Fathauer Lecture in Political Economy: Catherine Eckel, Texas A&M University


5:10 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 2, 2023


McClelland Hall Berger Auditorium

The Gender Leadership Gap: Insights from the Experiment Lab

The gender leadership gap refers to the unequal representation of women in leadership positions, particularly in top executive positions in corporations and government. Women are underrepresented in leadership positions across many industries and countries, which can lead to a lack of diversity in perspectives and experiences in decision-making processes. But why is there a leadership gap? There are a variety of factors that contribute to the gender leadership gap, from both the supply side (women’s preferences and constraints) and from the demand side (discrimination, biases, job design). Experimental research in economics, in both the lab and the field, provides an opportunity to isolate and explore these factors. In the lab, we can create specific situations - artificial workplaces and labor markets - that open a door to understanding the interplay of work and firm decisions that produce the gender gap. This lecture will present studies about the gender-leadership gap and make recommendations for change.

About Catherine Eckel

Catherine Eckel, Sara and John Lindsey Professor in the Liberal Arts and University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics at Texas A&M University, where she directs the Behavioral Economics and Policy Program.  She has held faculty positions at the University of British Columbia, Virginia Tech, and the University of Texas at Dallas, where she was founder and director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Economic Science. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia in 1983.

Dr. Eckel is an award-winning teacher, and enjoys engaging undergraduate students in original research projects. She has advised 15 PhD dissertations, and her students hold faculty positions in the US and around the world.  In January 2013, Dr. Eckel was awarded the prestigious Carolyn Shaw Bell Award, given annually by the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, for her work developing and participating in mentoring programs for women assistant professors.

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