[00:00:00] Kriti: Hey guys, welcome to WhyFI Matter$. It's been a few weeks since the last episode, but I'm super excited to keep the conversation about the gender pay gap going and transition into talking about women in the workforce. So how leadership and job progression impact the pay gap and also a woman's ability to advance her career. Today's guest is Dr. Linda Carli, who is a senior lecturer emerita in psychology at Wellesley College. Her research focuses on women's influence and leadership. And she's the co-author of: Through the Labyrinth, the Truth About How Women Become Leaders, and this was published in conjunction with the center for public leadership of Harvard's Kennedy school of government. I'm super excited to talk to her about women's leadership and how it's related to the pay gap, women's work participation and family dynamics. I hope you enjoy the interview.
Hi, Dr. Carli, thank you so much for coming on WhyFI Matter$ today. I am super excited to talk to you and learn more about some of your research. And you're definitely an expert in this field of, women's leadership and I'm excited to see how that plays into the gender pay gap, which is something that we've talked a bit about on the podcast, but not specifically through the lens of, women's leadership and women in these higher positions. So thank you so much for coming on the show today.
[00:01:45] Dr. Linda Carli: I'm happy to be here.
[00:01:47] Kriti: So I would love to start off talking to you about what even sparked your interest in studying, gender discrimination and specifically the challenges that women face throughout
[00:02:00] Dr. Linda Carli: the workplace. Yeah, I think when I was a kid I was a geeky over achieving nerdy kid and in grade school and in high school and even in college, I was basically, I felt not being really heard or taken seriously. And I remember. Really early on being judged on how I looked, being harassed in the street and in class, I mean, sexually harassed have people comment on my physical appearance, cat calls and things like this and being interrupted and discounted, and not taken seriously. There were times when I would do giving an answer in class or speaking, and some other student would just interrupt me. And I noticed that this would happen to the girls, but not really to the boys. And I thought that was very strange and it would have bothered me. And it was strange going from grade school to high school, things got worse and then college, it was worse still and it was, it just would puzzle me and frustrate me and the idea that I was expected to behave in a certain polite, nice unassuming way and disappear, all of this bothered me and it inspired me actually to go to graduate school and study women's influence power and leadership.
[00:03:12] Kriti: That's amazing. I feel like a lot of times people will delve into things and research things that, they've experienced some sort of struggle or some sort of obstacle and challenge with. And I really liked taken that and done a bunch of research and kind of realized why it is this way. So that's amazing. And I know that you coauthored a book called Through the Labyrinth, the Truth About How Women Become Leaders. So I really want to delve deep into this book. Can you tell us a little bit more about the use of the metaphor of a labyrinth to describe a woman's ability to reach these top positions.
[00:03:57] Dr. Linda Carli: Absolutely. So you've probably heard of the glass ceiling and the glass ceiling was a very, very popular metaphor. I mean, it exploded when it came out in the wall street journal as the metaphor for women's challenges as leaders. And when we were writing this book, we wanted to come up with a better metaphor because it was, we thought the glass ceiling was a poor one actually.
And didn't really reflect where women were as leaders or maybe ever had been. For one thing, the glass ceiling is this one. Transparent obstacle. And of course there is not one obstacle that women faced. Women faced a multitude of obstacles and, and it's not transparent. So the idea of transparency is that, the path to leadership is clear, you know what you have to do.
It's I think it's very complicated and pretty hard. It's very difficult to now. And then it's not just, it's after nearly the top, the penultimate level, it's not quite at the top, but almost there. And I think there are challenges all the way through, not just when you get almost to the top. And finally, with the glass ceiling, the idea of a glass ceiling, if somebody breaks it and gets through it, it's broken.
Everybody should be able to, but that's just not true. So there are obstacles at all level. The path is not clear. Some people do make it, some people don't, and we thought of the labyrinth and the labyrinth. Captures all this complexity and challenge, right? So some people are going to make it, they're going to get to the middle.
And we imagine that that's where leadership resides and, but, challenges exist all the way through and from the outside of a, any labyrinth or maze that you see. You don't see how challenging it is in the inside. It just seems like, okay, I just go on in and I will just make my path, but that's not the way it is.
