Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in Create Account

Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women

04/08/2002 200 34-101
Virginia Valian, Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY)

Description: Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige in every field? To achieve parity we have to know what the problems are as well as what the problems are not. The data show that there has been progress but that a stubborn problem remains: advancement is slower for women than for men in every profession. That stubborn problem is not (or not solely) due to too few women in the pipeline, inequitable childcare arrangements, or women's "choosing" to leave the professions. Rather, the ubiquity of women's slow advancement requires a general explanation through the concepts of gender schemas and the accumulation of advantage. Gender schemas lead both men and women to see men as more competent and able than women, to respond more favorably to male than female leaders, and to attend and defer more to men than to women. Many of the cases in which a woman is disadvantaged are of small scale. The notion of the accumulation of advantage demonstrates how even small-scale disadvantages can mount up over time. The gender schemas analysis allows us to devise appropriate remedies at the institutional level and at more individual levels.

About the Speaker(s): Virginia Valian is Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is a cognitive scientist whose research focuses on language acquisition in two-year-olds, second language acquisition, and sex differences in cognition. Dr. Valian's interest in sex differences led her to write Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women (MIT Press, 1998; paperback, 1999). Dr. Valian asks why so few women are at the top of their profession, whether the profession be science, law, medicine, college teaching, industry, or business. To provide an answer, Dr. Valian integrates research from psychology, sociology, economics, and neuropsychology.

Host(s): School of Engineering, School of Engineering

Tape #: T11303

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

MIT World — special events and lectures

MIT World — special events and lectures

Category: Events | Updated 8 months ago

Created
December 12, 2011 11:12
Category
Tags
License
All Rights Reserved (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
2430 times

More from MIT World — special events and lectures

J.H. Keenan's Contribution to Thermodynamics

J.H. Keenan's Contribution to Therm...

Added over 3 years ago | 00:55:24 | 3187 views

Planet Water: Complexity and Organization in Earth Systems

Planet Water: Complexity and Organi...

Added over 3 years ago | 01:05:00 | 6117 views

Moderated Discussion: Educational Technology Exemplars for US Schools of Engineering

Moderated Discussion: Educational T...

Added over 3 years ago | 01:18:00 | 2402 views

Mouse Genetic Models of Schizophrenia

Mouse Genetic Models of Schizophren...

Added over 3 years ago | 00:47:09 | 2993 views

Spectacular Reconstructions: Ways of Seeing and the Politics of Recovery in American Urban Disasters

Spectacular Reconstructions: Ways o...

Added over 3 years ago | 01:22:00 | 2127 views

Health Care Policy and the Next U.S. Administration

Health Care Policy and the Next U.S...

Added over 3 years ago | 00:52:26 | 5092 views