Associate Professor, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
Why Do Gender Inequalities Persist in Economic Development, Work and Families?
Despite large-scale social changes over the last several decades, gender is still a key factor that influences who generates economic growth as an entrepreneur, who does the housework, and who leads scientific discoveries. The central goal of my research is to identify and understand the social processes that reproduce particularly persistent forms of inequality like these. My analytic strategy centers on making theoretical connections between micro-level social psychological processes and macro-level institutional structures. To this end, I employ multiple methodologies, including experimental studies, large-scale survey analysis, cross-national comparisons and in-depth interviews.
In recent and ongoing projects on the topic of gender inequality in entrepreneurship, I investigate how work-family policies and widely shared cultural stereotypes about gender work together to structure the context in which individuals a) perceive business ownership as a viable labor market option and b) gain legitimacy and support for their business idea. I also identify certain macroeconomic trends—such as the Great Recession—that may affect the prevalence of gender bias in entrepreneurial lending. In other work, I consider how organizational policies and practices, gender norms, and stereotypic beliefs about men's and women's abilities matter for understanding phenomena such as the household division of labor, gendered patterns of hiring and workplace authority, and men’s overrepresentation in academic science and engineering.
On a typical day, men spend a third as much time cleaning as women. Does that make women beacons of cleanliness, while men are genetically unable to see the messiness in their midst? This myth is a common explanation...