Gender and the Pandemic
As the pandemic began to take center stage in spring 2020, we at the Clayman Institute began talking about the gendered effects of COVID-19 and the intersecting inequalities highlighted by the pandemic. There are many: the high prevalence of women among healthcare workers, caregiving while working from home, disparities in unemployment and more. We reached out to our colleagues in gender research -- fellows, former fellows and faculty affiliates -- to ask for their expertise and insights. Some saw their existing research in a new light; others saw an entirely different experience at home. We hope this collected writing is a source of insight for those looking at current events through a gender lens. We plan to add more in coming months as our prospective writers are able to balance new work with their many changed responsibilities.
"What does COVID-19 transmission have in common with sexism and harassment? As it turns out, quite a bit."
Alexis Adams-Clark is a clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Oregon studying trauma and sexual violence. Jennifer J. Freyd is professor emerit [not a typo] in psychology at the University of Oregon, adjunct professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in the School of Medicine and faculty fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, and founder and president of the Center for Institutional Courage.
"Telling (y)our stories: Building presence, power and trust"
Loren Saxton Coleman, assistant professor in the Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies in the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University, and Melissa Jones Briggs, lecturer in organizational behavior at Stanford's Graduate School of Business
"Pandemic magnifies gender inequities, provides opportunities for long-range solutions in academic medicine"
Joy Wu, associate professor of medicine (endocrinology) and vice chair of basic and translational science in the Department of Medicine
"COVID has worsened gender disparities, especially for women of color. Here's what we can do now to turn the tide"
Arghavan Salles, surgeon and scholar
- "Is Working from Home a Solution to Gender Inequality?"
Aliya Hamid Rao, assistant professor in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University and a former postdoctoral fellow of the Clayman Institute. Rao begins in the fall as assistant professor in the Department of Methodology at the London School of Economics.
- "Street Protest, COVID-19, and Intersectionality"
Alison Dahl Crossley, executive director, Clayman Institute for Gender Research
- "Parenting in the COVID-19 Era"
Ngan F. Huang, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Stanford University
"Essential and Expendable: Gendered Labor in the Coronavirus Crisis"
Megan Tobias Neely, assistant professor in the Department of Organization at Copenhagen Business School, an affiliated postdoctoral researcher at Stanford’s VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, and a former Clayman Postdoctoral Fellow (2017-2019)
- "The Elephant in the Room is a Home-Schooled Toddler (and Sometimes Three)"
Cécile Alduy, professor of French literature, chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Stanford University
- Contributions from scholars in history, literature, social movements and more
In the Media
Many Clayman Institute affiliates have written articles or have been quoted on the pandemic in national publications. Below are recent mentions in the media.
- Analysis suggests that, across academic disciplines, women’s publishing rate has fallen relative to men’s amid the pandemic. Molly King, sociologist at Santa Clara Univeristy and former graduate dissertation fellow. Nature: News
- Stanford partners to study how coronavirus spreads and if previous infection confers immunity. "This knowledge will be critical in coming months..." Yvonne Maldonado, a lead investigator on the study, pediatrician, and former faculty fellow. Stanford News
- Economist and founding Director Myra Strober on feminism without childcare -- we need to challenge assumptions about which spouse has more workplace flexibility, the part-timer or the executive. “People who are higher up in an organization usually have more flexibility.” San Francisco Chronicle
- From former Director Shelley Correll on the new work-life reality: "There is concern that the current economic situation will worsen workplace bullying and sexual harassment, especially when social distancing eases." Stanford News
- Former Graduate Dissertation Fellow Dr. Arghavan Salles, scholar-in-residence at Stanford Medicine, who took vacation days to work at a New York hospital. The surgeon says of N95 masks that don't fit many women: "What else comes in just two sizes? We're suggesting that all faces on the planet are one of two sizes." BBC News
- Sociologist David Pedulla, a former faculty fellow, on hiring bias and part-time work: During recovery many will work "either part-time, through temp agencies, or below their skill level. These are precisely the types of positions that I have been studying." Stanford News
- Aliya Rao, assistant professor of sociology at Singapore Management University and former postdoctoral fellow, on unemployment and identity: "As steady employment becomes more precarious in the U.S., and indeed globally, and we brace for a wave of unemployment in the wake of COVID-19, we should take stock of placing so much significance on employment in determining our worth as social beings." Harvard Business Review
- "People draw motivation from the opportunity to work with others from early in life" -- interview with former faculty fellow and Stanford psychologist Greg Walton on small gestures that can foster a feeling of togetherness despite physical distancing. Stanford News
- “There are profound sex differences in immune systems, and this pandemic is revealing them.” Stanford Medicine Professor and Faculty Research Fellow Marcia Stefanick on higher death rates for men from COVID-19. Vox
- Delayed and turned away: “There is a lot of confusion about how the states are going to be rolling out the benefits provided in the CARES Act.” Veena Dubal, associate professor at UC Hastings School of Law and former Clayman Institute postdoctoral fellow, about gig workers trying to get promised unemployment benefits. Washington Post
- "The current moment provides an opportunity to make lasting changes to the status quo and improve conditions for all workers" -- extending worker protections in wake of the COVID crisis from former postdoctoral fellow Megan Tobias Neely. Harvard Business Review