Research Insights

Positioned within Harvard Kennedy School, the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) is a research center that focuses on closing gender gaps in economic opportunity, political participation, and education by creating knowledge, training leaders, and informing public policy and organizational practices.

WAPPP looks at what policies, organizational structures, and leadership techniques help close involuntary gender gaps—those that occur due to constraints rather than choice—either due to explicit barriers (laws or the absence thereof) and/or implicit barriers (stereotypes, biased judgements, and discrimination). Conducting research to provide evidence-based insights and recommendations, we identify small to large-scale successful interventions, while examining the impact of closing gender gaps.

Our world-class faculty—including Iris Bohnet, Hannah Riley Bowles, Dara Kay Cohen, Jane Mansbridge, and Rohini Pande—have deepened our understanding of the evolving landscape of gender gaps and the mechanisms we can employ to close them.

Recent Publications

Bohnet, Iris, Siri Chilazi, and Anisha Asundi. “Ten Evidence-Based Practices for De-Biasing the Workplace”. 2021. Print.Abstract

Business, government and civil society want to benefit from 100% of the talent pool, but unconscious bias ingrained in minds and embedded in organizational practices and procedures can get in the way. These ten evidence-based practices can help organizations level the playing field by making all stages of the employee lifecycle less biased and more inclusive.

Chilazi, Siri. “Culture & Inclusion Literature Review”. 2021. Print.Abstract

This literature review is an overview of the academic literature relating to diversity and inclusion in organizations. It does not claim to be comprehensive as the existing body of academic work in this somewhat undefined space is vast. Rather, this document aims to focus on individual and organizational levers to promote gender equality. As such, it largely emphasizes recent scholarship from the last 10 years. Earlier, seminal works are included selectively where their influence continues to be felt and where they remain relevant to current conceptions of diversity and inclusion.

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Gender Action Portal

A collection of summarized research evaluating the impact of specific policies, strategies, and organizational practices to close gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, politics, health, and education.

The Gender Action Portal (GAP) focuses on experimental approaches to evaluate policies–both in the field and in the laboratory–and draws from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, and organizational behavior.

GAP serves as an online tool for decision makers across sectors to utilize evidence-based research in order to create better informed policies and procedures.

Search all GAP interventions »

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New Research on the Gender Action Portal

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