Why so slow? The Advancement of Women

Women are conspicuous by their relative absence at the most prominent levels of science, medicine, business, law, and academia. Women are sparsely represented on the editorial boards of leading journals and on the steering committees of professional organizations. Women are thinly represented among full professors at major universities. Why?

Valian's explanation of women's slow advancement in the professions details how and why women are disadvantaged and men advantaged – even though all the participants sincerely hold egalitarian and meritocratic attitudes. Valian reviews experimental data that demonstrate that gender schemas produce subtle overvaluations of men and undervaluations of women, by both men and women. As a result of many small examples of differential valuation, men are able to accumulate advantage more quickly than women.

Valian includes remedies, what institutions and individuals can do to achieve genuinely fair organizations that make full use of everyone's talents.

Author: 
School of Advanced Study, University of London
Speaker(s): 
Professor Virginia Valian, Hunter College, New York School Visiting Professorial Fellow, 2008-09 Chaired by Professor Roderick Floud, School of Advanced Study
Event date: 
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 - 12:00am
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