And then, you could take a wrong turn. You could end up not going to dead end. You could maybe find your way through, but it's going to take a while. It's going to be difficult and maybe somebody will help you by leaving, crumbs along the way you have mentors or sponsors, but they may, you may not, you may have to do it on your own.
So it's possible to succeed. But it's very challenging and a lot of people are not going to make it. So it's both positive and reflects the challenge. Right? It's both. And I like to think about men as maybe having a road. So they have this road and it's got Hills and valleys and stuff. So there are challenges, but it's pretty clear.
Like, you have to roll down the Hills, you climb up the Hills, but the women that it's much less transparent, much, much less. Yeah. So that's, that's the beauty, I think, of the labyrinth metaphor.
[00:06:36] Kriti: So you wrote this book like in 2008 or so. There has been a lot of change since then. And I was wondering where you place in, as I think nowadays, especially we're looking at women but there's a multitude of like different identities, social identifiers that women have. I was wondering is the path that much more harder if you're like, how would you describe it for someone who's living at this intersection?
[00:07:06] Dr. Linda Carli: I think the intersectionality of it is very important. And at the time he wrote the book we put in everything we could find on ethnic differences. And even now there isn't enough. I mean, not just ethnic differences, but sexual orientation all these things, you can think about. That I have some research myself on, for example, on sexual orientation, like the perception of people is not just affected by their gender, but also by their race, by their sexual orientation by their age. So they're all these complicated things that interact to affect how you're viewed in the world and how competent you are seeing and your opportunities you're offered. And some of them are positive and some of them are negative. So yes. That labyrinth applies to people of color. And it applies to people who have multitude of identities that are not simply white male, and I think it works really well for just about any complex challenge that may obstruct your path to the.
[00:08:03] Kriti: I really, really liked this idea, this metaphor a lot. So. I think we're, we're talking about how women can get to the top or get to, leadership positions. So why has it been, obviously this is a systemic problem, history has caused it to be this way, but why is it seeing that an effective leader is mostly oftentimes, a man. And I just think of, I listened to this podcast called hope through history by historian, Jon Meacham, I think is his name if I'm correct, but I just sort of just all, I love his podcasts, but all of the people who he's discussing are all these men who have been great leaders, but where are the women? And. It has made it so that a man is viewed as a good leader.
[00:08:55] Dr. Linda Carli: So I think the challenge, that we face is that there seems to be consensus around the world. And it doesn't really matter if you're a big westernized or Eastern country, or if you're agricultural or industrialized, there's consensus about what men are like, women are like.
And what leaders are like, right? And so if you look at the research, what you can see is that you just ask people, what are men like? What is a typical man? And they will say people all around the world will say, well, men are strong and they're certified and they're confident they're directive. They're competitive. They have all these manly qualities. Well, these men who qualities we call agentic. It's about enhancing the self, raising the self agency and control. And then when you ask them, well, what are women like? They say, well, women, they're very nice. They're kind, they're helpful. They're sympathetic, they're supportive. And these are all warm, communal traits focused on other people. So, and if you ask people, is it good to be agentic? Is it good to be communal? They'll say it's those, those two things are really great to be. There's nothing wrong with being agentic and nothing wrong with being communal. But then if you ask people around the world, what are leaders like? There's consensus that leaders are agentic. So here we have the challenge and that is everyone likes communal qualities. Everyone admires communal qualities, but they don't think that's what constitutes good leadership. So when people think of a leader, they don't think of a woman.
They think of a man and men are prototypes. The quintessential ideal leader is a man. So the problem with that is that women are seen to lack the agency needed to be an effective leader. So what happens? What do women have to do? I mean, it may seem like a simple solution might just prove how tough you are.
Like I said earlier that I was a nerdy. Little kid. I was also blunt and outspoken and sort of direct. I was actually, I thought a bright thing to be and maybe very leader like, but actually it was very problematic as a crew and, women who are really assertive and directive get into a lot of trouble.
