Dear subscribers,

Welcome back!

For this newsletter we have prepared several resources to highlight and fight gender imbalances !

Let’s start with a blog piece we wrote for the IGC, on gendered imbalances of our discipline. Read it here ⬇️

The rest of this newsletter, discusses a new women-only initiative from PhD students, the book Patriarcapitalisme and presents the topic of our next meeting.

NEW: We are gathering information about co-authorship experiences. Please fill out this anonymous survey here.*

* The information gathered will be used to fuel our discussions for our next event.

Our next event: Breakfast on May 12th, 2022

This event is an informal breakfast during which we will discuss co-authoring relationships, with Basak Bayramoglu (Senior Researcher at INRAE). We will also discuss your answers to the survey we shared at the beginning of this newsletter.

How do I learn and collaborate to produce good research? What does recent research tells us about differences between men and women in their co-authoring relationships? What have my senior colleagues learned throughout carriers on this?

If you are interested in these questions and meeting your Paris-based colleagues, join us at the MINA room on the 12th of May 2022 from 9AM to 10:30AM! Subscribe here to be reminded.

Here is a review of a book you probably have heard of, in case you did not had time to read it yet!

Patriarcapitalisme - Pauline Grosjean (2021)

Pauline Grosjean, Professor of Economics at UNSW, defines Patriarcapitalism as cultural norms that are at the same time the product, the mold and the defense of economic gender imbalances. In this book, the author reviews the literature in economics to demonstrate that gendered norms are now our main challenge to tackle gender inequalities. She shows how demographic, political and technological shocks have impacted women’s presence in the workforce during the 20th century. Yet, mechanisms linked to differences in education, experience and within-household specialization have gradually lost explanatory power along this time period. Pauline Grosjean explains that today cultural norms strongly influence choices of jobs and industries, the impact of family life on career, and social status of jobs perceived as male or female-dominated. She reminds us the large variation in cultural norms across socio-economic contexts, and underlines that more research on other contexts than upper and middle-classes of the USA and Europe could help better understand their influence on women trajectories. Nevertheless, this great analysis focuses mainly on income differences, and leaves the question of gendered wealth inequalities open.

What are the benefits of women-only initiatives? Answers from Paris-School of Economics PhD Students

One can worry that seminars are experienced differently by women than their colleagues, because women tend to display stronger behavioral responses to public speaking (Grosjean 2021), or because the audience treats female speakers differently (Dupas et al. 2022). This could result in lower participation of women in research seminars. We heard of a women-only informal meeting from PhD students, and wondered how it can be an introductory step to participation in regular seminars in such a context. Here are the participants answers.

Can you shortly describe the women-only initiative? How did it start?

“The idea originally came from two of us, who started to talk about their research to each other every Friday. They felt it was a good idea to extend it to other female PhD colleagues. As a result, we have been meeting every Friday since January 2022 for one hour. Sessions are dedicated to one particular project, and sometimes to questions that are specific to being a woman in academia. The format remains flexible, so this initiative has more to do with a group meeting than a seminar.”

What do you find in this informal seminar that is missing in others?

“We are a small group so we can interact easily, the allocation of the speaking time is well divided among us. We see this seminar as a way to share ideas about preliminary stages of our research agenda, in an informal and safe environment. We realized that we were feeling more comfortable doing so with female colleagues: in such a context, we feel more comfortable to present our research, ask questions and give feedback to one another. By contrast, in regular seminars, many of us are likely to censor themselves. Compared to other seminars, we can get feedback at an early-stage of our work, even when we do not have a clearly defined research question. We can also use this weekly time as a way to train ourselves before later presenting to a seminar or a conference.”

Which overall benefits did you notice since you started participating in this seminar?

“We observe several benefits to such a seminar. We feel more involved and more able to provide relevant advice, even in various economic fields. We also feel more supported during the phase in which we define a research question, an essential step that we usually go through on our own. Finally, this seminar is a good opportunity to fix some additional deadlines during the course of our work; it allows to stay motivated and to take a step back from our preliminary research by preparing a few slides to present. Moreover, we all benefit from having a space where we can talk about broader issues relating to the stress of the PhD, potential issues with co-authors, etc.”

Questions? Suggestions? Get in touch with us!