Changes in Work and Family for Men and Women with Myra Strober

Changes in Work and Family for Men and Women with Myra Strober


Who is in the audience today? How many people here offer
their 50th reunion or higher? Yay! I just had my 50th reunion at
Cornell last year, so I know. 25th to 49th reunion? Yeah. Okay.
1st to 25th? Oh, we have a good sample here. How many of you are grandparents? Okay. How many of you are empty nesters, people
who just sent their kids to college? Parents with kids at home? Oh, how’d you get away? [LAUGH] Folks without kids? Okay, we have some of everybody. All right. It’s very fitting that we talk on this
topic today because this very month is the 50th anniversary of
President Kennedy’s First Commission on the Status of Women Report,
October 1963. And Eleanor Roosevelt was
the Chair of that Commission. She died, unfortunately,
a year before the Commission reported. But they laid out the agenda, and we are going to be comparing today,
the situation from 1960 to today. So, we’re celebrating the anniversary
in a most appropriate way. The changes in gender roles are some
of the most revolutionary changes of our time. When I first started the Center for
Research on Women at Stanford in 1974, one of our first speakers
was Herbert Marcuse, a philosopher that some of you may
remember, and he said in his talk, that he thought that the change in gender
roles, that was all ready in progress in 1974,
was the single most revolutionary set of changes that he knew about and he thought
it was gonna become more revolutionary. Well, I think the Civil Rights Movement
has also been revolutionary, and we can think of some others. But there’s no doubt that the gender
revolution has been extraordinary. I don’t have time to talk
about all the changes today. And if I’ve missed one that
you particularly care about, I hope that you’ll ask questions
when we have Q&A, at the end. The major changes I’m gonna talk about
are, first, the increase in women’s labor force participation, the decrease
in the pay gap between women and men, the decrease in occupational segregation,
by which I mean, the kinds of jobs that men do and
the kinds of jobs that women do, and the increase in women’s
leadership positions. And then I’m gonna ask the question,
has the revolution stalled? A lot of highly educated women
are unable to combine career and family and they leave the workforce. We’re gonna talk about that. There’s still a dearth of women
in leadership positions and there’s still a dearth of women in the so called STEM fields, science,
technology, engineering, and math. So, let’s look at the changes. The first change is the increase in
women’s labor force participation. This change is nothing but
extraordinary, 1968, 1960, 38% of women were in the work force. This is women over the age of 16, all the way up until the ones
who are still living. That’s the entire adult population. 38% were in the workforce in 1960. And you know how we get these numbers? The labor department sends a surveyor
to ask about labor force behavior. The first question is,
did you work for pay last week? Second question is, if you didn’t work for
pay, were you looking for work? Nobody pays too much attention to exactly
how well you were looking for work, but if you were looking for work,
you’re considered unemployed, but you’re part of the labor force. Third possibility,
you’re not in the labor force. Either you’re studying or
you’re a homemaker, or you’re taking long walks, or
you are lazy, or whatever. Also this is
the non-institutional population. So we’re not talking about people
who couldn’t be working because they are hospitalized or in prison. By 2010,
we’re up to 58% of women in the workforce. 20 percentage points in 50 years, but the labor force participation from
married mothers changed even more. So, 1960, moms with kids, 6 to 17, just about 40%, today, 76%, almost double. 1960, moms with kids under 6, this was rare in 1960, less than 20%. Today, moms with kids under 6, almost two thirds of moms with kids
under 6 are in the work force. Interestingly, during this same period
of time, the participation rates for men declined. How many of you already knew that? Yeah, cuz you’re married to me [LAUGH] 10
percentage point declined for men, why? Because more men are in college. So it used to be that men between the ages
of 18 and 25 were in the workforce. Now, more of them are in college,
and many more men are retired today, thanks to Social Security, thanks to
pension plans, as compared to 1960. But, as you all know from listening
to the news, this may be changing. So, we will come back to that. All right. Why did women’s labor force
participation increase? These reasons are the ones
that are usually given. And we’ll talk about each of them,
increase in women’s education, decline in the birth rate,
the pull of the labor market, changes in families’ income aspirations, the so called snowball effect, which means
that you neighbors all went to work and now the block was lonely so
you’re going to work too, and labor saving devices,
with two big question marks after it. And I put the two big
question marks there, because the research on labor saving
devices are actually quite interesting. It turns out that even though, of course
we had many labor saving devices, they didn’t really save time or people found new ways to spend
their time if they were homemakers. So for example, you would think
that the washing machine and dryer would have saved time,
but it didn’t. Why not? Wash more things. People did more laundry. Now your kids throw their jeans in
everyday, whereas, you used to wash jeans, you know, once a month. [LAUGH] So the same thing happened with, you know, permanent press fabrics. You would think ironing
would be labor saving now. But, people have more clothes. So you have more laundry than
you had before and on and on. Also, chauffeuring now
takes up all the slack. [LAUGH] So if there was any time
saved on any of these things, now parents are chauffeuring
their kids all over. Because of what we’ll call in a minute,
more intensive parenting, which includes taking your kids to all
sorts of lessons seven days a week. So it’s not clear that women went into the
workforce because they had no more work to do at home. Rather, it looks like women
