Bias Interrupters: An Evidence-Based, Metrics Driven Way to Interrupt Implicit Bias

August 7, 2018

Recent studies have found that one-shot bias trainings are not an effective way to interrupt implicit bias. In this seminar, Professor Joan C. Williams discusses Bias Interrupters, a new model for interrupting the implicit bias that is constantly being transmitted in basic business systems at many companies. Joan introduces the Workplace Experiences Survey, a simple 10-minute “bias climate” survey designed to test for every major pattern of bias based on gender, race, disability, and class origin. She also explains the research and theory behind the open-sourced toolkits at, which identify key metrics and identify low-impact tweaks to basic business systems to interrupt bias. Both the survey and toolkits are based on the 40 years of studies in experimental social psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, and behavioral economics documenting common bias patterns.

Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair and Director of the Center for WorkLife Law

Workshop: Strategic Negotiating Moves that Work at Work

August 7, 2018

We negotiate all the time at work even when we do not recognize we are doing so. We negotiate for the resources we need to do our jobs, for roles and opportunities we aspire to, and for schedules that work with our lives. Negotiation outcomes depend on how well we position ourselves and use what leverage we have to get reluctant negotiators to the table. It requires that we take the lead to ‘anchor’ around creative solutions that acknowledge our individual constraints. In addition, we need to be prepared to deal with resistance to our ideas that might challenge the status quo. In this seminar, Deborah Kolb uses case studies and your individual experiences to help you make negotiation work at work. Her book, Negotiating at Work, was named by as a best negotiation book of 2015.

Deborah Kolb, Professor Emeritus, School of Management, Simmons College

Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping with Sabrina Karim

March 23, 2018

In this seminar, Sabrina Karim focuses on the role women have played in peacekeeping, arguing that increasing the number of women is important, but so are gender norms within peacekeeping missions. She demonstrates that in order to make peacekeeping missions more effective at protecting civilians in war torn countries, particular attention to gender is needed.

Sabrina Karim, Assistant Professor; Caplan Faculty Fellow, Government Department, Cornell University 


Out of the Running? Gender and Race Differences in Political Ambition among HKS and Other Elite Millennials with Shauna Shames

March 23, 2018

Millennials are often publically criticized for being apathetic about the American political process and their lack of interest in political careers. But what do millennials themselves have to say about the prospect of holding political office? Are they as uninterested in political issues and the future of the American political system as the media suggests? What do we learn by looking at both gender and racial groups’ political ambition comparatively?

In this seminar, Shauna Shames goes directly to the source and draws from extensive research, including over 50 interviews and an extensive survey (n=760), with graduate students in elite institutions that have historically been a direct link for their graduates into state or federal elected office: Harvard Law, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Boston’s Suffolk University Law School. Shauna, herself a young graduate of Harvard University, suggests that millennials are not uninterested; rather, they don’t believe that a career in politics is the best way to create change. Millennials view the system as corrupt or inefficient and are particularly skeptical about the fundraising, frenzied media attention, and loss of privacy that have become staples of the American electoral process. They are clear about their desire to make a difference in the world but feel that the “broken” political system is not the best way to do so—a belief held particularly by millennial women and women of color.

Shauna Shames, Assistant Professor, Political Science Department, Rutgers University-Camden


To Delegate or not to Delegate: Gender Differences in Affective Associations and Behavioral Responses to Delegation with Modupe Akinola

March 23, 2018

Do women and men view delegation differently? In this seminar, Modupe Akinola shares her research showing that women imbue delegation with more agentic traits, have more negative associations with delegating, and feel greater guilt about delegating than men. These associations result in women delegating less than men and, when they do delegate, having lower-quality interactions with subordinates. Furthermore, she discusses an intervention that can attenuate women’s negative associations with delegation.

Modupe Akinola, Sanford C. Bernstein Associate Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Columbia Business School 


The Influence of Sexual Orientation and Race on Gender Prescriptive Stereotypes with Sa-Kiera Hudson

February 16, 2018

Gender stereotypes persist in society. Many of these stereotypes are prescriptive, indicating how men and women should behave in social situations. However, an outstanding question is whether these normative gender beliefs apply equally to men and women of additional social categories. In this seminar, Sa-Kiera explores this question using an intersectional approach by asking participants to indicate the desirability of men, women, and people of different sexual orientations and races displaying a series of masculine and feminine traits. The results clearly show that although the category “man” and “woman” have different prescriptive stereotypes that haven’t substantively changed since 2002, race and sexual orientation substantively alter the landscape of these gendered stereotypes. These findings have implications for norm violation accounts of discrimination.