They're seen as possible. And unpleasant and bitchy and so on. The problem is that these stereotypes are not just about what people think men, women, and leaders are, but also what they ought to be. Right. So women ought to be nice. People prefer women to be nice. And communal said not really agentic. So we have all these studies looking at there's a meta analysis of over 70 studies looking at what happens when women display competence, dominance, strength, conflict. People don't like them. And if you look at them in a work setting, they're also less likely to be promoted or hired. So these qualities may be very desirable in someone's at work, but it turns people off because it doesn't fit with their notion of what a good woman is. Right,
[00:12:02] Kriti: right. I think a lot of men will see it as threatening this system of power that they've worked so tirelessly to build. And this, this kind of reminds me of, so I played tennis and it reminds me of, I think it was the 2018 us open. I forgot what year, but Serena Williams and she was. I mean, she's been, I think she's an amazing player and an amazing person. And she is known to be, has a very aggressive games game play, and that's how she plays. But she's also extremely assertive on the court, which is, I think one of the best qualities about her, which is gotten her till, the top of the game. And then at this us open. She got into a little bit of an issue with the judges, the umpires, and the umpire was saying she's being too aggressive with me. And it's, it's it got warped out of I got put out of context and there was this really interesting cartoon that was made about Serena Williams and she was playing Naomi Osaka. Drew Serena as really big, crazy. It almost made her look into a monster. And I was just like, this is. She was not at all near a monster. She was just being herself. She was trying to protect herself. She was trying to show her confidence on the court. And I think that the fact that people like her who exhibit assertive qualities, you go after what they want, women who do exhibit those qualities tend to experience that level of even more obstacles.
It just got me
[00:13:51] Dr. Linda Carli: like, thinking about that. I think that example is really good. I remember that too. And it was interesting because I thought at that time about how male tennis players could be aggressive and even rude, and rude to the other player and nobody says anything, but
[00:14:09] Kriti: If a woman there's
[00:14:10] Dr. Linda Carli: a double standard.
Oh, absolutely. That's what we're talking about here. So, you have to play this line. You need to prove your strength. But you need to be so nice and polite and balancing those two things is really a challenge, right? And you might think perhaps that men have know, men are held to a standard of toughness and they kind of are, but men are not punished for being nice.
And in fact, nice men. Men who help their colleagues, men who are socially skilled, actually advance and get promoted more than men who don't. So men can choose, they can choose sometimes to be really tough and mean they can be nice. They have a whole repertoire of behaviors, how nice that is to be able to not really think about it and just go with the flow.
Right. Whereas women have to be very reflective, and make sure when they're interacting with other people that they display a behavior that's going to be successful in terms of their leadership and advancement potential. Right. Exactly.
[00:15:09] Kriti: Yeah. That's crazy. So if if companies, so I was just wondering why, you said that women. Our communal and, they bring people together. They help people., I personally think that's another great aspect of being a leader. Being a leader as multiple facets, you can be a good listener as well as a leader. Right. So I think. Why don't companies recognize that like oftentimes, sometimes companies even get in trouble when some of these CEOs are too aggressive and, upfront and, and I think that why don't they see the value that traditional, like women characteristics have to, leading a company?
[00:15:56] Dr. Linda Carli: I think to some extent there has been some change in there more. There's more recognition that leadership is more complex than command and control that just being in charge and yelling at people is not really good leadership. In fact, the question is like, what is really good leadership? And you like what's going to really work.
Companies historically have not really known. They just operate on, I just do it. My dad did, and we do what other leaders in the past have done, but actually there's a lot of research on what good leadership is. And what's so fascinating about this research is that it doesn't really matter. What type of organization you're talking about, it could be a government. It could be the military, which is such a masculine setting, right? It could be education. It could be healthcare. It could be non-profits it doesn't really matter. Good leadership is pretty much the same. And all these organizations, we have all these days over, over a hundred studies on this, what is good leadership. And so we know what it is and we know what it involves. So we know number one, that good leaders reward their subordinates for good. They're very rewarding. And number two, they're what we call transformational in style. They, they can inspire their followers and instill pride. They communicate a purpose and a mission focus on the future and they're optimistic. They like to solve problems in a flexible open manner and they develop support and encourage their subordinate.