picked up a double shift. They went into the workforce, and they continued to do much of
the work they did before. Although it’s also true if you
look more recently at the data that houses are probably
dirtier than they used to be, because vacuuming definitely has gone
down in terms of numbers of hours spent. Okay. But the increase in education is far and
away the most important factor here. Because, women with college education,
and men too, but the change is for women, develop what economists
like to call a taste for work. And they have a higher
opportunity cost of staying home, because if they have a college education,
the earnings in the labor market that they can receive
are higher than they were before, and so if they don’t go into the labor force,
they’re losing a lot more in income than they would if
they were not college graduates. And the tasteful work is interesting and
complicated. It just means that people get
excited about issues in college and they want to spend time in their
workplace dealing with those issues, one way or the other,
either becoming a businessperson, or becoming a professional, or simply
using the skills they develop in college. So In 1970 it was very rare for
a woman to be a college graduate. 9% percent of women were
college graduates in 1970. By 2010,
40% of women are college graduates, and if you look at the slide, now women and
men 40% for both, 39% for both. And it may be that women will outpace men,
because the percentage of women in college now is actually a little
bit higher than the percentage of men. So, this has been a tremendous revolution in the college graduation rates for
men and for women. At the same time birth
rates have declined. And women with fewer children are better
able to combine work with having a family. So, 1960,
24 per 1000 women was the birth rate, and now it’s down to 13.8 per 1000 women. So that decline,
both in number of children and the percentage of women who
have no children at all, has meant an increase in
the possibility of work. Why have birth rates fallen? So now we begin to see that this
is all very complex, because, it’s not like we can paint
a picture where birth rates fall, education increases, and
the labor force increases. All of these things
are happening all at once. So, the increased education of women
causes a decrease in the birth rate. This is not true just for
the United States. This is true worldwide. The best family planning available is to send women to higher education, because
then they decrease their own birth rates. And increased labor force participation
of women also decreases the birth rate, because if you are participating
the workforce, enjoying your job, trying to balance work and family, you may
decide not to have the second child and certainly may decide not to have
the third child, so that has an effect. Lower infant mortality,
that’s very important. I mean, if you don’t know how many
of your children are going to live, you may well wanna have a goodly number,
whereas if you can be pretty sure that the children you do have will live,
you have an entirely different situation. Decreased economic need for children. So it used to be,
particularly in agricultural societies, that parents needed their children
when they were too old to farm, they needed their children to farm,
especially their sons. So you wanted to make sure you had at
least a few sons who would survive to adulthood and run your farm. That is not what’s happening today. Parents are not, by and large, although
this may change with the great recession, but parents are not by and large
are not relying on their children for providing for them in their older age. And then we have the increased
cost of children. So what’s happened is that we have fewer
children, we parent them more intensively, and they all cost more than they used to,
particularly for college. I mean, the number that’s bandied
about now is for a private school, for one child, for four years,
we’re talking about $200,000. So you may well think about
having the third child, if that’s what you’re thinking about. So the increased cost of children
also causes the birth rate to fall. All right, now, divorce rates have
increased the labor force participation rate because divorced women,
as you might expect, have a much higher labor force
participation rate than married women. So in 1960 divorce was rare. 9.2 per 1000 married women. In 1980, which was the peak year for
divorces, I’m proud to say I got
divorced in that year too.>>[LAUGH]
>>In 2007, we’re down, and the rate has flattened out. So, I don’t feel too badly about 2007, although I couldn’t find
more recent statistics. And I think, maybe because the government
websites were shut down, but maybe because the government isn’t
collecting statistics on divorces anymore. So 17 per 1000 married women. Divorce rates for first,
second and third marriages. Lifetime probability of divorce in first
marriage is somewhere between 35 and 50. Well, that’s a pretty broad range. And the reason is that it depends
on what figure you push forward. You have to estimate for
somebody getting married today, what’s the probability of
getting divorced in the future? Well, do you think the divorce
rates will stay as they are? Do you think they’ll decline? They’re lower, way lower for college graduates, partly because they
get married later, and partly because, well, we hope they learned something
in college about how to pick a mate. Maybe. Probability of divorce
in second marriages, somewhere between 60 and 67%,
and third marriages, even higher. So you might think that people
would learn as they go along, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Now, you have to be careful
with divorce statistics. What you don’t wanna do is count
the number of marriages in any year, count the number of divorces. And divided one by the other,
and see what the divorce rate is, because that’s really not
the right way to look at this. And you have to be careful just looking at
the percentage of the population that gets divorced, which is another kind
of divorce rate that’s around, which I call the crude divorce rate. Which is wrong, because, you know
the population increases or decreases for lots of reasons and then that
changes the crude divorce rate, so that doesn’t really make sense. So this divorce rate that I gave you,
