A weekly seminar during the academic year focused on understanding and closing gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, political participation, health, and education.
Organizing for the US Equal Rights Amendment: Strategic Strengths and Failures
Organizing for the Equal Rights Amendment the first time round, in 1972-82, tapped the strengths and experienced the weaknesses of social movements in general. The strengths of social movements derive from their “hydra-headed” qualities: the activists bubble up from many different arenas, giving the movement great flexibility, adaptability, diversity, and intelligence. The weaknesses derive from their relative absence of selective incentives, so that the motivation for activism is primarily ideological commitment. That commitment in turn, creates a “dynamic of deafness,” in which activists are unlikely to listen and learn from their opposition. In this seminar, Jane Mansbridge discusses how the current organizing effort has learned in different ways from the past.
Jane Mansbridge, Adams Professor of Political Leadership and Democratic Values, Harvard Kennedy School
Shifting Policy, Workplace Norms and Culture to End Workplace Sexual Violence
Millions of people disclosed sexual harassment and violence against them following the #MeToo breakthrough in October 2017. Despite the fact that advocates, individuals and the government had been taking action to address sexual harassment, it remains a widespread problem that prevents employees from reaching their full potential. Monica Ramirez, a national recognized expert on ending workplace sexual violence and the author of the Dear Sisters letter that helped spark the TIMES UP movement, will discuss the policy measures, as well as the employment and societal norms that must be addressed to meaningfully address this problem.
Monica Ramirez, MC/MPA 2015, Co-Founder and President, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series: LGBT Ex-Combatants in Colombia
Join us for an HKS Gender and Security Seminar Series event featuring Theresia Thylin, PhD Candidate in the Essex University (UK) Department of Sociology and a Gender and Humanitarian Specialist at the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) in New York. Chelsea Green, PhD candidate in the Harvard Department of Government, will serve as a discussant. This event is organized by Dara Kay Cohen, Ford Foundation Associate Professor of Public Policy, and Zoe Marks, Lecturer in Public Policy.
Do Sexual Harassment Programs Make Workplaces More Hospitable to Women?
Do corporate sexual harassment programs reduce harassment? If they do, new programs should boost the share of women in management because harassment causes women to quit. Sexual harassment grievance procedures incite retaliation, according to surveys, and our analyses show that they are followed by reductions in women managers. Sexual harassment training for managers, which treats managers as victims’ allies and gives them tools to intervene, are followed by increases in women managers. Training for employees, which treats trainees as suspects, can backfire. In this seminar, Frank Dobbin discusses how programs work better in workplaces with more women managers, who are less likely than men to respond negatively to harassment complaints and training. Politicians and managers should be using social-scientific evidence to design harassment programs.
Frank Dobbin, Harvard University, Department of Sociology
Unintended Consequences of Diversity Initiatives: Types, Causes, and Interventions
The purpose of diversity initiatives is to help groups that face disadvantage in society (e.g., women, racial/ethnic minorities, etc.) achieve better outcomes in organizations, but they do not necessarily work as intended. In this seminar, Lisa Leslie first presents a typology of four unintended consequence types—backfire, negative spillover, positive spillover, and false progress—as well as theory regarding the underlying mechanisms and processes that produce them. She next provides empirical examples illustrating the different unintended consequence types. She concludes by using the typological theory to derive potential interventions aimed at increasing diversity initiative effectiveness.
Lisa Leslie, Associate Professor of Management and Organizations, New York University
Babies, Work, or Both? Highly-Educated Women’s Employment and Fertility in East Asia with Mary Brinton
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