Barbara Gault

Barbara Gault

Executive Vice President

Institute for Women's Policy Research

Austin, TX USA

Be willing to jump out of the plane, even though you’re scared to death and don’t have confidence in yourself. Just keep getting up and trying it again.


By Roadtrip Nation

Barbara Gault


My road in life has been direct.
After dropping out of high school when I was 16, I went to a community college and transferred schools a couple times before earning my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Michigan.
While studying primatology in graduate school, I went to Uganda to study chimps—it was fun, but I realized I was more interested in human issues, so I switched my major to social psychology.
I earned my Ph.D. and wrote my dissertation on political attitudes around social issues like welfare reform and criminal justice—I realized I wanted to apply my research skills to change policy.
I started working in public policy to advocate for assistance for low-income mothers.
I joined the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and worked hard to move up through various leadership positions.
Once I became a mother myself, I realized that parenthood is essentially a second full-time job and I had to change a lot of my work habits.
After working my way up to the executive vice president position at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, my goal now is to start and lead my own research and policy business.
Keep following my journey


Executive Vice President

I do research on education and employment issues affecting women to inform policies and programs.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

I do internet research, write, prepare presentations, and talk with others to gather information.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Take every opportunity that you can find to do research.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"Spending time in a doctoral program is a waste of time and a way to avoid work. "

Challenges I Overcame

Mental Health Issues
School Drop Out