is probably the best one to look at, approximately 17 per 1000 married
women for overall marriages. Okay, interestingly, the percent of the
population that is married has declined. So in 1960,
70% of the adult population was married, in 2010, it was only 50%. But 72% of people were once married or
now married. So it’s interesting if you think about
what is the norm in our society, the norm is to get married. We are the most married society. European students in my
class always are amazed at how much their American girlfriends and
boyfriends want to get married. Because Europeans are not getting married,
I mean, they’re still having children, and they’re still cohabiting, but
they’re not getting married. Americans like to get married,
we have the highest marriage rate. We also have the highest divorce rate. So it’s the triumph, what is it,
the triumph of hope over experience. We are a marrying society, but
the fact is, at any point and time, half the population is not
living in a married couple. They may be cohabiting, but
they’re not living in a married couple. The age of first marriage has increased, we went from 23 for men and
20 for women in 1960, up to 28 for men and 26 for women. And unmarried women have a higher
labor force participation rate, so this also increases the labor
force participation. Okay, the second big change I want
to talk about is the reduction in the gender pay gap. In 1960 for full time, year round workers,
it was about 61 cents on the dollar and what we used to talk about was 59
cents on the dollar because if you didn’t control for full time and year round,
it was at 59 cents on the dollar. Now, it’s up to about 83%, the pay gap, so that’s really a big change. But there’s now a motherhood penalty, so, as compared to working
women without children, the average working mom,
loses 5% for every child, after controlling for
all the other factors. And for those under 35, the motherhood
penalty, that is if you compare women with no children with women with children,
the motherhood penalty is greater than the pay gap between men and women. Basically, women with no
children who are under 35 are earning approximately what
their male colleagues are earning. The new problem is motherhood.>>[Laugh]
>>It’s not gender, women who can, you know,
as Sheryl Sandberg puts it, lean in all the way, are doing okay. So that’s very different
from the way it was in 1960. Why has the gender pay gap narrowed? Three main reasons:
changes in women’s jobs, increases in women’s work experience,
because work experience makes you more productive, hopefully, and it also gives
you the opportunity to be promoted and earn higher wages, and
decreases in men’s earnings. So part of the reason
the pay gap has declined, is that men have lost good jobs
in the manufacturing sector and have moved instead into jobs
that don’t pay as high wages. So men’s wages are going down, average men’s wages, at the same time
that women’s wages are going up. So the good news is that
women’s wages are going up. The not so good news is that
men’s wages are going down. Demographers and social scientists
like to study occupational segregation by computing what they
call the index of dissimilarity. Which is the percentage of men, or women, who would have to change
their occupation in order for there to be the same distribution across
occupations between women and men. This is not an easy thing to think about. But you can see that in 1970, 68% of women would of had to
change their jobs in order for there to be this parity, and
in 2010, only about half. So that’s a measure of the improvement in
the parity between men’s and women’s jobs. What’s happened, as many of you know, is that women have entered
the high paying professions. In 1970, women were 5% of all lawyers and 10% of all doctors, by 2010, they were one third of Lawyers and
30% of doctors. And women MBA recipients,
when I came to Stanford, in 1972, I was the first woman ever to
teach at the business school, there were five women MBA students in my
class, five, total, out of a class of 350. Now, Leelee came shortly thereafter,
[LAUGH] and she can tell you that she thinks,
we’re beginning to change already by 1976.>>But you didn’t get-
>>Yeah. So the business school at Stanford was found in the early 1920s and
if you look back at the lists of students all
the way back to 1922, 23, there were never more than five
women students in any of the classes. And now, a little more than a third
of MBA recipients are women, not only at Stanford,
but across the country. So this is an enormous change. And I personally witnessed that change,
as did Leelee. And when I first came to Stanford,
the dean was R J Miller, and all his associates were telling him
that the business school needed to graduate more women, because we
had affirmative action programs. And all these businessmen were being
asked to hire women managers, and they couldn’t find any,
cuz there were none. So RJ thought, yes, we should
increase the percentage of women. And he asked if I would help recruit. So, for one year I recruited women. And I never had to recruit after that. Because, as soon as the word got
out that Stanford, and Harvard, and every place else was looking for
MBA candidates, the women didn’t need recruiting,
they applied. And they’ve been applying ever since. And although the rates are not up
to the rates in medical schools and law schools which are now 50%,
they are somewhere, I don’t know, 36, 38%. So that’s an enormous change. On the other hand, I keep saying but, but. 1970, the percentage of women
in construction trades, 1%. Now, you could say,
there’s been a doubling.>>[LAUGH]
>>We’re up to 2%, but basically, no change at that part. And construction jobs are very good jobs,
as you know for people who are not college graduates, $25 an hour, but
women are not in those jobs. And we can talk more in the Q&A
about why not, but they’re not. Okay, has the revolution stalled? Highly educated women are dropping
out of the workforce. If you look at the national statistics, the two groups of women who are least
likely to be in the workforce are the ones with highest family income
and those with lowest family income. The ones with lowest family income,
it doesn’t pay for them to be in the workforce,
