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Notable Moments: A Timeline

Following are memorable moments (we couldn't keep it to just 50!) from the Clayman Institute's rich history of research, mentorship, evolution, and cross-disciplinary scholarship.

collage showing photos and news clipping

First decade: 1974-1983

CROW opens its doors in Fall 1974

Fall 1974: The Center for Research on Women opens at Stanford with two rooms and a phone. Myra Strober is the first director.

photo of woman speaking on phone
First CROW newsletter

Winter 1975: CROW published its first newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 1

CROW expands with associates program and visiting and affiliated scholars

Jing Lyman launches the CROW associates to build support within the larger community; and CROW creates the Visiting and Affiliated Scholars Program (learn about the program from Senior Scholars Karen Offen and Edith Gelles).

Diane Middlebrook is second director

Diane Middlebrook becomes CROW's second director, serving from 1976-79

Task Force on the Study of Women

1977: At a time when the number of college courses relating to women could barely fill a single page of a course guide, the Institute launched the Task Force on the Study of Women. Its work eventually led to the creation of the Feminist Studies Program at Stanford in 1981. 

Strober returns as director

Myra Strober again serves as director, from 1979-1984

At home: Serra House
two-story White House with porch

1979: CROW finds a permanent home in Serra House

Feminist Studies founded

Fall 1981: Stanford's Feminist Studies program begins with support from CROW


Women Writing Poetry conference
Logo for Women Writing Poetry in America with title and drawing of woman's head and shoulders

April 1982: CROW hosts the Conference on Women Writing Poetry in America, featuring Audre Lorde, Denise Levertov, and Louise Gluck.

Technology of their time

Summer 1982: Center buys a word processor and offers a cassette tape listening library

news item describing cassette library
National honor for CROW director

Fall 1982: Myra Strober is invited to chair the National Council for Research on Women, with 28 research centers as members 

CROW-produced book earns award

Fall 1982: Book detailing history of Victorian women's lives, prepared by CROW scholars, wins award

news item clip with headline Book Prepared Under CROW Auspices Wins Award
CROW home finds permanent location
house loaded onto back of moving truck

Spring 1983: CROW moves briefly to the Old Chem building and then to its permanent home at Serra House (now Attneave House), which was moved by truck across campus to its current location

Celebrating the 10-year anniversary
Headline: Gala to Celebrate CROW's First 10 Years

Fall 1984: CROW celebrates its 10th anniversary with a champagne and hors d'oeuvres reception at the Stanford Museum.

collage of house photo, news clipping, and photo of five women

Second decade: 1984-1993

National publication Signs journal hosted by CROW

1980-85: National feminist studies magazine Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society edited at CROW

"The Writer: A Passion for Her World" lecture series

Spring 1986: CROW welcomed Cherrie Moraga; Adrienne Rich; Harriet Doerr; Jean Wakatsuki Houston; and Laila Abou-Saif.

Marilyn Yalom becomes director

Marilyn Yalom serves as director, 1984-85

CROW changes name to IRWG
Logo The Institute for Research on Women and Gender

1986: CROW changes name to Institute for Women and Gender. The change reflected an expansion of the Institute’s scope in response to evolving concepts—and vocabulary—regarding the study of women’s issues in the larger context of society. 

Faculty Women's Caucus

1986: IRWG founds the Faculty Women's Caucus to raise and publicize issues relating to Stanford women faculty. “We were instrumental in getting the university to publish salary information broken down by gender,” Director Deborah Rhode observed, “getting leadership to rethink its parental leave policy [which, at the time was nonexistent], and more systematically scrutinize policies and practices regarding gender, such as pay equity, child care, [and] promotion rates.”  

Fourth director is Judith Brown

Judith Brown is director, 1985-86

Deborah Rhode serves as director

Director Deborah Rhode serves from 1986-1990

Backlash writer finishes book at IRWG
Book cover: Susan Faludi, Backlash, The Undeclared War Against American Women

1991: Writer Susan Faludi completes her popular book, Backlash, at IRWG. In addition to participating in the Visiting and Affiliated Scholars program during its development, Faludi would present the finished book to large associates groups around the country.

