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Valian to talk on gender disparity in academia

Virginia Valian, author of "Why So Slow: the Advancement of Women," will be at MIT on Monday, April 8, to deliver an afternoon talk and meet with several faculty groups.

Valian is a professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York who speaks widely on aspects of women's career advancement, particularly in academia. Her talk, "Why So Slow?" will be held in Room 34-401 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In her presentation, Valian will address the "stubborn problem of slower advancement for women." She will use concepts of gender schemas (perceptions of men as more competent than women, for example) and of the accumulation of advantage to analyze disparities between women's and men's career trajectories.

"The gender schemas analysis allows us to devise appropriate remedies at the institutional level and at more individual levels. The notion of the accumulation of advantage demonstrates the importance of even small-scale disadvantages which mount up over time," Valian explained in the abstract for her talk.

In the morning, Valian will hold a workshop on gender schemas and equity issues for women in academia with the Engineering Council, meet with members of the committees on women faculty in the five schools, and meet with members of the Council on Faculty Diversity.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 3, 2002.

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