Why Are Women Underrepresented as Leaders? Two Ideas from Recent Psychological Research with Francesca Gino

February 23, 2017

Despite efforts aimed at gender equality in positions of power, women are underrepresented in most high-level positions in organizations. Recent data suggests that less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, less than 15% of executive officers, and less than 20% of full professors in the natural sciences. In this seminar, Francesca Gino discusses recent research that sheds light on the question of why women are underrepresented in top leadership positions. She explores work that shows that men and women view professional advancement differently, and their views affect their interest and decisions to climb the organizational ladder. Francesca presents cross-cultural data that speaks to this issue. Additionally, she explores work from a second study that demonstrates that men and women have different preferences when it comes to the future.

Francesca Gino, Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School 

 

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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

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On Her Account: Can Strengthening Women’s Financial Control Boost Female Labor Supply? With Simone Schaner

December 1, 2016

Across the world, the increasing use of digital payments for government to person transactions for social programs has provided an entry point for the world’s poor into the formal financial sector. This phenomenon begs the question: how can governments best leverage this opportunity to enable economic empowerment for women? This seminar explores research that uses a randomized controlled trial to assess how financial inclusion coupled with targeted benefit payments impact women's labor force participation and economic welfare in India.

Simone Schaner, Assistant Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College

 

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The Right to Rule and the Rights of Women in Victorian Britain with Arianne Chernock

October 6, 2016

Historians have long suspected that Queen Victoria’s gender played a role in the rise of constitutional (e.g. ceremonial) monarchy in 19th-century Britain. But what was the nature of this role? In this seminar, Arianne Chernock takes on this question through an archival-based approach by exploring Victoria’s centrality to the early women’s rights movement in Britain – especially in inspiring women to demand the right to vote. Chernock argues that recognizing Victoria’s role in the women’s rights movement allows us to see the shift towards a more restricted Crown as an attempt to contain radical thinking about women, agency, and power to create a more democratic and transparent British state.

Speaker: Arianne Chernock, Associate Professor, Department of History, Boston University

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Protection from Gender Violence as a Civil Right with Kristin Bumiller

September 15, 2016

In this seminar, the recent efforts by the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce Title IX policy are considered in the broader context of unsuccessful attempts to establish protection of sexual violence as a civil right in the United States. OCR enforcement has stimulated both praise for its bold determination to address an epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses and criticism for its capacious exercise of administrative power. Bumiller reframes this debate by considering how these regulatory measures are a new chapter in a varied and complex story about the effectiveness of public enforcement of civil rights statutes through the combination of administrative and judicial action. Her work questions whether over reliance on public agency enforcement potentially weakens the participatory and democratic effects of private action. She also examines how current federal regulations regarding Title IX continue a pattern that over emphasizes criminal justice priorities.

Speaker: Kristin Bumiller, George Daniel Olds Professor in Economic and Social Institutions; Chair of Political Science, Amherst College


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Rape During Civil War with Dara Kay Cohen

September 8, 2016

Rape is common during wartime, but even within the context of the same war, some armed groups perpetrate rape on a massive scale while others never do. In this seminar, Dara Kay Cohen discusses her new book, Rape during Civil War, and examines variation in the severity and perpetrators of rape using an original dataset of reported rape during all major civil wars from 1980 to 2012. Cohen also conducted extensive fieldwork, including interviews with perpetrators of wartime rape, in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste and El Salvador. Combining evidence from these interviews with statistical analysis of the quantitative data, Cohen argues that armed groups that recruit their fighters through the random abduction of strangers use rape—and especially gang rape—to create bonds of loyalty and trust between soldiers. Results from the book lay the groundwork for the systematic analysis of an understudied form of civilian abuse, and will be useful to policymakers seeking to understand and to mitigate the horrors of wartime rape.

Speaker Dara Kay Cohen, WAPPP Faculty Affiliate; Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

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The Girls of War in 1914 and 2014: The Evolution of the Protection Racket with Laura Sjoberg

October 22, 2015

How have gender roles in war changed over the last century? As women have openly joined militaries and paramilitary organizations, the roles of women in service have advanced and diversified. In the United States, the Combat Exclusion Policy was recently lifted to allow women to serve in frontline combat and complete combat operations. Despite increasing numbers of countries beginning to expand the role of women in their militaries, an analysis comparing the U.S. media coverage of British girls in World War I and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in 2014 suggests that significations of girls as wars’ innocent, hapless victims in need of men’s protection remain prominent in media outlets. This seminar revisits Sue Rae Peterson’s (1977) idea of the ‘protection racket’ to analyze the current status of women in 21st century war and conflict. Speaker: Laura Sjoberg, WAPPP Fellow; Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Florida

 

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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

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From Sexual Harassment to Selective Mistreatment: The Regulation of Gender at Work with Jennifer L. Berdahl

February 20, 2015

Debate abounds about why women continue to be underrepresented in top management positions and in male-dominated domains. This presentation reviews research on an often subtle, but powerful and pervasive, organizational force that discourages men and women from engaging in non-stereotypical roles and behavior: The harassment and mistreatment of gender incongruent employees. The author’s research on this topic is reviewed, from “not man enough” harassment, to the sexual harassment of “uppity” women, to the general mistreatment of non-traditional parents. The presentation concludes with recent studies that distinguish mistreatment from advancement and shed light on the “double bind” for women and the systematic scope of gender regulation in the workplace. SPEAKER: Jennifer L. Berdahl, Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Gender and Diversity, University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business

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Rebel Queens and Black Diamonds: Gender Politics in African Armed Groups with Zoe Marks

October 9, 2014

While there has been an impressive groundswell of attention to sexual and gender-based violence in conflict research and in international advocacy, there has been little systematic analysis of how organizational power structures and local contexts inform the nature and dynamics of such violence. WAPPP Fellow, Zoe Marks, examines the intersecting dynamics of power and gender in armed groups in Africa by using her extensive research conducted on the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone. Her study analyzes how context and power affect the dynamics of sexual and gender-based violence by looking at when and how women obtain power in armed groups and what their power tells us about the politics of violence. Speaker: Zoe Marks, WAPPP Fellow, 2014; Chancellor's Fellow, Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

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