Institute Faculty

Mary Gatta

Mary Gatta

Dr. Mary Gatta has over twenty years of teaching, research and advocacy experience working on issues of career education and workforce development in colleges and non-profit organizations. Currently Dr. Gatta is the Director of Research and Policy at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), where she leads research on the employment of the college educated.

Prior to joining NACE, Dr. Gatta served as an Associate Professor of Sociology at City University of New York-Guttman and Faculty Director of the Ethnographies of Work program. In addition, she was the Research Director at the Rutgers University Center for Women and Work and a Senior Scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women in Washington DC. Dr. Gatta also served on NJ Governor Phil Murphy's Labor and Workforce Development Transition Team.

Dr. Gatta’s work is centered on evidence-based research analysis to develop new solutions to current problems—particularly around economic security, education and workforce policies. In all her research projects she uses an equity and intersectionality lens. Over the years she developed research on job quality, such as workplace flexibility for low-wage workers; workforce development programs and older workers. Her book Waiting on Retirement: Aging and Economic Insecurity in Low Wage Work, on the experiences of older low wage workers was released in October 2018. Her latest book Gentrification Down the Shore (with Molly Makris) explores the connection between jobs, racial inequality and seasonal gentrification and the experiences of longtime residents in the beach-community city of Asbury Park, NJ was released in November 2020. She has written three other books along with articles, policy papers, book chapters, and op-ed pieces.

She has led research on ways to embed career education and workplaces into the academic curriculum to better ensure student success at college and beyond. Her report Putting Vocation at the Center of the Curriculum (with Nancy Hoffman), highlights the ways students ethnographic research methods and a social science framework to explore work and careers with a critical lens; along with mastering key job-readiness skills.

In addition, she has explored the experiences of women as they navigate One-Stop Career Centers, which led to Mary’s book, All I Want Is a Job! Unemployed Women Navigating the Public Workforce System. She also wrote Not Just Getting By: The New Era of Flexible Workforce Development and Juggling Food and Feelings: Emotional Balance in the Workplace and was an editor of Transforming the U.S. Workforce Development System. Along with books, she has also written articles, policy papers, book chapters, and op-ed pieces.

Dr. Gatta spearheaded research for the AAUW in Florida on older women's economic security across race and class. Through this work she wrote several reports including: “Women, Economic Insecurity and Aging in the Florida Sunshine”, “Florida’s Hispanic Women – Striving But Not Economically Thriving”, and “Working Black Women in Florida and Economic Insecurity: A Story of Gender and Racial Inequality.” and "Women and Economic Insecurity In Sarasota County, Florida" In addition, she worked on the national AAUW report Limiting Our Livelihoods: The Cumulative Impact of Sexual Harassment on Women’s Careers.

Dr. Gatta holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from Providence College and a master’s degree and doctorate in Sociology from Rutgers University.