because the cost of child care for them, is higher than what they’re
going to earn in the workforce. The ones whose family incomes
are very high are able to make it on one salary,
and many of them drop out. Now, some of them drop out because their
husbands have what I call killer careers, and it’s impossible for them to be in the workforce unless they
get a third parent into the picture. You can’t have two people traveling
all over the world at a moment’s notice without somebody there,
a nanny, a grandparent, a sister, somebody, a brother,
to pick up the slack. So we are losing a lot of
highly educated women. 40% of mothers whose
husbands were in the top 5% of the income distribution
were out of the workforce. If you look at studies of
alumnae at elite institutions, I mean we’re reliant on places
that do studies because there are no national data on you folks. [LAUGH]
In 2000, among Yale alumni in their 40s, 90% of the men but
only 56% of the women were employed. And the statistics for Harvard and
Harvard Business School are similar. I did a study with a graduate
student of mine, Agnus Chan. We studied both the graduates of Stanford
and the graduates of Tokyo University, and I can talk more about
that in the Q&A if you want. But in our study of Stanford,
ten years after graduation for the class of 1980, that is,
we surveyed them in 1990, 88% of the men were employed full-time but
only two-thirds of the women. And 12% of the women were
full-time homemakers. So of course we asked if you left the labor force why
did you leave the labor force. You have a Stanford degree. [COUGH] Excuse me. Why did you leave the labor force? And we got the same
answer across the board. I tried, I really tried, and I failed. I failed to be able to
get enough flexibility in my job to allow me to
work while I had kids. And so I will come to this. We have got to change the work
places if we are going to make use of the highly
educated women we have. [COUGH] We have a choice
rhetoric in our society. We believe people should
have free choices. And I certainly think we should not force
anybody to work if they’re a parent, and they can manage without working. But it is a waste of resources. First of all, it’s a waste of
resources for the individual, because given the labor markets today,
it’s very difficult to return to work. If you’ve dropped out, in most instances, to raise children for five to ten years,
you’re gonna have difficulty coming back. And, again, we can talk about that,
because I think if you have to drop out, there are some strategies you ought to be
using to make sure you can get back in. Like keeping up your networks and
keeping your fingers in the pie, but it’s very difficult to
return on a personal level. On a societal level there are costs too. So yes, it’s your personal choice. And I always tell students don’t
denigrate people who make different choices from yours because you
don’t know their whole story. You don’t know why they’ve
left the workforce. Maybe they have a special needs child, and
they don’t feel like telling you about it. So, keep your judgements low,
but when you make a choice to leave the workforce, you are providing
one fewer model for younger women. My husband is here, Jay Jackman. We did some consulting for companies
that had lost their senior women. And they wanted us to come in because, not
only had they lost their senior women, but because they lost their senior women,
they couldn’t get junior women. The junior women looked around,
potential junior women, and said I don’t see any senior women here. This doesn’t look like good place for me. So, fewer role models mean that it’s difficult for
younger women to aspire. And there are fewer sponsors for women. All the research shows that
women in leadership positions are more likely to hire and
promote women than men are. So it’s a cost when women
drop out of the workforce. All right, let’s look at leadership. There’s good news and bad news. 1961 to ’63 in the Senate, 2% of the Senators were women,
4% of the Representatives. Now we’ve got 20 women in the Senate. So 20% of the Senate is women, and
20% of the House of Representatives. So what should we say about this? Well, it’s an improvement. There was nowhere to go but up.>>[LAUGH]
>>But, if you look at these figures and compare them to other countries,
we’re not doing well at all. And many of those countries that have high
percentages of women in the legislatures, actually have quotas. Which I don’t think is a solution
that’s gonna have any traction here in this country. But, we could aspire. And there is an organization
now that’s trying very hard to try to have 20, what is it? 20% of the House of Representatives, no 50% of the House of
Representatives by 2020. So that’s a good goal. Corporate leadership positions. I couldn’t even find data on
what was happening here in 1960. I don’t think it was collected. Fortune 500 companies, 4.2%. Fortune 1,000, 4.5%. Interesting that there’s
not much difference there. Women on corporate boards, 12%. This is the organization
that’s trying to have 20% of women on corporate boards by 2020. Other leadership positions in law, one of my former students Ann is
here [LAUGH] who’s gone into law. 45% of associates in law firms
are women but only 15% are partners. So what’s happening there? Well, most of us know
what is happening there. Nothing good. Full professors of science
in universities, 2010, 16%. STEM fields. Women hold 24% of jobs in
STEM fields although they’re 50% of the labor force as a whole. And only 13% of jobs in engineering. President Obama talked about this
recently and what he said was, if we’re gonna be the leaders
internationally of science and technology, as he put it,
we have to have all hands on deck. So this is a big problem. Why are women underrepresented? Well, there are basically
two sets of reasons. The first two on this slide
are what I call, as an economist, supply side explanations. They have to do with the women themselves. And, the other one is
the demand side explanation, which has to do with the organizations,
work organizations, the structures and
the cultures in those organizations. So Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In,
which has a lot of publicity, and I recommend it to you. It’s a very interesting book. She concentrates on the supply side,
