Virginia Valian

Virginia Valian is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics, and Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences at Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Why So Slow: The Advancement of Women and coauthor of An Inclusive Academy: Achieving Diversity and Excellence (both published by the MIT Press).

  • An Inclusive Academy

    An Inclusive Academy

    Achieving Diversity and Excellence

    Abigail J. Stewart and Virginia Valian

    How colleges and universities can live up to their ideals of diversity, and why inclusivity and excellence go hand in hand.

    Most colleges and universities embrace the ideals of diversity and inclusion, but many fall short, especially in the hiring, retention, and advancement of faculty who would more fully represent our diverse world—in particular women and people of color. In this book, Abigail Stewart and Virginia Valian argue that diversity and excellence go hand in hand and provide guidance for achieving both.

    Stewart and Valian, themselves senior academics, support their argument with comprehensive data from a range of disciplines. They show why merit is often overlooked; they offer statistics and examples of individual experiences of exclusion, such as being left out of crucial meetings; and they outline institutional practices that keep exclusion invisible, including reliance on proxies for excellence, such as prestige, that disadvantage outstanding candidates who are not members of the white male majority.

    Perhaps most important, Stewart and Valian provide practical advice for overcoming obstacles to inclusion. This advice is based on their experiences at their own universities, their consultations with faculty and administrators at many other institutions, and data on institutional change. Stewart and Valian offer recommendations for changing structures and practices so that people become successful in ways that benefit everyone. They describe better ways of searching for job candidates; evaluating candidates for hiring, tenure, and promotion; helping faculty succeed; and broadening rewards and recognition.

    • Hardcover $29.95
  • Why So Slow?

    Why So Slow?

    The Advancement of Women

    Virginia Valian

    Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women.

    Why do so few women occupy positions of power and prestige? Virginia Valian uses concepts and data from psychology, sociology, economics, and biology to explain the disparity in the professional advancement of men and women. According to Valian, men and women alike have implicit hypotheses about gender differences—gender schemas—that create small sex differences in characteristics, behaviors, perceptions, and evaluations of men and women. Those small imbalances accumulate to advantage men and disadvantage women. The most important consequence of gender schemas for professional life is that men tend to be overrated and women underrated.

    Valian's goal is to make the invisible factors that retard women's progress visible, so that fair treatment of men and women will be possible. The book makes its case with experimental and observational data from laboratory and field studies of children and adults, and with statistical documentation on men and women in the professions. The many anecdotal examples throughout provide a lively counterpoint.

    • Hardcover $35.00
    • Paperback $35.00