Policy Down Under: The Australian Gender Wage Gap


Monday, October 7, 2019, 1:30pm to 2:30pm


Cason Conference Room, Taubman 102

How often do you hear women being offered the advice to “lean in,” “be more confident,” and “show more ambition,” as the recipe to advancing in the workplace and catching up the careers of men? 

WAPPP Fellow Leonora Risse discusses how gender differences in personality can explain gender gaps in pay and promotions. She explores a national dataset of the Australian workforce to assess how much of this gender gap can be linked to differences in men’s and women’s personality traits. The psychological traits contained in the dataset enable us to examine whether the advice being offered to women “to be more confident” is likely to deliver the payoffs it promises.

The findings lend themselves to an open discussion about the influence of gender norms, stereotypes and unconscious bias in determining pay, job promotions and leadership in society more broadly – and what we can do about it.

Coffee and cookies provided.

Co-hosted by HKS Australia-New Zealand Student (ANZ) Caucus and the Women and Public Policy Program. This will be the first of a series of discussions co-hosted by the ANZ Caucus and centers across HKS exploring topical issues in the Australian, New Zealand, and Asia-Pacific region with policy implications in other settings.