the failure to lean in. Now what we used to call this when I
first started out in this business, was we needed assertiveness training. Women needed to be more assertive. So we trained them to be more assertive. And then what happened to them? You can be very assertive and if there’s nothing on the other
side that’s taking it in, you just bang your head against the wall
or in this case against the glass ceiling. Alfred Marshall the great economist
of the 19th century said that any market has supply and
demand and it’s like a scissors. You can’t cut with one
blade of the scissors. You need two blades. You need supply changes,
you need demand changes. You need women to be more ambitious. But you also need work organizations
that will be flexible so that women can thrive in them. And then part of the failure to lean-in,
is women’s care-taking responsibilities. And I put responsibilities
in quotes because of course it isn’t just women’s
responsibilities to take care of children. It’s fathers’ responsibilities as well. And so
you get the mommy penalty because families are putting all
the responsibilities on women. Okay, now another problem as I alluded
to earlier is that parenting has become more intensive. So these numbers are interesting. Number of hours per week teaching,
playing with and caring for children. Married mothers, 1965,
about 11 hours, by 2011, 13.5 hours. Married fathers,
almost three hours in 1965, tripling here, more than triple in 2011. So the total for fathers and
mothers went from 13.2 to 20.8 up about 58%. And I witnessed this
phenomenon personally. I’ve a granddaughter who’s now 15. When she was first born,
I came to visit my son and daughter-in-law, and my room was
right next to my granddaughter’s. So, she was waking me up at 6 o’clock,
anyway, and I volunteered to give her a bottle, the following morning, so
my son and daughter-in-law could sleep in. And my son said to me, that’s great. What will you do with her
after you give her the bottle? And I said, do with her? By then it will be about 6:15 AM. I think I’ll put her back in her crib,
and I’ll go back to sleep. Oh, he said, you can’t do that. I said, why? He said you have to play with her? I said at 6 AM I’m gonna play with her? He said, oh, yeah,
we play with her in the morning at 6 AM. That’s the intensive parenting here. I declined. I said they could feed her. All right, what’s required for
further progress? More equal distribution of house work and
parenting, redesigning of work for women and men, harmonizing work and
school schedules, paid parental leave and
creation of a quality childcare system. President Nixon vetoed
a childcare system in 1971. He said it would weaken the family. And we haven’t had it up for
revoked since 1971. Nobody’s talking about
a quality childcare system. I recommend the book, Getting to 50/50, which was written by my daughter-in-law,
Joanna Strober, and Sharon Meers,
about how to get to 50/50. Nobody’s at 50/50 but
everybody’s trying to get to 50/50. Redesigning work for women and
men, this is the major project of the Clayman Institute at Stanford
now is studying how to do this. How to change the culture of face-time
where people have to be at work? Nobody wants to leave
before the boss leaves. And people are stuck. Can’t go home, have dinner with their children
because they have to put in face-time. Traveling, you have to travel
tomorrow morning suddenly. Less traveling, more video conferencing. Timing of meetings. Even at Stanford, people use to create meetings that
start at 5:30 in the afternoon. Well if you’re trying to be home for
your kid’s dinner, that’s very difficult. Now I’d be home for your kid’s dinner,
make your kid’s dinner and be home for your kid’s dinner. And the ability to go off track and
come back, this is something that’s being pioneered by Deloitte and
has been very successful for them. If you want to take a job for a few
years that’s less demanding while your kids are young and then come back onto
the track you can do it at Deloitte. You can’t do it at most places. Recognize that workers are parents. Schools still want to believe that the only function of
schools is to educate kids. Hopefully it is the most
important function of schools. But schools also serve to care for
children while their parents are working. So you would think that summer
vacations and school holidays and so on would coincide with parents’
schedules, but they don’t. We’re the only industrialized country
that doesn’t have paid maternity leave. Only half of women
workers receive any pay. During maternity leave we are in the same
league as Sierra Leone and Lesotho. It’s embarrassing to go to conferences and
talk about paid parental leave. Paid parental leave,
we don’t even have maternity leave. Sweden pioneered paternal leave and found that it took at least ten years for
fathers to be comfortable taking it. So these are major social changes and we are far behind here. There are 11 million preschoolers
whose mothers are employed. Child care is scarce, expensive,
and generally of poor quality. All the research on child care is done
on high quality child care and it finds that child care is a positive influence
on children, it’s very good for children. Well that’s great, that’s good to know,
very important to know. But most child care is not
high quality child care. The national council for Jewish
women did a study on family daycare. That is, care in other people’s homes,
oh boy, at least 20 years ago. It was scary to read that study. So a lot of the child care is
poor quality, and we know, with all the brain research that’s
been done in the last 20 years, how important those first
few years are for children. And the fact that we don’t have
high-quality child care is really sinful. Parents need to work and they can’t find
childcare and they use poor-quality care. I was hoping to talk more about
grandparents because that’s my status. But we don’t have enough time. 85% of those born in 1946
are currently grandparents and they have an average of
five grandchildren each. And grandparents provide 35%
of the care for infants and 25% of the care for
preschoolers whose mom’s work. So grandparents are playing an amazing
role, and given the changes in life expectancy, more kids have
grandparents today than ever before. Look at these numbers. In 1940, the average expectancy,
