Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series
Gender Inequality: A Comparative View of the Challenges Ahead with Mary Brinton and Claudia Goldin

Gender Inequality: A Comparative View of the Challenges Ahead with Mary Brinton and Claudia Goldin

November 20, 2015


Gender Inequality persists to varying degrees across post-industrial economies. The seminar introduces the new Weatherhead Initiative at Harvard to study comparative gender inequality in OECD countries and outlines some of the major scholarly and policy challenges relating to the structure of work and its articulation with the family. 

Speakers: Mary Brinton, Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology; Department Chair, Department of Sociology, Harvard University and Claudia Goldin, Henry Lee Professor of Economics, Harvard University
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

Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity with Jeni Klugman

Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity with Jeni Klugman

February 13, 2015

The constraints facing women and girls worldwide range from epidemic levels of gender-based violence to biased laws and norms that prevent them from owning property, working, and making decisions about their own lives. The World Bank’s new book, “Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity,” documents major gender gaps and reviews promising policies and interventions. Underlining that women's agency–their ability to make decisions and act on them independently–has concrete as well as intrinsic value, WAPPP Fellow Jeni Klugman highlights new interventions from around the world that are used to empower women and girls, in conjunction with United Nations post-2015 global development agenda.

Paying the Price for Sugar and Spice: How Girls and Women are Kept out of Mathematics and Science with Jo Boaler

Paying the Price for Sugar and Spice: How Girls and Women are Kept out of Mathematics and Science with Jo Boaler

November 13, 2014

In STEM subjects at school girls achieve at the same levels as boys, or higher, but their participation in these important subjects declines as soon as they are able to make choices between subjects. Jo Boaler examines the reasons that girls and women don’t choose to take these subjects by highlighting the inequities in the education system. Boaler finds that a girl's mindset, combined with inequitable teaching of mathematics and science in schools, can affect their decisions to pursue STEM subjects. Speaker: Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education, Stanford University; Co-Founder of Youcubed

Closing the Gender Gap: Progress and Policies to Achieve Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship with Monika Queisser

Closing the Gender Gap: Progress and Policies to Achieve Gender Equality in Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship with Monika Queisser

October 24, 2014

How can we work toward greater gender equality and women’s empowerment in OECD countries and emerging economies around the world? The OECD’s answer is focusing on the 3 “E”s: education, employment and entrepreneurship. Recent public policy initiatives such as the OECD Gender Recommendation and gender work by the G20 forum emphasize the importance of increasing female labor force participation to achieve strong and balanced growth. OECD’s Head of Social Policy Division, Monika Queisser reviews these recommendations and other initiatives in the OECD countries, and disseminates new findings that aim to achieve better representation of women in public sector leadership. Speaker: Monika Queisser, Head of Social Policy Division, Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs, OECD

Women, Business and the Law: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality with Sarah Iqbal

Women, Business and the Law: Removing Restrictions to Enhance Gender Equality with Sarah Iqbal

October 3, 2014

Men and women throughout the world want to provide for their families and ensure their children have a good start in life. Often, the chance to start a business or get a job is the surest way to accomplish this goal. But how can we be sure that women have the same opportunities as men to fulfill their economic potential? The World Bank Group's Women, Business and the Law project presents a unique dataset examining how the law can help or impede women from working and earning an income and what can be done to improve women's economic rights.

Do boys and girls respond differently to academic competition? with Robert Jensen

Do boys and girls respond differently to academic competition? with Robert Jensen

August 21, 2014

This paper examines whether social stigma or peer sanctions associated with academic achievement or effort adversely affects girls’ school performance (in absolute terms, or relative to boys). The effects of the introduction of a point system and “leaderboard” into computer-based math and English courses in high schools in California revealed previously hidden information, namely who the top performers were in the class. This study finds that the system led to a very large decline in performance for students who were at the top of the class prior to introduction (those most “at risk” of being in the leaderboard), and a smaller increase in performance for students at the bottom of the class. Despite results from previous studies on stigma and performance, this study finds no differences in these effects between boys and girls in either English or math. The net effect of the point system and leaderboard worsen overall performance. Speaker: Robert Jensen, Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, University of Pennsylvania

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