Women and Public Policy Program Seminar Series

It Takes a Family and a Country: Cross-National Effects of Non-Traditional Gender Role Models on Gender Inequalities at Work and Home with Kathleen McGinn

April 9, 2015

How does exposure during childhood to non-traditional gender role models—working mothers and female parliamentarians—shape men’s and women’s outcomes at work and at home? Across 25 countries, women, but not men, exposed to non-traditional gender role models during childhood are more likely to be employed, more likely to hold supervisory responsibility if employed, and earn higher wages than women whose mothers were home full time. At home, exposure to non-traditional models increases the time men contribute to housework and caring for family members and decreases the time women spend on housework. This research exposes the power of non-traditional gender role models within families and countries as critical factors for reducing gender inequality in labor markets and households around the globe. SPEAKER: Kathleen L. McGinn, Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration; Chair, Doctoral Program, Harvard Business School

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