life expectancy at birth, for a man was 61 years. Now you know why Social Security is
paying out a lot more than it expected. Women, average expectancy was 65 years. Now, this is at birth. It’s higher, if you actually reach 65. But for men it’s 76 years and
for women it’s 81 years. So grandparents are playing a much more active role in their grand
children’s lives, and somebody thought that maybe grandparents
weren’t doing such a good job caring for children because they’re old and
forgetful or whatever the stereotype was. So they did a study [COUGH] to compare
the quality of grand parenting for child care versus other kinds of child
care, and they found that the number of accidents that children have is lowest
when grandparents take care of them. [LAUGH]
Okay. So the changes in gender
roles are not going away. During the Nixon administration when
there was a downturn in the economy, the recommendation for
how to decrease unemployment by the council of economic advisers
was to send the women back home. Nobody is saying that anymore. No, they’re saying a lot of other crazy
things, but they’re not saying that. Women are half the labor force. But we still haven’t fully adapted
to the new gender roles and the task is to assure that
everybody can use their skills and talents at work and
can also be successful parents. So some of you are in the stage where
you’re trying to balance work and family. Some of you have children who
are trying to balance work and family. Be supportive. It’s really hard. It’s hard for them. It’s hard for the whole society. And who knows, maybe in another ten
years we’ll all be together again and we’ll see what’s transpired since. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]
We have time for questions. Yes?
>>So what you said about there being so many changes all at once
that it’s confusing to know if there’s a lot of correlation, but
we don’t necessarily know causation. One of the things that [INAUDIBLE] I work
for the California Teacher’s Association is the decline in unionization rates at
the same time that a lot of these other changes were occurring and
it’s something I thought a lot about. And I would never say, I certainly don’t
think that increasing participation of women in the workforce caused,
led to a decline in support from union’s. I think there are a lot of
other things going on that have changed over at the same time. That said, to the extent that people are
saying [INAUDIBLE] feminism [INAUDIBLE] work as liberation whereas unions and
the labor union’s have always been focused on work can be oppression if you don’t
have counter [INAUDIBLE] balances. I feel like there’s tension there. And I guess my question is
what do you see a role of the labor movement in helping to
address some of these problems? The fact that work isn’t
structured ideally for parents that includes women and men, and
also, I would say for a lot of people, if you don’t have some checks and
balances, some employer power,
work isn’t liberation.>>Well, first of all let me
say that there is research on working class women and
their work satisfaction. And it finds that even though we,
as college graduates, might not particularly like doing the jobs
that these women do, they like work. They like going to work,
they like leaving their homes, they like the status that they get
at home, apart from the income. The status from their children,
from their husband. They like the sociability at work. They like talking to other colleagues,
and so we shouldn’t walk around thinking that all working class
women are in oppressive situations. They like, at least the one’s that have
been studied, they like to go to work. Okay. That said I think some unions
are very strong in pushing for changes in women’s roles. I remember years ago talking to a woman
who was unionizing flight attendants, who at that time were primarily,
well they’re still primarily female. And was having problem within her
union because the union included, not only flight attendants, but also
machinists who were almost entirely male. And when it came time to
develop a negotiating strategy, the machinists were much
more vocal than the flight attendants about what they
should be bargaining for. She came to talk to me about
assertiveness training, on how she could become more successful. So I think there are a lot of unions. That are trying to improve
the situation for women. Yes.>>What about professional women,
employers, doctors, high income earners are earning later and having kids later,
35, 40, 42, and because of the situation, the family with women earn more money than
the husband, so the husband stays home. Are there any studies
comparing 40 year old, first time fathers as parents versus
the mothers, women versus men caregivers?>>Okay, so
there are studies of men as caregivers. And Michael Lamm, the psychologist,
has done a good number of them, and they show that men
are perfectly fine caregivers, that men have to start early on so
that they bond with the baby and the baby bonds with them early on. And there’s a lot of literature
on how you can do that, even though the mother may be nursing,
what is the role for the father there. There are very few men, still,
who are full time, at home dads. There are some, and there are a whole
lot of interesting blogs, that those that have, who do that have, because they
feel very isolated in their communities. Except for New York City and Berkley. [LAUGH] Most fathers who are full time
[LAUGH] caregivers are pretty isolated. But all the literature seems to
show that they do a fine job. I have full time dads come to my
class to talk about their role. And almost always, after a few years,
I have to look for somebody else because
they’ve gone back to work. So they tend to do it for a few years. I have one man who’s been a stalwart,
he comes every year. But by and large,
they want to go back to work, either for psychological reasons or
for economic reasons or for both. Just like women. Yes?>>I’ve worked in women’s health care for
about 12 years and one of the issues that you touched on here
when you’re talking about birth rates that concerns me tremendously and
I’d like to hear you comment on it. It seems to me that women’s progress in
reaching equality in many different ways, not only economically, but