1990s begin with Iris Litt as director

Director Iris Litt serves IRWG from 1990-97

Iris  Litt
100 Years of Stanford Women

1991: University President Donald Kennedy and spouse Robin Kennedy host IRWG's annual fundraiser in their home as part of a celebration or 100 years of Stanford women.

Mark Your Calendars headline for text announcement
U.S.-Japan Women's Journal

1991: Yoko Kawashima, a former affiliated scholar, joins the Institute as an editor-in-residence, in recognition of her 1988 founding of the U.S.-Japan Women's Journal.


collage of two posed women, one woman and man on stage, and news clipping about website

Third decade: 1994-2003

Graduate Dissertation Fellows program

1994: The Graduate Dissertation Fellows program begins. GDFs receive financial support while completing their dissertations and interdisciplinary community for their research. By 2024, the Institute had supported more than 100 GDFs and postdoctoral fellows.

Finberg endows directorship

1997: A generous gift from longtime support Barbara D. Finberg (right, with Director Iris Litt) endows the directorship of IRWG.

Litt and Finberg
Laura Carstensen is director

Director Laura Carstensen serves from 1997-2001

Focus on Aging

1997: IRWG theme focuses on aging and gender under the leadership of Director Laura Carstensen, who would go on to found Stanford's Center on Longevity.

New website

1997: IRWG advertises its first website, on the original address.

Visit IRWG on the Web
Subscribe to the IRWG Newsletter

1997: An annual subscription to IRWG's printed newsletter goes for $15/year.

This publication is designed in-house on desktop publishing software. Printed on recycled paper.
How to Subscribe
25th anniversary celebration

1999: Stanford President Gerhard Casper and Dr. Regina Caspar host a reception for the Institute's 25th anniversary

Save the date for 25th anniversary
Difficult Dialogues speaker series launches

2000: IRWG launches "Difficult Dialogues on Aging in the 21st Century" series

IRWG welcomes Betty Friedan

2000: Difficult Dialogues event with guest speaker Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique

Difficult Dialogues, with Betty Friedan
Move to Humanities and Sciences

2001: The Institute moved from the Office of Research and Graduate Policy to the School of Humanities and Sciences, providing access to the School’s resources and networks. 

Director Barbara Gelpi

Barbara Gelpi serves as director from 2001-2004

Next Difficult Dialogues

2002: The Institute continues its series with Difficult Dialogues on the Changing Nature of the American Family

collage with magazine cover, Paula Giddings and students, Michelle Clayman, and woman addressing large crowd

Fourth decade: 2004-2013

Londa Schiebinger named director

Londa Schiebinger serves as ninth director from 2004-2010. Under Schiebinger, the Institute shifts its thematic focus to the role of sex and gender in science, medicine, and engineering research and development. 

Studies on women in academia and the tech sector

2008: The Institute publishes studies on "Dual-Career Academic Couples" and "Climbing the Technical Ladder"

Gendered Innovations project

2009: The Institute launches the Gendered Innovations project, with Londa Schiebinger as founding director. 

Honoring our Founders

2009: The Clayman Institute launches its Honoring our Founders program with special events focused on the people who played an important role in creating a space for gender research at Stanford.

Gender News is launched

2009: The monthly online publication Gender News is launched. 

Michelle R. Clayman endows Institute

2010: Capping off a successful fundraising campaign, the Institute is renamed the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, for its generous donor. 

Shelley Correll serves as director

Shelley Correll serves as director from 2010-2019

Beyond the Stalled Gender Revolution
"Reducing Gender Biases In Modern Workplaces: A Small Wins Approach to Organizational Change"

2010: Institute Director Shelley Correll chooses the research focus "Beyond the Stalled Gender Revolution: Reinvigorating Gender Equality in the 21st Century"

Voice and Influence

2010: The Voice and Influence Program launches, offering an online curriculum designed to empower women and men to realize their professional potential, and help them create organizations where workers can excel, belong and thrive. The curriculum features education modules, including videos and discussion guides, with faculty from leading universities. (As of 2019, the program is hosted with the Stanford VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab.)

