Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series
Babies, Work, or Both? Highly-Educated Women’s Employment and Fertility in East Asia with Mary Brinton

Babies, Work, or Both? Highly-Educated Women’s Employment and Fertility in East Asia with Mary Brinton

March 22, 2019

Only two OECD countries continue to exhibit an M-shaped curve of female labor force participation across the life cycle: Japan and South Korea. In this seminar, Mary Brinton analyzes how labor market structure and workplace norms influence this pattern. Her analysis draws on data from over 160 in-depth interviews with highly-educated Japanese and Korean men and women of childbearing age, and demonstrates how working conditions exert a powerful influence on gendered patterns of behavior at home and in the labor market.

Mary Brinton, Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

What Works: Designing an Inclusive Workplace with Iris Bohnet

What Works: Designing an Inclusive Workplace with Iris Bohnet

March 15, 2019

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 

Workshop: Strategic Negotiating Moves that Work at Work with Deborah Kolb

Workshop: Strategic Negotiating Moves that Work at Work with Deborah Kolb

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 Time.com as a best negotiation book of 2015.

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

Fathers and Work Family Balance: Mix Methods for Understanding Fatherhood Involvement and Enrichment Experiences with Marc Grau-Grau

Fathers and Work Family Balance: Mix Methods for Understanding Fatherhood Involvement and Enrichment Experiences with Marc Grau-Grau

April 20, 2017

Although there is still a gender division of labor in post-industrial countries, evidence seems to suggest that there is a growing number of fathers that want to be more involved with their children. Using a Time Use Survey, this seminar analyzes how paternal time devoted to children under 10 years old differs across educational level, income, age, number of paid working hours, occupation, and partner’s occupation, among other independent variables. Understanding patterns of fathers, who are more involved with their children, will presumably give some clues on how to promote gender equality in parenting. Furthermore, while research shows that fatherhood involvement is positively related with child outcomes and gender equality, less is known about the benefits of having both work and family roles for working fathers themselves and their jobs. Using the conceptual framework of work-family enrichment, Marc Grau-Grau explores how resources developed at home are positively transferred and applied at work.

Marc Grau-Grau, WAPPP Fellow; PhD Candidate in Social Policy, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh 

Quotas Matter: The Impact of Gender Quota Laws on Work-Family Policies with Ana Catalano Weeks

Quotas Matter: The Impact of Gender Quota Laws on Work-Family Policies with Ana Catalano Weeks

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  

 

The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations with Francine Blau

The Gender Wage Gap: Extent, Trends, and Explanations with Francine Blau

March 23, 2017

Using data from the 1980-2010 time period, Francine Blau provides new empirical evidence on the extent of and trends in the gender wage gap, which declined considerably over this period.  By 2010, conventional human capital variables taken together explained little of the gender wage gap, while gender differences in occupations and industries continued to be important. Moreover, the gender pay gap declined much more slowly at the top of the wage distribution that at the middle or the bottom and, by 2010, was noticeably higher at the top. Francine also uses the literature to identify what has been learned about the explanations for the gap, considering the role of human capital and gender roles, gender differences in occupations and industries, gender differences in psychological attributes, and labor market discrimination against women.

Francine Blau, Frances Perkins Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, ILR School, Cornell University

Can Financial Incentives Reduce the Baby Gap? Evidence from a Reform in Maternity Leave Benefits with Anna Raute

Can Financial Incentives Reduce the Baby Gap? Evidence from a Reform in Maternity Leave Benefits with Anna Raute

March 16, 2017

Over the past five decades, women's educational attainment and labor market participation have increased tremendously. At the same time, many developed countries have faced decreasing birth rates and below replacement fertility levels. All OECD countries, except the US, now provide paid parental leave in order to facilitate family and career compatibility and lower the cost of childbearing. Drawing on insights from a major reform of parental leave benefits in Germany, this seminar explores whether earnings dependent parental leave benefits have a positive impact on fertility, and whether they are successful at narrowing the baby gap between high educated (high earning) and low educated (low earning) women.

Anna Raute, WAPPP Fellow; Assistant Professor in Economics, University of Mannheim

 

Linking Non-Cognitive Skills and Educational Achievement to Girls in Developing Societies: The Case of Ghana with Sally Nuamah

Linking Non-Cognitive Skills and Educational Achievement to Girls in Developing Societies: The Case of Ghana with Sally Nuamah

January 26, 2017

Recent literature on non-cognitive skills provides promising evidence on the power of community and classroom based interventions for closing achievement gaps across school quality, race, and class. Yet, much of this work has been conducted on males that attend elite institutions in the U.S. There is very little work on how these same tactics can be implemented to overcome gender barriers and improve educational achievement of girls, particularly those that attend schools in non-western settings. In this seminar, Sally Nuamah investigates the experiences of girls from underprivileged backgrounds in Ghana striving to be the first in their families to go to college. She finds that school structure - leadership, curriculum, and peer networks - mediates the effects of their socio-cultural environments and individual background through the facilitation of positive academic identities (non-cognitive skills) that promote identity building and strategy development. These positive academic identities are useful for navigating the gender specific barriers that these girls face, thereby enabling their academic achievement.

Sally Nuamah, WAPPP Fellow; Joint Postdoctoral Fellow, University Center for Human Values and Center for Study of Democratic Politics, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

 

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

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

 

The History of the ‘Mommy Track’ with Elizabeth Singer

The History of the ‘Mommy Track’ with Elizabeth Singer

November 10, 2016

As women began to fill the ranks of management in the 1980s, the impact of motherhood on an individual’s career trajectory and the corporate balance sheet became a source of debate among feminists and business leaders. In this seminar, Elizabeth Singer More examines the “mommy track” argument that some feminists, most prominently Felice Schwartz of Catalyst, claimed would save businesses money by working to retain white-collar women. Schwartz hoped this argument would persuade businesses to provide benefits, such as flex-time and paid maternity leave, which they had resisted providing for years. But there were two significant costs to the “mommy track” argument. The first was the possibility that mothers who did not want to be on a decelerated career track would be involuntarily sidelined. The second was that by basing a claim for treating mothers as valued employees on the company’s profit interest alone, feminists risked losing the standing to demand rights and benefits that did not directly benefit the bottom line.

Elizabeth Singer More, WAPPP Fellow; Lecturer on History and Literature; Lecturer on Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Harvard University

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