in their family relationships, has been the availability of
women to control their fertility, because without that, women really
can’t be serious about a career and the professional role will not take
them seriously if there’s not that understanding that women will be able to
make those decisions for themselves, and control their fertility, is absolutely at
the very foundation of the whole process. And it concerns me greatly to see
what’s happening in this country around the issue of women’s access to birth
control and also abortion access. I think that that’s something that people
often discount the importance of that and the reality and
I wondered what your opinion is on that.>>Well, let me say something about that. Let me also say something
about the previous question, which I forgot to respond to. Women are having babies later. And that is partly why
the birth rate is low, because if you start
having children at 37, it’s unlikely you’re gonna
have more than one or two. As you all probably know, many women are disappointed when they
start at 37 and they’re infertile. And it’s really sad to hear
stories of women who really wanted to have children and
basically waited too long. So on the one hand, you wanna control fertility so
that you don’t have an unwanted child, on the other hand, when you want a child,
you may not be able to have the child. So I had a speaker at my
class from the medical school a couple of years ago,who said
there were now 13 ways to become pregnant. [LAUGH] She didn’t go over all 13,
but there are so many different ways to become pregnant. I’m a little concerned about
the number of people who so cavalierly say, oh,
I’m busy with my career right now. I’m gonna freeze my eggs,
as though that’s the answer. They forget that it’s a very painful
process and that it doesn’t always work. And, yes, I think controlling
your fertility is very important. I heard a lecture recently
about the fact that some of the new laws are not just
about controlling fertility, but that now physicians in some places, or pediatricians, are exempt
from telling their patients about immunizations
if they don’t want to, because the immunizations come about, because of research on fetal tissue. And so
it’s becoming not only about fertility but about our ability to do research
on stem cells, our ability to have children immunized because
the research was done on fetal tissue. So yes, it is worse. I agree. Ann?>>Hi.>>[LAUGH]
>>I’m hoping you can help us think about how to move the ball forward. So not only am I a woman of law for
a practitioner at a big law firm, but I’m a mother of a year and
a half old daughter, and now I’m much more educated on these
issues than I was when I was in your class [INAUDIBLE]
especially in a different way. [LAUGH] So thinking about it now, I hear you saying there
are two different avenues, one is moving toward national childcare,
having a better national childcare system. The second being a more flexible
work place, and I wonder, I think those two things are contributing
towards the same goal and I wonder from the vision of what the venue is for which
we can effectuate that kind of change. Whether it’s the legal system and kind of efforts towards making litigating
on parental discrimination, whether it’s through sort of a cultural movement
in the way that gay marriage evolved very, very quickly in my lifetime or even any
thoughts on how to go forward from there.>>She’s not a plant, I promise. [LAUGH] I see three paths here. One is the individual path and that is
negotiating with your husband, who’s sitting next to you to do more, to have-
>>He does.>>He does, okay. But a lot of people
still need negotiating. For those of you who are not in Ann’s
situation, but have children who are in it, being supportive to those children
in terms of what you tell your kids. I had a friend who, when she told
her mother she was getting a PhD, her mother said, oh, that’s terrible. Now you’ll have to find
a husband who has two PhDs. [LAUGH] So that’s not supportive, right? [LAUGH] You can be more supportive. So I think on an individual
level being supportive and working toward equality
in your own family. On an organizations level,
you’re probably not at that stage yet, cuz you haven’t made partner. But when you do make partner,
you can make waves, as you know, and I know you’re very good at making waves. You can create organizations
within your workplace, once you have power, and
they have to include men, to make changes in that workplace. This is what I tell my
students all the time. These are MBAs, they’re about to graduate, they’re all interested in what’s
gonna happen in their own families, and I tell them, yes, that’s important,
but you’re gonna have real power, someday. And when you do,
think about the women and men, and men, because men want to be dads now. 40% of the students in my working family
class are now men, this is crazy. When I first started there were no
women in my class, with rare exceptions because they didn’t want to be
identified with the issue of women. I taught my class to undergraduates,
with a few women MBAs, but now men MBAs wanna be good dads. Okay, when you have power in your work
organization, make changes in the culture. You know,
Google has a great childcare system. Why? Because Susan Wojcicki, one of the
founders of Google has four children and said to Sergei Brin,
we need child care here. And so they created a child care center. I mean, it’s had a lot of problems,
but nonetheless, there’s a childcare center there. Sheryl Sandberg talks in her book,
about the fact that when she was pregnant, she realized that pregnant women needed
parking near the office building. They couldn’t walk from
seven blocks away to work. And so she got parking for herself and
for every other woman who’s pregnant. Once you have power in a work
organization you can make change. The third level is public policy. I don’t hear anybody, no candidates
are talking about child care. No candidates are talking about
paid maternity leave, and let alone, paternity leave. We have to change that. We have to inject that
into the conversation. And even when Hillary Clinton
was running for president, she didn’t talk about that,
so I hope if she runs again, this time we can get to her and
put some of that into the conversation. Yes?