[00:17:31] Kriti: there's no like asterix that says, oh, and you have to be like a man to do all of that.
[00:17:36] Dr. Linda Carli: And what's so amazing about this is that they've done this research, looking at what leads to really good outcomes, like in terms of, the performance of the organization, the leader, the subordinates, the team, and it's this, these qualities that I just described and women actually use these things.
More than men. So go with, I mean, if you think about it, it makes logical sense that women do. It's not that women, I think are intrinsically better leaders. I think what happens is that if you are being scrutinized all over the place and you are being judged on your agency and communion all over the place, you need to figure out a style.
That's going to be very sort of a combination of both. And that is really effective. From trial and error. I think women hate on transformational leadership and use of rewards because it overcomes this challenge of how agentic should I be? How communal should I be? What am I supposed to do? And so women on average are more rewarding and more transformational than men are. So do companies know this? I think more and more they do, but not enough. I don't think they know it enough. Yeah.
[00:18:47] Kriti: So I know that a lot of companies now, like, I think in California, if I'm correct, there's a law that says you have to have X amount of diversity on your board or whatever you need to have like a woman leader. So I feel like a lot of companies are putting women in leadership positions in higher positions and it. Just to fulfill this requirement to check this box. So I was wondering what your thoughts are on this superficial, move that companies are taking because, yes, technically more women are in leadership positions, but the moral.
Ethical why behind it just seems a little disjointed in that sense. So what's your opinion
[00:19:30] Dr. Linda Carli: on that? Well, that's re it's really interesting because this idea of forcing boards to have a lot of women actually grows out of the. The European model, but there are other countries that do it, but the first couple of countries that Nora was the first France and Norway now have 40, they required by law.
40% of boards must be female. These are publicly traded companies. And. Oh, my God, Norway and France was tab one tons of women CEOs. Well, they, they don't, and what happens is the government is trying to impose a will on the companies to do what they think they should be doing, which is to hire women and promote women.
And what happened when they first created the laws, a lot of the companies changed their status, so they weren't publicly traded anymore. So they didn't have to follow the law
yeah. 40% women were going to change. They're not going to change your identity, so one of the, one of the things that happened too was that, and this is also happening in the United States and other countries where they impose a lot, then. They just get a buck, they just get a woman, like, maybe there are, I don't know, in some countries there might be five people on the board and they need one or two women.
They just find a woman or two. It's not, why would that have this profound effect? I can't imagine how it would, so it is kind of like, you're right. It's almost, they're trying to be emblematic of the future, but they're not actually making change and actually change is happening so, so slowly anyway. In the United States, the percentage of women in managerial positions is right about now 45%. It's been about 45% for over two decades. Oh, wow. It's not changing very much. And women on boards, it's now around 27% in the last couple of decades, it was what, 25, 26, big deal. And the same level of change is happening. Other countries really, really slow. In the United States, we have a lot of women CEOs, chief executive officers, the head of the company, right now in the United States, 29% of all CEOs are women. And that sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But some of these are really tiny companies. In fact, in some of these companies, the only employer employee is the woman CEO.
It's a sole proprietorship. So it's very tiny. It's still 29% is, it's impressive. And it's the highest I think, in the world. But the truth is when the companies get bigger and more rich and more powerful, the women. Drop away. Right. And that's true at universities. Like if you have a really high status university, you get fewer women at the top fewer professors.
And so on. It's true in the military. As you go up to the higher level of military rank, if you're a women it's true in the government, it's true. Everywhere. The higher you go, the fewer, the women. So like for example, in the fortune 500 now 7% seven, and that's the highest it's ever been. And it's peddling 93% men, 7% women.
So there's changed, but it's well, I call it glacial, really incremental, slow, and it's crazy because the truth of the matter is that companies actually benefit from having women. Yeah. And if you look at the actual data on this well, I mean, one argument you could make is that women and girls, they score higher on ethics and integrity, but you don't necessarily make money from the company, you just have. Corruption and illegal behavior, but financially companies do better, especially if their company is involved in innovation. So if the company involves innovation and creativity, then having more women on boards and in top management positions predicts future financial performance. Also when you there was one study looking at us companies and they looked at the top, the biggest 3000 companies.
