Health Service, Systems and Policy Seminar Series: Gender diversity

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Speaker: Dr. Ivona Hideg, York University 

Abstract: Parental leaves are critical for gender equality and recently many countries have been encouraging longer parental leaves. Yet, past research shows that longer parental leaves can have unintended negative career impacts, especially for women. I present data examining the effect of parental leaves on women’s and men’s careers in the context of parental leaves in Canada and Australia. We first examine effects of longer (one year and above) parental leaves on women’s careers. We identify a mechanism underlying negative effects of longer maternity leaves and test interventions mitigating such negative effects. Next, we show that contrary to the negative effects of parental leaves on women’s careers, the effects of parental leaves on men’s careers can be positive due to others’ enhanced perceptions of men’s “communality,” i.e., traits generally ascribed to women such as warmth and friendliness.

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