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The Clayman Institute

40+ Years of Gender Research

Advancing Equality Through Gender Research

Founded in 1974, the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University has put research into action by inspiring innovative solutions that advance gender equality. Launched when women professors were "firsts" in their positions, the Institute's work today engages faculty and students from Stanford University's seven schools and beyond. The Institute operates as an incubator for collaboration, engaging diverse groups of experts and scholars to identify and tackle the next big questions related to gender equality. For decades, its ground-breaking research—both its in-house research and the interdisciplinary gender research it funds—has effected lasting change.

We conduct our research using a gender lens, which allows us to understand how gender shapes our cultures, communities, and lives. Through that lens, we discover novel approaches to advancing equality.  Our current thematic focus is "Moving Beyond the Stalled Gender Revolution." Over two decades ago, scholars described the gender revolution as "stalled," observing that while women had flooded into the paid labor market, men had not increased their involvement in the household, thereby limiting the potential of women in the workplace.

"The Clayman Institute has had a profound impact on my life, and I believe its work is changing the world."
Susan Fisk, Giumarra-MacArthur Family Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2014-2015, and Assistant Professor of Sociology, Kent State University

More recently, scholars have identified further evidence of a stall in women's progress. The gender gap in wages, while narrowing over the 1970s and 1980s, has remained relatively constant since the mid-1990s. The movement of women into male dominated fields of work has slowed. Women's participation in the paid labor market has leveled off. And, while women are earning an increasingly large share of bachelor's degrees overall, the percentage of women earning degrees in some fields has actually declined since the mid-1990s. Even women's state-level political office holding seems to have peaked. Accompanying these trends, there is evidence that Americans' attitudes towards acceptable roles for women have taken a conservative turn after decades of moving towards more egalitarian views. While great advances have been made, progress has undeniably stalled.

To accelerate progress and advance knowledge, the Clayman Institute builds upon its remarkable legacy and continues to educate and inspire new generations of feminists in its committment to making the future equal and just for all people. We empower students and scholars in three key ways:

  • Conduct and invest in gender research

  • Mentor students and scholars through fellowships and internships

  • ​Inspire, translate, and amplify gender scholarship

Our vision for the future is one in which all people—women, men, girls, and boys—will have their contributions valued and voices heard.