Gender, society and market failures

On Wednesday 8 March EFS celebrated International Women’s Day with Vicky Pryce (CEBR) and Oriana Bandiera (LSE). Our distinguished guests discussed barriers and opportunities, leadership and recognition, quotas and pay gaps.

“We’re not talking designer shoes here!”

Oriana’s presentation focused on family policies and the allocation of talent. While there is no gender gap in talent and educational attainment, selecting mostly from the male population when women have children lowers the average talent. This worsens the match of skills and tasks. She argued that adopting different policies is not only the right thing to do in order to have a more equal society, but also the efficient thing to do to alter the market equilibrium.

“You can’t just do it through HR practices at work…”

Vicky supported sector by sector quotas. Things have improved but the slow pace shows the need to have quota requirements with reasonable targets, following a strict timeline. Recounting her experiences in government, she argued that regulators should be able to push towards that direction. Sunset clauses will ensure that once targets are met there will be no need to keep quotas in place. Workplace culture will be improved and this will benefit everyone.

Click on the audio players below to listen to their speeches.




(Click here if you don’t see the players.)

EFS wishes to thank the Head and faculty at the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics for their support. Assistance by staff at the School of Business, Economics and Informatics, and the Careers and Employability Service is gratefully acknowledged.