Sa-Kiera Hudson, WAPPP Fellow; Ph.D. Candidate in Psychology, Sidanius Lab for the Social Psychology of Intergroup Relations, Harvard University


Sexual Assault on College Campuses: A Behavioral Approach with Betsy Paluck and Ana Gantman

February 9, 2018

Dr. Betsy Paluck and Dr. Ana Gantman present a behavioral perspective on campus sexual assault. Prominent models of sexual assault portray assault perpetrators as one of two extremes. In the clinical model, perpetrators are seen as unchangeable deviants. In the cultural model, perpetrators are a product of rape culture. The behavioral perspective analyzes how individual psychological phenomena and environmental configurations interact, and drive patterns of sexual assault. For example, the behavioral approach enables researchers to analyze how different contexts activate perceived norms, goals, and moral language, which shifts the likelihood of assault. Based on this theoretical framework, Dr. Paluck and Dr. Gantman field-tested an intervention in Princeton University eating club parties. A student-driven initiative requiring party-goers to read aloud a definition of consent at the door was tested by varying the framing of the consent language and the identity of the person presenting the consent language. In this seminar, Dr. Paluck and Dr. Gantman present results and discuss lessons for the design, implementation, and research on the effects of university policy on sexual assault.

Betsy Paluck, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology and Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University

Ana Gantman, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs, Princeton University


Can Female Role Models Reduce the Gender Gap in Science? Evidence from Classroom Interventions in French High Schools with Clémentine Van Effenterre

February 1, 2018

In this seminar, Clémentine Van Effenterre assesses whether a short in-class intervention by an external female role model can influence students' attitudes towards science and contribute to a significant change in their choice of field of study. The intervention consists of a one hour, one off visit to a high school classroom by a volunteer female scientist. It is targeted to change students’ perceptions and attitudes towards scientific careers and the role of women in science, with the aim of ultimately reducing the gender gap in scientific studies. Using a random assignment of the interventions to 10th and 12th grade classrooms during normal teaching hours, Clémentine finds that exposure to female role models significantly reduces the prevalence of stereotypes associated with jobs in science, for both female and male students. While Clémentine finds no significant effect of the classroom interventions on 10th grade students’ choice of high school track the following year, her results show a positive and significant impact of the intervention on the probability of applying and of being admitted to a selective science major in college among 12th grade students. This effect is essentially driven by high-achieving students and is larger for girls in relative terms. After the intervention, their probability to be enrolled in selective science programs after graduating from high school increases by 30 percent with respect to the baseline mean.

Clémentine Van Effenterre, WAPPP Postdoctoral Fellow


Women in Combat: Does Integration Lead to Equality? with Megan Mackenzie

January 30, 2018

Megan MacKenzie's presentation explores the history of the combat exclusion and the recent integration of women into combat roles. It introduces the equal/different double bind as a framework for understanding the impossible expectations often put on women in male dominated fields. Women are expected to be equal and integrate fully into the work culture; yet they are also expected to ‘add value’ and transform institutions. Does this equal/different double bind set women up for failure? Her presentation explores this question through an analysis of women in combat.

Megan MacKenzie, Associate Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney


Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies with Kelly Bedard

November 30, 2017

Having children may reduce the probability that women are promoted in a variety of professions because early productivity falls despite the existence of short family leave programs. But the problem may be particularly acute at research intensive universities where research productivity before the tenure decision is especially important. In repsonse, many of the institutions have adopted gender-neutral tenure clock-stopping policies so women-and men-do not have to sacrifice family for career, and vice-versa. The extra time on the tenure clock is inteneded to account for the negative productivity shock associated with having a child. While these policies are equal in the sense that they give the same benfit to women and men who have children, they are inequitable in that the time cost (or productivity loss) experienced by men and women is quite different. Using data from top 50 economic departments from 1980-2005, Kelly Bedard shows that these policies raise male tenure rates while at the same time reducing female tenure rates. 


Kelly Bedard, Department Chair and Professor of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara