Womxn Now: A Panel Discussion on International Women’s Day

By Alexis Richards and Brídín Clements

2021 began with the news that 111% of the net jobs lost in December of 2020 – 140,000 – belonged to womxn. According to the National Women’s Law Center, men gained 16,000 jobs while womxn lost 156,000. The COVID-19 pandemic and the sprawling public health and economic disaster that followed in its wake have delivered a perfect storm of devastation for American womxn, especially womxn of color. Still, women were the best part of the past year. As the majority of the healthcare workforce, womxn were the backbone of the nation’s pandemic care and response. Womxn have been organizing their communities well before the pandemic, but their passion and dedication made all the difference in elections up and down the ballot in November. It seems impossible to fully explain all the ways in which womxn held it down in the past year, but that’s never stopped us before.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Wagner Womxn hosted a panel discussion on the circumstances and burdens impacting women in 2021 as a product of COVID-19. Panelists include Nicole Bateman, Kathryn Anne Edwards, Angela Garbes, and Dr. C. Nicole Mason and moderated by Amy Auton-Smith.

This podcast episode is also featured on Spotify and Apple Music!

(L to R): Dr. C. Nicole Mason, Amy Auton-Smith, Nicole Bateman,
(Second Row): Kathryn Anne Edwards, Angela Garbes,
(Bottom Row): Alexis Richards, Brídín Clements.


[00:00:00] Introduction by Alexis Richards, President of Wagner Womxn and staff writer for NYU Wagner Review,

[00:01:06] Amy Auton-Smith briefly discuss her background and provides an introduction on the crisis surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, unpaid domestic work, gender based violence and more.

[00:04:38] Nicole Bateman introduces herself and discuss her role at the Brookings Institution on labor force and workforce issues,

[00:05:31] Dr. Kathryn Anne Edwards introducers herself and discuss her role at The RAND Corporation focusing on gender inequality and labor supply,

[00:06:32] Angela Garbes begins her introduction discussing her previous work which includes a published book and her current podcast “The Double Shift,” focusing on motherhood,

[00:07:26] Dr. C. Nicole Mason discusses her professional work at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and her research on women’s economic security,

[00:09:02] Amy Auton-Smith begins moderating with the panelists,

[01:08:20] Alexis Richards concludes the panel discussion.


Amy Auton-Smith is the CEO and Co-Founder of FairFrame, a diversity technology and R&D company that is building software to help users give better and less biased feedback to others in the workplace, and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Wagner teaching postgraduate classes on project management, gender and leadership. Alongside her teaching and work on diversity, equality, and inclusion, Amy is passionate about opening up opportunities in entrepreneurship and the legal profession and is a coach and mentor via NYU and the University of Southampton. She is also on the Board of a nature preserve and is a keen supporter of the global Scouting movement. Amy holds a law degree from Southampton University (UK), a Master of Public Administration from NYU (US) and a certificate in Artificial Intelligence from MIT (US). She was honored to receive the Martin Dworkis Memorial Award from NYU Wagner in 2018.

Guest Speakers

Nicole Bateman is a senior research analyst in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. Nicole’s research and analysis focuses on workers and the labor market, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for those our economy most often leaves out or leaves behind. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington in public administration and a bachelor’s degree from Seattle University in Political Science and English Literature.

Angela Garbes is the author of Like a Mother, a narrative nonfiction book exploring the science and of pregnancy, and an NPR Best Book of 2018. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, New York, The Cut, and featured on NPR’s Fresh Air. She lives in Seattle.

Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women. Having stepped into this role in November 2019, Dr. Mason is the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside-the-Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so. She succeeded noted economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, the Institute’s founding CEO. For the past two decades, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color, and youth; and racial equity.

Dr. Kathryn Anne Edwards (she/her) is a labor economist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. Her research spans diverse areas of public policy, including unemployment insurance (UI); the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education pipeline and labor market; women’s labor supply; the challenges in retirement facing older Americans; and labor market issues for workers without a college degree. She has research grants funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Aging. Edwards completed her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Wisconsin. While a student, she was a National Institute of Aging Trainee at the Center for Demography and Human Ecology, a graduate fellow of the Institute for Research on Poverty, and a summer fellow at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago through the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession.

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