And what they found was that if they have a woman CEO of the company or CFO, which is the chief financial officer. Yeah, exactly. At time one. The stocks initially dropped because everyone freaks out, but they hired a woman and they sell the stock. But then over time, the financial performance goes up and the stock goes up.
So what that indicates is that again, financial performance of companies. When you have women in top positions, these are arguments, I think, for hiring more women and having more women in those positions. Right.
[00:24:16] Kriti: And like, not only do companies benefit from having like women, but if you think about a lot of times, women are innovating to make products that fill this this. A market need that, other women will then consume and women and, young girls, we are the biggest consumer. And we make up the biggest consumer in at least America. So, if you think that, more businesses headed by women will, make it will help the economy in that sense, so I think, I think it's just. It's just kind of sad that we are not able to see past this. Yeah. I was just wondering, because it was, recently in the news, but like you were talking about ethics and, women, I wonder if you know what I'm going to say, but you know, like Elizabeth Holmes and the whole , she was like, she was unethical. And I was wondering if you think this is. Personally I'm sure. I'm sure there's many cases involving men and what they've done with their companies and I don't know of them right now, but like, do you think that this one big issue will maybe. Or li cause a sort of rippling effect on other women who are trying to, get up there and who are leading these companies, if ethical, if being very moral and having good ethics is something that backs
[00:25:45] Dr. Linda Carli: women.
Yeah. Yeah, I think we should. Her case is very interesting because clearly what she did is effect, I mean, it was corrupt. There's no question fraudulent. And it affected the health and wellbeing of real people. When we have companies that have stolen, we have Enron, we have all these companies that have stolen money that the leaders have been corrupt and many of them have gone to jail and so on but you know, there is that company where, you know, the opioids where they made profits and, there are, it's a family, but they're mostly led by men. Lots of people died , many people died. Are they going to go to jail? No, they're not going to go to jail. I think the women are, do help, are held to a higher standard, both of agency and community. So the agency thing, we have so much doubt that women know what they're doing. We want them to prove it. So we need a lot of really good record. We need her to prove her ability, her toughness. And then the communal thing, like if there's any sign of selfish, Lack of compassion, lack of ethics. It's just horrifying. It's a woman. Whereas if it's a man it's like, ah, okay, whatever, he's kind of a crappy person, but okay.
It's offensive, but it seems so much more offensive to people when it is a woman who's doing it. So I think she was. Treated more harshly because she is a woman and people were much more upset with her deceit. I don't think, I think she was fault worthy. I don't think there's any question about that, but I do think women are held to this higher standard and interesting, there is research also on the con when women violate the law laws that are violated by women are more harshly punished, particularly when it's the woman.
Is behaving in a, not in a selfish, harmful way. Like if you violate the law in defense of family or something, it's different, not as a bunch of a problem, but if you highlight what to make money or to manipulate yourself, it's much more problematic for women.
[00:27:47] Kriti: Interesting. So I did want to talk a little bit about, the gender pay gap and how this all kind of stems into the pay gap.
So. Is there like any hard data or what is your belief in that case on having more women leaders in how this can contribute to actually closing the gender pay gap?
[00:28:09] Dr. Linda Carli: There are data on this. So your intuition is absolutely correct. The research shows that when you have more women in senior management positions or on boards, right at, at a particular time and you follow the company over time, you will subsequently have increases at a higher rate of middle managers.
Oh, cool. And CEOs and CFOs, who are women? So the presence of more women at senior levels and on boards increases women at all levels. Okay.
[00:28:41] Kriti: All right. Cause I feel like sometimes there's a drought in terms of like, you'll have a lot of women who are, at the lower levels and then, they'll all point like a few women at the top and then there's like a gap in between sometimes like middle level.
[00:28:57] Dr. Linda Carli: And I think also the other thing that happens is that if you actually have women appointed as CFO or CEO, that leads to more women at the bottom coming up, so pulling more women and also more women on the boards. So it feeds itself. There's like anywhere you place women in leadership roles increases the presence of more women.
