Would Women Leaders Have Prevented the Global Financial Crisis? Implications for Teaching about Gender and Economics
Would having more women in leadership have prevented the financial crisis? This question challenges feminist economists to once again address questions of "difference" versus "sameness" that have engaged—and often divided—academic feminists for decades. The first part of this essay argues that while some behavioral research seems to support an exaggerated"difference" view, non-simplistic behavioral research can serve feminist libratory purposes by debunking this view and revealing the immense unconscious power of stereotyping, as well as the possibility of non-dualist understandings of gender. The second part of this essay argues that the more urgently needed gender analysis of the financial industry is not concerned with (presumed) "differences" by sex, but rather with the role of gender biases in the social construction of markets. An Appendix discusses specific examples and tools that can be used when teaching about difference and similarity.
Julie A. Nelson
Presented at the 2011 Annual IAFFE Conference, Zhejiang Gongshang University,
Hangzhou, China, June 24-26, 2011
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NCRW is a network of leading university and community based research, policy, and advocacy centers with a growing global reach dedicated to advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. We also have a Corporate Circle comprised of senior diversity professionals from leading U.S. and global member companies and a Presidents Circle of college and university leaders who share our commitment. NCRW harnesses the collective power of its network to provide knowledge, analysis, and thought leadership on issues ranging from reducing women’s poverty to building a critical mass of women’s leadership across sectors.