A century ago, it was a given that a woman with a college degree had to choose between having a career and a family. Today, there are more female college graduates than ever before, and more women want to have a career and family, yet challenges persist at work and at home.
Join renowned economic historian Claudia Goldin as she traces how generations of women have responded to the problem of balancing career and family as the twentieth century experienced a sea change in gender equality, revealing why true equity for dual career couples remains frustratingly out of reach.
"Men are able to have a family and step up because women step back from their careers to provide more time for family. Both are deprived: men forgo time with family; women forgo career."
Drawing on decades of her own groundbreaking research, Claudia Goldin provides a fresh, in-depth look at the diverse experiences of college-educated women from the 1900s to today, examining the aspirations they formed - and the barriers they faced - in terms of career, job, marriage and children. She shows how many professions are ‘greedy’, paying disproportionately more for long hours and weekend work, and how this perpetuates disparities between women and men. Goldin demonstrates how the era of COVID-19 could hinder women’s advancement, yet how the growth of remote and flexible work may be the pandemic’s silver lining.
Antidiscrimination laws and unbiased managers, while valuable, are not enough. Claudia Goldin explains why we must make fundamental changes to the way we work and how we value caregiving if we are ever to achieve gender equality and couple equity.
Asked why we should take a ‘century-long journey’ rather than skip the history and concentrate on present issues regarding career and family, Claudia Goldin replies: ‘Knowing the barriers that stood in the way and came down makes us more aware of current impediments. More important, it teaches us that there has been enormously large, positive changes and shows us why.’
This event will take place live on Zoom Webinar. You’ll receive a link to join a couple of days before the event takes place and a reminder an hour before. During the event, you can ask questions via a Q&A function, but audience cameras and microphones will remain muted throughout.
You can buy copies of many of our speakers’ books from Fox Lane Books, a local independent bookseller and Festival partner. In some cases, author signed bookplates are available too.
About the speaker
Claudia Goldin is the Henry Lee Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Her books include The Race between Education and Technology, Understanding the Gender Gap, Women Working Longer and Career and Family: Women’s Century-Long Journey Toward Equity. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.