So that I think is one absolute finding that women. We don't know the exact mechanisms as it could be role modeling. It could be that the company do it. It could be the mentoring. I mean, we don't know. But you know, it's, and this is tricky research to do because we can't just randomly assign women to be CEOs of companies, which she would like to do, but we can't do so. We have to watch these companies. And wait for a company companies that gain women leaders to see what happens over time. And, but that seems to be the case. Yeah. Interesting.
[00:29:51] Kriti: And so I think we touched on this a while. We did talk a lot about this, this whole like feminine stereotype, but what are your thoughts on how women we tend to gravitate towards, These roles it's, even though we might have the choice or the option of pursuing a role like tech or, medicine or one of these higher paying roles, a lot of times women might be a little bit shy to go to these roles or some sort of experience happened to them when they were at these roles. Like I know like a lot of them who get sexually harassed will leave, obviously leave their job and search for something else, something with more women around them. So what are your kind of thoughts on this, this job stereotype and how, they got less money because of.
[00:30:45] Dr. Linda Carli: I think there are multiple factors that feed into this. And the one thing is that women, it is true that the prescriptive stereotypes that women be communal kind of direct women to certain kinds of careers like nursing or teaching, for example, and these are careers that may be very prestigious and require degrees and so on, but they're not as high paying as a male dominated surgeon or engineer or something like that. But it's not just the woman's choice. It's other things operating too. We know from research on hiring that, and these are experimental studies with cause and effect. We know that people prefer to hire men for male dominated jobs. And this is true as a job, for example, in science or tech or finance or any leadership job, which is by definition, more male dominated.
Even if women and men have equal qualifications, people prefer to hire the man, but that's a problem because the woman may seek out those jobs and not get them. Or she may go into those jobs and not get promoted, which a lot of women leave male dominated professions where the pay is excellent because they just get stuck and they don't move.
They're in finance or they're saying one of the big one is, is computer science women actually at the very beginning of the computer science boom, they were actually lots of women and that's one field where the number of women is going down. So it's oh, it's because it's a horrible environment for women, women go in and there's this bro culture. And they're objected to all kinds of like really demeaning treatment. And it's. It's very hard to put up with it. And so a lot of women just say the hell with this. I'm not putting up with this. I leave, women do go into medicine more, but you know, a lot of times given the stereotype, the pressures and so on, they'll go into something like general practice instead of surgery.
[00:32:38] Kriti: Like my mom is a doctor and she's at the intersection a foreign medical grad and a woman. And sometimes, I mean, this is true for a lot of my friends too, who have parents, like my mom who were in the same situation, but she'll go into, a room and the patient will treat her badly or they'll ask, are you a nurse? Or , what are you doing here? or they won't listen to her advice. And it's like, she tells me these stories and , it just goes back to this whole. Prescriptive stereotype, like you said.
