Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series
How to Elect More Women: Gender and Candidate Success in a Field Experiment with Jessica Robinson Preece

How to Elect More Women: Gender and Candidate Success in a Field Experiment with Jessica Robinson Preece

October 20, 2016

Women are dramatically underrepresented in legislative bodies (supply), and most scholars agree that the greatest limiting factor is the lack of female candidates. However, voters’ subconscious biases (demand) may also play a role, particularly among conservatives. In this seminar, Jessica Preece discusses her findings from a field experiment conducted in partnership with a state Republican Party. She finds that party leaders’ efforts to increase both supply and demand (especially both together) result in a greater number of women elected as delegates to the statewide nominating convention. Her field experiment shows that simple interventions from party leaders can influence the behavior of candidates and voters, which ultimately leads to a substantial increase in women’s electoral success.

Jessica Robinson Preece, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Brigham Young University; Co-director, Gender and Civic Engagement Lab

Consequences of Value Threat: The Influence of Helping Women on Female Solos’ Preference for Female Candidates with Michelle Duguid

Consequences of Value Threat: The Influence of Helping Women on Female Solos’ Preference for Female Candidates with Michelle Duguid

October 13, 2016

There is an assumption that placing women in organizations’ high-status groups will be instrumental in the further diversification of their group. However, research has demonstrated that women, who are often sole representatives of their gender in high-status groups (solos), do not support female candidates trying to gain membership. As a result, management may look to female incumbents who have voluntarily helped other women in the past, although these female solos may actually feel licensed to give up the opportunity to select female candidates. In this seminar, Michelle Duguid examines experimental studies demonstrating that value threat underlies female solos’ decisions in the selection of a female candidate. For example, in situations where women experience less value threat, such as when they are majority group members or when they feel valued by their group members, they are more likely to favor a female candidate.

Michelle Duguid, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis

Protection from Gender Violence as a Civil Right with Kristin Bumiller

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


Can Professionally-employed Mothers Have It All? An Examination of the Relationship Between Social Support, Self-efficacy and Turnover Intentions of First-time Mothers with Jamie Ladge

Can Professionally-employed Mothers Have It All? An Examination of the Relationship Between Social Support, Self-efficacy and Turnover Intentions of First-time Mothers with Jamie Ladge

March 31, 2016

The return to work following the birth of a first child is often a period of time when new mothers are working towards mastering the tasks associated with caring for an infant and managing their workplace demands.  New mothers may consider leaving their organization if they question their ability to either effectively perform their job or their parenting roles.  Drawing from social support and social comparison theories, this seminar explores how supportive work environments shape new mothers’ turnover intention.  Using a sample of 695 new mothers who had recently returned to work following the birth of their first child, Ladge finds evidence that perceived manager support and role models who portray work and family balance influence both job and maternal self-efficacies, which contribute to new mothers’ turnover intentions.

Speaker: Jamie Ladge, Associate Professor of Management and Organizational Development, D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University

Laboratory Evidence of the Effects of Sponsorship on the Competitive Preferences of Men and Women with Katie Coffman

Laboratory Evidence of the Effects of Sponsorship on the Competitive Preferences of Men and Women with Katie Coffman

March 9, 2016

How can women get ahead in competitive fields? One proposed way is through sponsorship programs – where a person (the sponsor) advocates for a protégé, and in doing so, takes a stake in her success. While these types of programs have received popular attention, little empirical evidence exists on their effectiveness. Coffman uses a laboratory experiment to explore two channels through which sponsorship has been posited to increase advancement in a competitive workplace. In the experimental setting, being sponsored provides a credible signal of one’s ability and/or creates a link between the protégé’s and sponsor’s payoffs. She finds that both features of sponsorship significantly increase willingness to compete among men on average, while neither of these channels significantly increases willingness to compete among women on average. Similarly, sponsorship has a directionally more positive effect on the earnings of male protégés than female protégés. Therefore, sponsorship does not close the gender gap in competitiveness or earnings. This seminar will explore how these insights from the laboratory could help to inform the design of sponsorship programs in the field. Speaker: 

Katie Coffman, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Ohio State University

What Works: How to Design Diversity with Iris Bohnet

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

The Biases that Blind Us: How Gender Stereotypes Constrain Opportunities for Women in STEM with Corinne Moss-Racusin

The Biases that Blind Us: How Gender Stereotypes Constrain Opportunities for Women in STEM with Corinne Moss-Racusin

September 24, 2015

What is the impact of gender biases on promotion and advancement in the scientific community? Dr. Corinne Moss-Racusin shares her latest research exploring the impact of gender biases on meritocracy, diversity, and the pursuit of knowledge throughout academic science. She discusses educational strategies designed to increase awareness and reduce bias, and provides examples of effective scientific diversity interventions. SPEAKER: Corinne Moss-Racusin, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Skidmore College

What Works: Gender Equality, By Design

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

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

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

Gender and Ethnicity in Parliamentary Representation with Liza Mügge

Gender and Ethnicity in Parliamentary Representation with Liza Mügge

December 9, 2014

How does race and gender intersect in a European context and play out in parliamentary representation? While under-representation of both women and ethnic minorities has received considerable attention, European research traditionally has treated women and ethnic minorities as internally homogeneous and conceptually separate groups. Inspired by research on political representation in the U.S., Liza Mügge investigates parliamentary inclusion and exclusion based on the interactions of gender and ethnicity in the Netherlands. By conducting interviews with ethnic minority members of parliaments and analyzing national policy agendas, Mügge examines how institutional and contextual factors, such as backlash against multiculturalism and feminism, affect political representation in the Netherlands. Speaker: Liza Mügge, WAPPP Fellow, 2014-2015; Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Amsterdam

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App