Join us for an HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series event featuring Theresia Thylin, PhD Candidate in the Essex University (UK) Department of Sociology and a Gender and Humanitarian Specialist at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in New York. Chelsea Green, PhD candidate in the Harvard Department of Government, will serve as a discussant. This event is organized by Dara Kay Cohen, Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Zoe Marks, Lecturer in Public Policy.
Do corporate sexual harassment programs reduce harassment? If they do, new programs should boost the share of women in management because harassment causes women to quit. Sexual harassment grievance procedures incite retaliation, according to surveys, and our analyses show that they are followed by reductions in women managers. Sexual harassment training for managers, which treats managers as victims’ allies and gives them tools to intervene, are followed by increases in women managers. Training for employees, which treats trainees as suspects, can backfire. In this seminar, Frank Dobbin discusses how programs work better in workplaces with more women managers, who are less likely than men to respond negatively to harassment complaints and training. Politicians and managers should be using social-scientific evidence to design harassment programs.
Frank Dobbin, Harvard University, Department of Sociology
The purpose of diversity initiatives is to help groups that face disadvantage in society (e.g., women, racial/ethnic minorities, etc.) achieve better outcomes in organizations, but they do not necessarily work as intended. In this seminar, Lisa Leslie first presents a typology of four unintended consequence types—backfire, negative spillover, positive spillover, and false progress—as well as theory regarding the underlying mechanisms and processes that produce them. She next provides empirical examples illustrating the different unintended consequence types. She concludes by using the typological theory to derive potential interventions aimed at increasing diversity initiative effectiveness.
Lisa Leslie, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, New York University
Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and de-biasing people’s minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Diversity training programs have had limited success, and individual effort alone often invites backlash. Behavioral design offers a new solution. By de-biasing organizations instead of individuals, we can make smart changes that have big impacts. Presenting research-based solutions, Iris Bohnet hands us the tools we need to move the needle in classrooms and boardrooms, in hiring and promotion, benefiting businesses, governments, and the lives of millions.
Iris Bohnet, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government; Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School; Co-Director, WAPPP
Nonbinary gender identities have quickly gone from obscurity to prominence in American public life, with growing acceptance of gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they, them, and theirs,” and recognition of a third-gender category by U.S. states including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. People with nonbinary gender identities do not exclusively identify as men or women. The increased visibility of a nonbinary minority creates challenges for other rights movements, while also opening new avenues for feminist and LGBT advocacy. In this seminar, Jessica Clarke asks what law and policy would look like if they took nonbinary gender seriously. She assesses the legal interests in binary gender regulation in areas including law enforcement, employment, education, housing, and health care, and concludes these interests are not reasons to reject the broader project of nonbinary inclusion.
Jessica Clarke, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series — Transgender Military Service: What’s at Stake in the Debate?
This HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series event features Aaron Belkin, Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University and author of How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in International Security, HKS, moderates the discussion. The HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series brings leading experts from academia and the policy world, working at the intersection of gender, human rights, and security, to Harvard Kennedy School. The spring 2019 series focuses on the theme of “LGBT in War,” featuring speakers from the academic and policy worlds addressing LGBT issues in national militaries, non-state armed groups and the experiences of LGBT victims of war.
Aaron Belkin, Professor of Political Science at San Francisco State University
Juliette Kayyem, Belfer Lecturer in International Security, Harvard Kennedy School
Scholars have widely discussed colorism – the differential treatment of same-race individuals based on skin color – with regard to the African-American community. They have less frequently examined colorism’s worldwide dimensions. Yet, the manufacture of products offering the prospect of lighter, brighter, whiter skin is a multi-billion dollar global industry, with Asia being a key market. Importantly, the salience accorded skin color varies depending upon geographical location and social context. In this seminar, Professor Jones will discuss: (1) the ways in which skin color operates within different racialized communities, with a specific focus on African Americans, Asians, and Asian Americans; and (2) how skin tone differences influence perceptions of individual and group identity and complicate coalition building within and across racial groups.
Trina Jones, Jerome M. Culp Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law
Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies with Kelly Bedard
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
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
Discussing Diversity: How Emphasizing and Minimizing Intergroup Differences Affect Bias and Empowerment with Ashley Martin
In this seminar, Ashley Martin discusses the consequences of being “aware of” or “blind to” intergroup differences on women’s workplace outcomes. In contrast to organizational best-practices for race relations, which argue that recognizing racial differences is more effective at reducing racial bias than is ignoring them, she shows that deemphasizing, rather than embracing, gender differences promotes men’s inclusion and women’s empowerment.
Ashley Martin, PhD Candidate, Columbia Business School