[00:33:10] Dr. Linda Carli: So I think, there's the treatment by clients. If you're a doctor or, if you're in a business, there's the treatment by your supervisors, which may be different there's treatment, just getting the job in the first place. So the tension is that these male dominated jobs pay more. But they're harder to get. Once you get them, you're harder. It's harder to get promoted. And once you're in the gap between men and women in pay is greater, right? So, so they pay better overall, but there's a bigger gap. So it's very frustrating. I can imagine being a woman in a male dominated field where, I mean, I, academia is one example and I'm professor, there is a pay gap. There's a promotion gap. You recognize that that's the case. It's reasonably, well-paying, it's not the greatest paying compared with some other professions, but it's really, it's good pain. It's rewarding. It's very rewarding. You have a lot of autonomy in everything, but you know, I've chosen this high autonomy, high prestige, really hard job. I'm not going to be paid or promoted like a man. That's just the way it is. So it's a little frustrating. I think a lot of women have chosen to go into business for themselves. And that's probably one of the reason you have such a high rate of female CEOs in the United States is because this is an option for them. They can go out, strike out on their own and do their own
[00:34:31] Kriti: company. Right. Exactly. So I want to talk a little bit about COVID-19 and how it affected women in the workforce. And do you think, well, like I want to talk about, pay equity after the real effects of COVID-19, and we've had this whole great resignation and a lot of women have not not gone back or they just stopped working. what are your thoughts on
[00:35:00] Dr. Linda Carli: this at the, of, at the beginning, the first year of COVID, I actually wrote a paper on this. There wasn't a huge amount of research on the subject because obviously we were just starting with the pandemic, but they, there were surveys around the world looking at what was happening to men and men. And how they were being influenced in terms of their work and their family life. And it turns out that COVID has it had the potential to change things in a positive or negative way because suddenly everybody's role is different. Everybody's at home, but it's turned out the COVID has made things actually worse. And what happened during COVID is that both men and women, in most countries , children had to spend some time at home and most when men and women therefore had to spend more time with their children. Right. So there was increased childcare responsibilities in many places to increased other kinds of responsibility, elder care, sick family member care, that kind of thing. All of a sudden that's in your house, right? So you're working from home. You've got domestic responsibilities that have increased children are doing school from home and somebody has to be around monitoring that and making sure they do it well, the surveys around the world show that it is who's our interrupt, their work, many, many more interruptions everyday.
Even if they're working from home the men, tend to say, okay, you take care of it. I'll be, I'll be over here. You take care of it. And maybe after six, I'll take care of it. But you know, the whole day long, the women are interrupted more. They work fewer hours. They spend more time homeschooling and they spend more time with their children. So that is a tremendous loss of human capital there that's interfered. And so initially a lot of women were fired. I mean, there were a lot of women who left right. Then many women were hired back. A lot of women also. And for, for kinds of stressful jobs like working in support, working at restaurants, those kinds of things, working in healthcare. So a lot of nurses in that kind of thing, and they, so now they're stressed out because. They are potentially bringing home a disease to their family. Women are more unhealthy than men, and this is true around the world. Oh, all these women and their studies on the people who were working with sick patients. And your mother probably, the stress levels were astronomical. Like
[00:37:26] Kriti: during the high up, during the height of the pandemic, my mom I'm in a closet right now, but she would literally just stay in this closet. Cause she was getting exposed to COVID patients it was crazy. And, me and my dad and we were just like anywhere, but near her basically.
And she was just mentioned there.
[00:37:45] Dr. Linda Carli: Yeah. It's so they're frightened for themselves. They're frightened for their patients. They're frightened for their families. They have massive hours that they have to work even more during the more than ever. Right. They're working hours. They were doing these surveys. There was depression, there was anxiety, there was burnout. It was just, and you have people leaving the profession now because of it. So. And that was primarily a female workforce that we're talking about and all these healthcare related things and social support related things. Psychotherapy is another example. A lot of women in social work and psychotherapy or women in in like patient facilities, like nursing homes and things like that. Okay. So you have, that's another way that it depends on it. Specifically was a detriment to women. So COVID has been a disaster, unfortunately.
[00:38:36] Kriti: Yeah. And like also just the fact that you would think parenting has become more of a shared role in the past few years. It just seems like it regressed all of the progress that had happened and it just. You know
[00:38:51] Dr. Linda Carli: it back a few years. I think it did set us back, but I also think that parenting is one area where we've made less progress than people realize. I think people think we've made a lot of progress because they see men doing more parenting and there's that men are doing a lot of parenting and much more parenting than ever in the past. There are stay at home men and so on, but there is no country in the world where there's parody and parenting, not even Sweden and Sweden has the most equal division of labor domestically. They have, they have parental leaves.
They have most of the Nordic countries and many other countries. But the men don't. They got tremendous pay. They can work at home. They can stay at home for a year. They don't. So men everywhere are doing more. But the big problem is that the more that men do, the more women do so women are actually doing more childcare today. Than they ever have. I don't know if you're aware of, and I
[00:39:51] Kriti: just really like worried about their chill treasure.
