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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

METIS Lecture: Gender Equity – Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

Date and time

Tuesday, 8 December 2020, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


Online via Zoom


Professor Virginia Valian




Free and open to the public




Deadline: 7 December 2020
Please register with for the Zoom link

Further Information


The partners of METIS warmly invite you to the first annual METIS Lecture. The METIS Lecture showcases research and researchers working on the topic of equal opportunities in academia.

This year, Professor Virginia Valian will speak on the imbalanced advancement of women compared with men. Women and men have different trajectories in academia and in the professions more generally.  Overall, men advance faster than women; at work and in heterosexual households, men perform less service than women do. The need to work from home exacerbates inequalities in men’s and women’s contributions and rewards. In this talk, Professor Virginia Valian uses two interlocking concepts to explain these gender differences – gender schemas and the accumulation of advantage.

Due to schemas, both men and women are likely to overrate men and underrate women in professional settings, and both men and women expect women to labor for love. The notion of the accumulation of advantage shows the importance of the small inequalities that schemas create – they compound over time, like interest on an investment. Success develops through accumulating small benefits, such as examples of acknowledgment and recognition. To create academic excellence we need to recognize and respect merit in both women and men. Professor Valian discusses examples of procedures and policies that will maximize inclusion and excellence.

Photo courtesy of Virginia Valian

About the speaker

Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Hunter College – CUNY and is a member of the doctoral faculties of Psychology, Linguistics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City.  Dr Valian works in two areas. As director of the Language Acquisition Research Center, she conducts research on young children’s acquisition of syntax and on the relation between bilingualism and higher cognitive processes in adults.  As co-founder and director of Hunter’s Gender Equity Project, she performs research on the reasons behind women’s slow advancement in the professions and proposes remedies for individuals and institutions. She is the author of Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women (MIT Press), co-author, with Abigail Stewart, of An Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence (MIT Press), and co-author of articles examining gender differences in colloquium speakers in universities, gender differences in awards by professional societies, and reactions to male and female presidential candidates. Dr Valian consults with institutions and organizations to improve gender equity in hiring, promotion, and recognition.

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