choices in nearly every aspect of life: jobs, homeownership, health, voting, justice, education, and more. From how the legacy of redlining drives today’s racial wealth gap, to the racialized digital divide, to the gendered effects of the Affordable Care Act, the rules that shape our economy are fundamentally intertwined with race and gender.

The Roosevelt Institute’s work on economic inclusion is rooted in “targeted universalism.” Inspired by the work of john powell and others, this approach acknowledges that policy is almost never colorblind or gender neutral—and new rules should not only not exacerbate existing inequalities, but also take structural biases against women, communities of color, immigrants and trans people into consideration.

Our projects include Maya Wiley’s Digital Equity project, Andrea Flynn’s work on women’s health and structural discrimination, Ellen Chesler’s writing on women and girls around the world, and our growing research on the inclusive rules we need to address structural racism.

Also published on Medium.


Poverty rate for Black women, compared with 10.8 percent for white women


3 M

The number of women left without health coverage because governors refuse to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid



Total reduction in the gender wage gap over the last five decades



What black women earn for every $1 their white male counterparts.


Share of the U.S.’s nearly 20 million low-wage jobs held by women


15 to 1

The amount of wealth owned by a white family relative to a black family.



Number of weeks of paid family leave guaranteed to new parents



Portion of black high income borrowers who were preyed upon by subprime mortgages.



the unemployment rate for black workers compared to white workers.