WGS.150 | Spring 2015 | Undergraduate

Gender, Power, Leadership and the Workplace



Part I: Setting the Context
Why is the Gender Gap Relevant?
1 Class overview E. W. “What’s Holding Women Back?The Economist, January 23, 2015.
2 The Business case for diversity: Women in the workforce as an engine for economic growth

Smedley, Tim. “The Evidence is Growing—There Really is a Business Case for Diversity.” Financial Times, May 15, 2014.

Hunt, Vivian, Dennis Layton, et al. “Why Diversity Matters?McKinsey & Company, January 2015.

Apfelbaum, Evan P., Katherine W. Phillips, et al. “Rethinking the Baseline in Diversity Research: Should We Be Explaining the Effects of Homogeneity?Perspectives on Psychological Science 9, no. 3 (2014): 235–44.

Guilford, Gwynn. “The Economic Case for Paternity Leave,” Quartz, September 24, 2014.

Karwata, Karen. “Holding Back Half the Nation,” The Economist, March 29, 2014.

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. “Gross Domestic Product – The Economic Lowdown Video Series.” October 7, 2014. YouTube.


Taste, choices, and occupational egregation

Case: Women in Computer Sciences

Guest Speaker

Sex Differences in Academia,” The Economist, January 17, 2015.

Gender Diversity in America: Where do We Stand?
4 Female participation in different sectors of the economy No readings.
5 Where we come from?

Sophie Germain.” Wikipedia.

McLaughlin, Katie. “5 Things Women Couldn’t Do in the 1960’s,” CNN, August 25, 2014.

6 What is the gender pay gap and how does it happen?

Ely, Robin J., Pamela Stone, et al. “Rethinking What You “Know” about High-achieving Women.” Harvard Business Review, December 2014.

Labaton, Vivien. “Five Myths about the Gender Pay Gap,” The Washington Post, July 25, 2014.

7 Panel Discussion: Being a woman in the workplace woday No readings.
Part II: Structural Barriers for Gender Equality
8 The paradox of meritocracy in organizations

When Fair Goes Foul: MIT Sloan Researcher Finds That Efforts to Promote Workplace Meritocracy Can Have the Opposite Effect,” Business Wire, May 2, 2011.

Castilla, Emilio J., and Stephen Benard. “The Paradox Meritocracy in Organizations.” Administrative Science Quarterly 55, no. 4 (2010): 543–676.

Hu, Elise. “How the Meritocracy Myth Affects Women in Technology.” All Tech Considered, February 7, 2014.

9 Class reflection: Mental health on campus No readings.
10 Parental leave: The role of policy on promoting dual-career households

C. W. “Maternity Leave-Baby Steps,” The Economist, February 26, 2014.

Maternity Leave-From Here to Maternity,” The Economist, July 15, 2008.

Mundy, Liza. “Daddy Track: The Case for Paternity Leave,” The Atlantic, January / February 2014.

11 Class debate: Affirmative Action, does it work? No readings.
12 Work-life balance and child care policies

Lee, Esther, and Brody Brown. “Jennifer Garner: No One Asks Ben about Work-family Balance,” Today Pop Culture, October 22, 2014.

Friedersdorf, Conor. “Why PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi Can’t Have it All.” The Atlantic, July 2014.

Schireson’s, Max. “Why I Am Leaving the Best Job I Ever Had.” Max Schireson’s blog, August 5, 2014.

Why Child Care Is the Economy’s ‘Invisible’ Driver.” Knowledge@Wharton, September 17, 2014.

Part III: The Impact of Bias in Gender Equality
13 What is implicit bias?

Deadlier Than the Male,” The Economist, June 2, 2014.

Chugh, Dolly, Katherine L. Milkman, et al. “Professors Are Prejudiced, Too,” The New York Times, May 9, 2014.

Kerr, Anna Giraldo. “Living While Brown: Adventures of a Latina in the Suburbs,” The Huffington Post, October 2, 2014.


Case: Women in STEM

Guest Speaker

A Study on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT.” The MIT Faculty Newsletter, March 1999.

Desta, Yohana. “100% of the Women of Color Interviewed in Stem Study Experienced Gender Bias,” Mashable, January 26, 2015.

15 Stereotypes, media and education: The reinforcing mechanism of implicit bias

Barford, Vanessa. “Do Children’s Toys Influence their Career Choices?BBC, January 27, 2014.

Sweet, Elizabeth. “Toys Are More Divided By Gender Now Than They Were 50 Years Ago.” The Atlantic, December 2014.

Miller, Claire Cain. “How Elementary School Teachers’ Biases Can Discourage Girls from Math and Science,” The New York Times, February 6, 2015.

16 How does implicit bias affect the composition of the workforce?

S. H. “(The Right Sort of) Help Wanted.” The Economist, June 11, 2014.

Rissing, Ben A., and Emilio J. Castilla. “House of Green Cards: Statistical or Preference-based Inequalaity in the Employment of Foreign Nationals.” American Sociological Review 79, no. 6 (2014): 1226–55.

Guo, Philip. “Silent Technical Privilege.” Slate, January 2014.

Yurkiewicz, Ilana. “Study Shows Gender Bias in Science is Real. Here’s Why it Matters,” Scientific American, September 23, 2012.

17 Case: Implicit bias at Google

Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Anthony G. Greenwald. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. Delacorte Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780553804645.

Manjoo, Farhad. “Exposing Hidden Bias at Google,” The New York Times, September 24, 2014.

18 Women and negotiations I

PON Staff. “Characteristics of Negotiation Styles: Negotiation Skills for Win-win Negotiations.” Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School Daily Blog. December 8, 2015.

Mnookin, Robert H., Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello. Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes. Belknap Press, 2004. ISBN: 9780674012318. [Preview with Google Books]

Stone, Douglas, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. Penguin Books, 2010. ISBN: 9780143118442. [Preview with Google Books]


Women and negotiations II

Negotiation simulation
20 Micro-inequities and micro-affirmations

Kerr, Anna Giraldo. “6 Things to Learn about Microaggressions,” The Huffington Post, June 20, 2014.

———. “5 Tips to Handle Microaggressions Effectively,” The Huffington Post, August 9, 2014.


Case: Women in corporate leadership

Leaning In

Sandberg, Sheryl. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. 1st ed. Knopf, 2013. ISBN: 9780385349949.

Building better recruiting processes

Guest Speaker

Lauren. “Blind Orchestra Auditions Better for Women, Study Finds.” News at Princeton, November 28, 2000.
23 Student presentations I No readings.
24 Student presentations II No readings.
25 Class wrap up No readings.

Course Info

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Spring 2015
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