First issue of upRising

2011: The Institute publishes its first issue of upRising, an annual gender research magazine

Jing Lyman Lecture series

2011: The Institute re-launches the Jing Lyman Lecture series with an appearance by journalist Katha Pollitt

Celebrating with Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem

2012: The Institute celebrates the 40th anniversary of Ms. Magazine with keynote by Gloria Steinem

Sheryl Sandberg delivers lecture

2013: Sheryl Sandberg delivers Jing Lyman Lecture

Redesigning, Redefining Work

2013: Institute hosts the "Redesigning, Redefining Work Summit." The RRW Project and Summit address the need for research to support efforts to restructure workplaces so that they are more effectively aligned with the lives of today’s workforce and organizations are better able to harness diverse talent for their future success.  

Center for Women's Leadership

2014: Institute launches the Center for Women's Leadership

collage with Adrian Daub and Jia Tolentino, Shelley Correll and 3 speakers, group of 4 students, and Anita Hill

Fifth decade: 2014-2024

Online Feminism Conference (#OFCon14)

2014: Hosted by the Clayman Institute, the Online Feminism Conference (#OFCon14) gathered feminists, in person and online, to discuss the challenges and possibilities of online feminism.

Paula Giddings delivers lecture

2014: Author and professor Paula Giddings delivers Jing Lyman Lecture

Breaking the Culture of Sexual Assault

2016-17: In a two-year symposium, the Institute launched a series of talks and discussions to address multiple facets of the topic in order to create best practices and novel solutions. Each quarter, we investigated a different aspect of the culture of sexual assault with programs designed to engage students, staff, faculty, and the community. 

Intersectionality scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw

2016: With her groundbreaking work in developing intersectionality, Jing Lyman Lecturer Kimberlé Crenshaw has refocused our understandings of gender and the connections between race, class, gender and social justice. 

Beyond Bias Summit

2017: Convened by the Clayman Institute’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership, the Beyond Bias Summit gathered members of the Corporate Affiliates Program, along with leading researchers, to advance knowledge and move toward workable solutions.

Jing Lyman Lecture from Carla Harris

2017: Known for her path-breaking work as a leader, educator, and speaker who empowers and powerfully engages her audiences, business leader Carla Harris’ lecture addressed “Tools for Maximizing your Career Success.”

Honoring our Founders continues

2017: The Honoring our Founders series continues, with events featuring Myra Strober and student founders Beth Garfield and Cynthia Russell.

Honoree Cynthia Russell, Institute Director Adrian Daub, Institute Executive Director Alison Dahl Crossley, and Beth Garfield
New lab established

2019: The Institute announces the establishment of the VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab, a continuation of the work started in the Center for Women's Leadership

Daub named director

2019: Adrian Daub begins term as the 11th Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Institute

New speaker series: Clayman Conversations
Bridges and Carmon seated on stage

2019: Director Adrian Daub launches the event series as a way to bring together feminist scholars, activists, and writers to discuss contemporary issues through an intersectional lens. From the first event, "Whisper Networks: On the Feminist Function of Rumor," through the 10th event, "Criminalizing Pregnancy," the series covers a wide range of topics for online and in-person audiences.

Heteropatriarchy in Academia series

2022: Stanford graduate students were invited to join us for a speaker series examining the presence of heteropatriarchy in academia. The series was motivated by a post-COVID era that exacerbated inequalities and laid bare the shortcomings of our educational institutions as it pertains to supporting and advancing women, people of color, LGBTQIA+/queer individuals, and gender non-conforming individuals in particular. 

From the Front Lines: Abortion Post-Roe

2022: Following a break from in-person events during the COVID pandemic, the Jing Lyman Lecture returns. Abortion providers discuss reproductive justice after Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturned Roe v. Wade: what has changed in the post-Roe world, and what has stayed the same?

Anita Hill kicks off 50th anniversary year
Anita Hill speaking at lectern

2024: The Clayman Institute begins its 50th anniversary with very special guest Anita Hill, who encouraged guests to embrace hope and recognize progress in the relay race toward gender equality.