Climbing the Ladder: Gender and Careers in Public Service with Amy E. Smith

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

00:0000:00

What Works: How to Design Diversity with Iris Bohnet

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

00:0000:00

Designing Symbolic Awards to Motivate Knowledge Workers in Gender-Typed Fields: Evidence from a Field Experiment at Wikipedia with Jana Gallus

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

00:0000:00

What Works: Gender Equality, By Design

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

00:0000:00

Gender Attitudes and Intra-household Bargaining: Effects on Career-life Outcomes Across the Globe with Kathleen McGinn

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

00:0000:00

Gender and Moral Decision-Making wtih Jooa Julia Lee

August 21, 2014

Virtually all normative and descriptive models of moral judgment view an agent’s gender as irrelevant to judgments of moral permissibility — whether an action such as sacrificing one life to save five others is carried out by a man or a woman does not qualify its appropriateness. However, we demonstrate that people expect men to be more utilitarian, than women when resolving moral dilemmas. Accordingly, they find utilitarian behavior more appropriate when carried out by male agents. This research suggests that moral judgment is not only evaluative in scope, but also inferential. Individuals view behavior as a signal about character, and because of their prior beliefs about male and female characteristics, they arrive at different judgments when the same behavior is carried out by male and female agents. This paper discusses the organizational implications of the gender bias in moral decision-making.the new economy. Speaker: Jooa Julia Lee, WAPPP Fellow; Doctoral Candidate in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

00:0000:00

Imposed Versus Desired Professional Identities: Embracing, Passing, Revealing and their Consequences with Erin Reid

August 21, 2014

This field study of a strategy consulting firm explores how men and women cope with organizational pressures to construct a professional identity that involves full devotion to work. Reid finds that while some people easily embrace this imposed identity, most experience a conflict between it and the less-devoted professional identities that they desire to construct. She traces how men and women navigate this conflict by aiming to stay true to their desired selves while either (1) passing as adherents to, or (2) overtly revealing their deviance from, the imposed identity. Unpacking the different ways in which people manipulate features of their work, we construct and manage these deviant professional selves. Drawing on performance and interview data, she demonstrates how both those who embrace the imposed identity and those pass as adherents to it are held in high esteem and rewarded by the firm, while those who reveal their deviance are recognized as such and penalized. Speaker: Erin Reid, Assistant Professor, Boston University

00:0000:00

Intra-Household Bargaining Power in the Context of HIV Prevention: An Application to Married Couples in Rural Malawi with Berit Gerritzen

August 21, 2014

Gender inequality has been identified by UNAIDS as a key driver of the HIV epidemic. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where two-thirds of all HIV-infected people live, young women are up to eight times more likely than men to be infected. Using panel data from the Malawi Diffusion and Ideational Change Project MDICP, this research analyzes the importance of intra-household bargaining power in the context of HIV prevention (i.e., condom use within marriage and HIV-related spousal communication) and risky sexual behavior (i.e., self-reported male extramarital behavior). Data on spouses as well as junior wives (in the case of polygamous marriages) has been matched, which enables for a simultaneous assessment of changes in intra-household bargaining power of both partners. The panel dimension of the data allows me to capture unobserved heterogeneity and time trends by using individual-specific fixed effects and time dummies. Speaker: Berit Gerritzen, WAPPP Fellow, University of St. Gallen

00:0000:00

Gender and Group Decision-Making: Eliciting and Acting Upon Expertise with Katie Coffman

August 21, 2014

From faculty meetings and student projects to corporate boards and consulting firms, many decisions are made by groups rather than by individuals. In these settings, individuals may bring differing levels of knowledge and expertise to the table; therefore, the performance of the group depends heavily upon eliciting and acting upon the best information from the most informed individuals. Understanding how individuals make the decision of when toe volunteer information to the group is an important first step toward evaluating the efficiency of different group decision-making procedures. Speaker: Katie Coffman, Assistant Professor of Economics, Ohio State University

00:0000:00

Exploring Viewer Reactions to Media Coverage of Female Politicians wtih Joanna Everitt

August 21, 2014

The first is based on a paper I will be presenting at the ECPR conference in early September titled “Exploring Viewer Reactions to Media Coverage of Female Politicians.” This paper explores voters’ responses to non-verbal cues provided by politicians and often included in media coverage. Past research on women and politics has found that in its coverage, the media has tended to focus disproportionately on the assertive behavior and emotional displays of female candidates, yet little work has explored the implications of this coverage on voters’ impressions of these political figures despite its potential to evoke or challenge stereotypes of women and/or politicians. This paper begins to unravel some of the impact that these non-verbal cues may have on voters’ evaluations of politicians and in particular female candidates. Speaker: Joanna Everitt, WAPPP Fellow, University of New Brunswick

00:0000:00