November 16, 2017
In the past 50 years, marital rates have declined significantly, especially among lower socioeconomic groups. Meanwhile increase in the ease of divorce and improvements in contracting outside of marriage (e.g.,child support laws) have made marriage increasingly similar to cohabitation, except for in the treatment of assets upon divorce. Corinne Low, together with coauthor Jeanne Lafortune, present a case that as the commitment offered by marriage declined, this division of assets offered extra "insurance" to women in high asset unions. This in turn encouraged investment in child human capital, even at the cost of one's own earnings, and allowed marriage to retain its value amongst asset holders particularly homeowners. Meanwhile, the value of marriage eroded for other groups, creating a wealth gap in marriage rates that may underly the apparent income, race, and education gap.
Corinne Low, Assistant Professor of Business Economics and Public Poliy, The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania.
October 24, 2017
The challenges and barriers that women face in both entering into and performing effectively in leadership roles have been widely documented across many research domains. In this seminar Aparna Joshi takes a look at this issue from the perspective of both women and men in leadership roles. First, she unpacks conditions under which women leaders can be effective change agents in highly male-dominated settings. Based on a sixteen- year longitudinal data set of women legislators in the US Congress she examines how the content of bills can prime the legitimacy of women in leader roles and predict their success in passing bills over the course of their tenures. Second, shifting the focus on men in leadership roles, she also problematizes the “think manager think male” paradigm that has been applied extensively to understand barriers faced by women, from the perspective of men. Based on a sample of Fortune 500 male CEOs she examines the consequences for firm performance and CEO pay among men who subscribe (or not) to masculine stereotypes. Through these two studies she aims at highlighting new ways of thinking about gender and leadership effectiveness.
Aparna Joshi, Arnold Family Professor of Management, Smeal College of Management, Penn State University
April 6, 2017
Do gender quotas matter to policy outcomes, or are they just `window dressing'? In this seminar, Ana Catalano Weeks discusses her findings from one of the first studies of the relationship between quota laws and policy outcomes across countries. She argues that after a quota law, we should expect to see change on issues characterized by gender gaps in preferences, especially if they lie off the main left-right (class-based) dimension in politics -- like maternal employment. She finds that implementing a quota law increases public spending on child care (which encourages maternal employment) and decreases spending on family allowances (which tends to discourage it). Evidence from fieldwork in Portugal and Italy suggests that quotas work by increasing women's leverage within parties and raising the overall salience of gender equality issues with the public and male party elites.
Ana Catalano Weeks, WAPPP Fellow; College Fellow, Department of Government, Harvard University
March 30, 2017
Organizations traditionally have had a clear distinction between their policies on diversity and inclusion and their talent management. The main driving force behind diversity and inclusion has been being seen to be a good employer, to be able to make claims in the annual report and to feel as though a positive contribution is being made to society. On the other hand, talent management activities have been driven by a real business need to ensure that the organization has the right people with the right skills in the right place to drive operational success. Steve Frost’s latest book, Inclusive Talent Management, aligns talent management and diversity and inclusion, offering a fresh perspective on why the current distinction between them needs to disappear.
In this seminar, Steve uses case studies from internationally recognised brands such as Goldman Sachs, Unilever, KPMG, Hitachi, Oxfam and the NHS, to show that to achieve business objectives and gain the competitive advantage, it is imperative that organizations take an inclusive approach to talent management. He puts forward a compelling and innovative case, raising questions not only for the HR community but also to those in senior management positions, providing the practical steps, global examples and models for incorporating diversity and inclusion activities into talent management strategy.
Stephen Frost, WAPPP AY14 Fellow; Founder and Principal, Frost Included
February 16, 2017
While gender equity is a core value in public service, women continue to be underrepresented in the top-level of leadership of public sector organizations. Existing explanations for why more women do not advance to top leadership positions consider factors, such as human and social capital, gender stereotypes and beliefs about effective leadership, familial expectations, and work-life conflict. Such studies, largely based on private-sector organizations, focus on why women do not reach top leadership positions rather than trying to understand how, or why, some women do. In this seminar, Amy Smith discusses findings from a multi-method study examining career histories of women and men who have reached the top-level of leadership in U.S. federal regulatory organizations. Her analysis identifies a typology of career paths for women and men in public service. Amy finds that while both women and men assert personal and professional qualifications to legitimize their claims to top leadership positions, they do so in different, possibly gendered, ways.
Amy E. Smith, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston
March 2, 2016
Gender diversity is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and debiasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Behavioral design offers a new solution. Building on her talk in the fall and her new book, WHAT WORKS: Gender Equality By Design, Professor Bohnet will discuss what organizations can do create more inclusive environments, level the playing field and help diverse teams succeed. Speaker: Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy; Director, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
October 29, 2015
Can symbolic awards motivate individuals to contribute their ideas and knowledge to a common project? Jana Gallus presents results from a large-scale natural field experiment at Wikipedia, exploring whether a purely symbolic award scheme can be used to motivate new editors and thus mitigate Wikipedia's editor retention problem. In a new project, she seeks to understand how awards have to be designed in order to enhance their recipients' self-confidence in gender-incongruent fields and encourage high-ability individuals to contribute their ideas. Speaker: Jana Gallus, Postdoctoral Fellow, Behavioral Insights Group, Harvard Kennedy School
September 10, 2015
With gender equality increasingly a business imperative, in addition to being a human right, many leaders across the sectors wonder how we can get there. In the first WAPPP Seminar of 2015-16, Professor Bohnet discusses her forthcoming book "What Works: Gender Equality, By Design" (Harvard University Press 2016). Reviewing the impact of what we have been doing to date, including diversity and leadership trainings, networking, and mentorship/sponsorship programs, Bohnet proposes a new approach to leveling the playing field. Building on insights from Behavioral Economics, she argues that to overcome gender bias in organizations and society, we should focus on de-biasing systems—how we evaluate performance, hire, promote, structure tests, form groups—rather than on trying to de-bias people. Speaker: Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy; Director, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School
August 21, 2014
Gender inequality in workplaces and in homes around the globe reflects individual attitudes and abilities, intra-household bargaining and legal and socio-cultural influences. Research that considers factors across the individual, household and cultural levels simultaneously is essentially nonexistent. This paper explores how gender attitudes are shaped by the national context, how these shape intra-household bargaining, and how women’s and men’s lives at work and at home are altered in the process. Speaker: Kathleen McGinn, Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School