Gender equality is one of the most important transformations of the last century. Not only a matter of rights, but gender equality also has positive consequences for economic growth and business. Although academic research on gender-related issues is growing in the field of social science, gender gaps and female under-representation in the labour market remain widespread throughout the world. There is general agreement in society and among stakeholders, such as firms, institutions, associations and the media, that policy intervention is needed to push for the reduction of gender gaps in economics and politics.
Progressive gender policies can initiate a virtuous cycle in which measures promoting equality and female empowerment lead to a new role for women in decision-making positions, which in turn facilitates actions and decisions favouring gender equality. Rigorous research is needed to identify these measures and develop appropriate policy responses.
The AXA Research Lab on Gender Equality at Bocconi University aims to improve our understanding of gender gaps and how to reduce them by examining the risks and opportunities for women in the economy through three simultaneous research streams.
The first stream will apply quantitative analysis to examine the under-representation of women in STEM disciplines and design lab experiments to demonstrate how culture matters when it comes to choosing STEM over other disciplines. The second research stream will use policy-evaluation techniques to identify the causal effects women can have on policy outcomes, such as firm performance, policy agenda, and public spending. It will also analyse differences in leadership styles between men and women. The third research stream will focus on developing measures and policies designed to close the gender gap.
Led by Professor Paola Profeta, Associate Professor of Public Economics at Bocconi University, and including a multidisciplinary team of young social sciences scholars, the Lab will develop interdisciplinary research, including quantitative econometric techniques for macro-level and micro-level data, policy evaluation techniques, lab experiments, and randomized control trials. This cutting-edge research will enhance the value of gender-balanced leadership in business, promote a gender-equal culture, and create measurable progress that will ultimately contribute to the development of a more gender-equal society and economy.
The AXA Lab on Gender Equality is a partnership between AXA Italy, Bocconi University and the AXA Research Fund.