[00:39:55] Dr. Linda Carli: We don't really fully understand what's going on. But what we know is that if you look at in the United States, we have this in other countries too. We have this way of collecting data on how people spend their time. And there are these time diaries where you sit down. On a particular day or particular, we can you write down exactly how you spend your hours and they collect them over time and they look at how people in the country spend time. And they're very representative of the population. So we know that women today spend more time in one-on-one childcare than women in 1965 in 1965 most women did not work outside the home. So here they're at home with their kids and they had bigger families almost.
[00:40:39] Kriti: Yeah. They'd have a lot of
[00:40:40] Dr. Linda Carli: children and yet they're spending more time now. So what does that mean? I mean, think about the logic. If you have half the number of children and you have a job and you're still spending more hours than someone in 1965, how do you do you do it?
It's called it's called intensive parenting. Interesting. And initially when they first observed this intensive parenting thing, they thought it was just the U S it's not, it's basically all Western countries around the world. As soon as families have fewer children. And they might have just a couple of one or two. Those children become the focus of intense adult attention.
[00:41:21] Kriti: I think I'm one of those case studies. I'm an only child. And I
[00:41:25] Dr. Linda Carli: definitely think that's tough. And here, I think it's funny because when you start talking about this, people respond like, oh yeah, that's me. That's me. That's me and my kid or whatever, yeah. And it's really interesting, but it's especially true for women who are well-educated and highly high achieving and very successful. So very women who want to be leaders, right? If you are a high performing perfectionistic, successful woman, right?
You want everything to be. You want your job to be great. You want your relationships to be great and you want your kid, right? You can see these smaller families that resulted in like so much attention to this kid. I think know some people call it helicopter parenting, but it starts even for the helicopter and through the whole thing.
Right. And this is the women choosing it's really the women, the women and the men, both, but especially the women. No matter what the men do they could spend. And the men are actually spending a lot more hours. The men are spending much more hours than 1965, but the women are spending even more, no matter what the men do, that women will beat them.
So these kids are, oh my gosh, are they getting to pick renters? It's the hot thing to do, right? You have fewer kids, but boy, there. Right.
[00:42:47] Kriti: That's interesting. I feel like it's also just like women. They just want to spend a lot of time also with children, especially when you have fewer children,, you can, spend more time with your child in that sense.
It's not spread over. Like, that's interesting.
[00:43:03] Dr. Linda Carli: It is very interesting. I think about myself, my mother growing up, she used to say to us, Get out of the house and leave me alone. You're annoying me, yeah. I never did that with my son. He's 29. I never did that. I would be like, come here, making sure his life was good, so many choices. And you know what I mean? It's, it's really interesting because even though I know this research, it didn't stop me. I didn't
[00:43:34] Kriti: click or interesting. I really loved, talking to you. And I think I learned so much about, women's leadership and this role it has in the workforce. And, obviously there's a lot of work still to be done. But I think lastly, what is your advice to your 17 year old self?
[00:43:53] Dr. Linda Carli: Well, I would say. Just because other people doubt you don't doubt yourself except the fact that you are going to fail a lot and don't give up persist in the face of setbacks. And I think. Hi. I see high-achieving women are really concerned about being perfect all the time. You're not going to be perfect. You are not gonna be able to Crow control everything. That's okay. What you need to do is carve out a place where you really can Excel and be your best and really focus your efforts in this one place and work really hard and you can succeed.
You don't have to be perfect.
[00:44:29] Kriti: Yeah. I think that's amazing advice. A good end to our discussion. Women have a bunch of amazing qualities to them and we don't have to be everything, like you said, going back, we are going to face a lot of obstacles and failure and failure, but, I think there's a lot of work being done on, closing the pay gap. So thank you so much. Dr. Carly for coming on the podcast today, it was great to have you here.
[00:44:54] Dr. Linda Carli: Thank you for.
[00:44:56] Kriti: So that's the end of the interview. And I really love talking to Dr. Carli and the work she's done on gender. The workforce and progression is really fascinating for more information on Dr.
Carly. I have her website linked in the episode description. Thanks for listening. And I can't wait to talk to you next time!
Dr. Carli's website: https://www.wellesley.edu/psychology/faculty/carli