>>I’m a professor of economics, and we’ve done studies on this as well,
and what we’ve found is that there’s about as many women who enter our
introductory economic classes as men, but women seem to leave the major much
faster once they get a lower grade. And so do you have any thoughts about how
do we either make women less sensitive to receiving a low mid term grade and
then thus leaving it or making men more sensitive
to receiving low grades?>>[LAUGH].>>That’s very interesting. In chemistry there’s a whole
movement afoot now to get more women interested in taking
chemistry courses by changing the kinds of examples
that are used in chemistry. Using examples that are more
interesting to women. So, for example,
using examples from cooking. So, I don’t know why these women
are more sensitive to a lower grade. That’s very interesting. I don’t know,
one remedy is to give ’em higher grades.>>[LAUGH]
>>I don’t know. We should talk afterwards. I don’t know. Yes?>>You made one comment about the
economics of women leaving the workforce, but I think that you also have to
take into consideration that medical schools and law schools have put a lot
of dollars into the training of these, so it really is a pity when
a woman is fully trained and decides to stay home with their family. Not that she doesn’t have the right to do
that, but I think that also maybe some political changes are occurring in
medicine and that’s why 50 percent of our doctors are now women, because I think
we’re going more to shift work because there may be more opportunities to have
a medical career and not leave it. So that might comment be
something of the past.>>Well medicine is interesting to
me because if I had had to predict in 1970 which occupations were
going to be likely to create part time jobs,
I wouldn’t have predicted medicine. My first husband was a physician, my second husband was a physician, I know
a lot about physicians and training. I would never have expected that
physicians would work part time, and it’s very instructive because I myself
have a physician who works part time. And I would have thought this is terrible. What if I need her on Tuesday and
she’s not there? Well guess what? They figured it out. But they haven’t figured it out in law,
and they haven’t figured it out in business, and certainly they
haven’t figured it out in academia. There’s no working part time at
an institution like Stanford. So, we have to re-think this, because it is a tremendous
waste of resources. And, I’m nervous that in the future,
when graduate schools, medical schools, law schools, business schools have
a chance to digest these statistics, they will say, wow, do we really
want to have 50% of our students who are going to drop out of practice,
because maybe we should take more students from abroad
or maybe we should do something different. So I think that yes, it’s an individual
decision and I respect it, but as I said before, I think there are
social consequences of those decisions. Yes?>>I’ve been in business in Silicon Valley
and I’ve spent a lot of time in technology, and one of the things I
think we always struggle with this STEM movement is how do we get more women
into the technology workplace. I’m wondering your thoughts around
things like that affinity groups. We just had a lovely statement last week
We were trying to really make a push about role models in the organization. Are those the types of activities, things that tend to lead
people to want to stay more or do they still see that as something other
that they don’t want to be related with?>>So I want to say that Stanford
has a huge push on this now, on women in science and engineering,
both at the undergraduate level, the graduate level and the professoriate. And I’m very proud that
one of my former students, Carol Muller is heading this up and, and I think people are searching in every
direction to figure out how to do this, including the idea for
example that chemistry would have a modified curriculum,
different from the one they have now. It’s clear in every feel that having
affinity groups, having support, having other people like you to talk to,
having role models is very important. So yes, and some of these
groups are within companies and some of them go across companies. Sometimes women don’t wanna be in
groups within their own company, they’d rather talk to
people in other companies. So, yes, this is a big problem.

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