Chloe, Erich, Evan and Matt
Disparities in the workplace and culture
Being tasked with unpacking the broad topic of “gender and success” was daunting, if not impossible. The definition of success is subjective. The ways gender permeates these varying definitions of success are manifold. And so, our tasked and our goal for the final project evolved drastically throughout the semester. We began hoping to answer a series of questions about gender and success: how does gender contribute to workplace and cultural inequities and how might we solve the problems that we identified?
We end the semester without an answer. Our final project does not advocate a certain creed of feminism nor a series of proposed solutions. Nobody has sufficient answers for the profound and complex problems we identified.
Therefore, our goal is not to propose ways to purge gender inequities. Rather, our course segment seeks to complicate our students traditional worldview by showing different perspectives on the broad issue of “gender and success.” Ultimately, this is meant to promote introspection and reflection amongst our students; processes we engaged in while crafting this project throughout the semester.
It is Virginia Woolf who most aptly characterizes the doctrine that guides our project: “All that in idea seemed simple became in practice immediately complex.”
Our class elucidates this complexity by studying three topics:
1) Can women have it all?
- Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In
- Hanna Rosin, TED Talk, New Data on the Rise of Women
- The Atlantic’s “Women can’t have it all” manifesto
2) Gender and defaults.
- Women in the North Carolina Economy, a WUNC radio panel discussion
- Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much? Niederle & Vesterlund
- Nice girls don’t ask, Linda Babcock
3) Gender and culture.
- Duke Chronicle, “What I wish I had known as an underclassman”
- Miss Representation — Watch the film and read through the statistics provided at this link
- Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising’s Image of Women — Use this link to view a trailer
Within each topic students will engage in an initial formative survey, watch a video segment that explores the topic and answer a rapid response question that will collect answers and allow students to share their perspectives with each other.
Finally, students will begin and end the course with an initial commentary and final reflection and blog discussion so students can reflect on how the segment changed their viewpoints.
A link to our project website, which includes a complete syllabus and project description, is below. As you review our final project, we encourage you to participate in the course and be among the first to contribute to this discussion.
On behalf of Chloe, Erich, Evan and Matt, we hope you enjoy — and are challenged by — our segment.