Women have made great strides in the workplace over the past several decades, but there is much more work to be done in order to achieve gender equality. Women are still underrepresented at every level of seniority; men hold 62% of manager positions, to women’s 38%; and it’s expected that global gender equality will take another 100 years to achieve. The Wellesley Centers for Women has been at the forefront of efforts to advance gender equality in the workplace, with groundbreaking studies that show equality is good not only for women, but for everyone.
Senior Research Scientist Sari Pekkala Kerr’s research on the gender wage gap, the mommy track, family leave policy, and immigrant entrepreneurship has brought much-needed nuance to our knowledge about women in the workplace. For example, her work has shown that the gender wage gap widens when women reach child-bearing age, but narrows as their children grow up and leave home. And her studies of women entrepreneurs have shown they are more risk averse and demonstrate different personality traits than their male counterparts. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and others.
Kerr’s groundbreaking work has been written up in such notable news outlets as The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and has been presented before Congress, reaching diverse and influential change-makers and thought leaders as well as the general public. As a result, it can move the needle on issues that affect women’s lives every day.
These are some of the grant-funded projects that advance our women in the workplace research initiative:
- Career Dynamics: A Longitudinal Analysis of U.S. Firms and Households
- Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice for Women
- Family Friendly: How Are Firms and Establishments Affected by State Paid Family Leave Programs?
- New Firms and Founders: Characteristics of Entrepreneurs in the United States
- Segregation and Job-to-Job Mobility