Faculty Profiles

Sarah Thébaud
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. 2010, Cornell University
Research Interests

Why Do Gender Inequalities Persist in Economic Development, Work and Families?

Despite large-scale social changes over the last several decades, gender is still a key factor that influences who generates economic growth as an entrepreneur, who does the housework, and who leads scientific discoveries. The central goal of my research is to identify and understand the social processes that reproduce particularly persistent forms of inequality like these. My analytic strategy centers on making theoretical connections between micro-level social psychological processes and macro-level institutional structures. To this end, I employ multiple methodologies, including experimental studies, large-scale survey analysis, cross-national comparisons and in-depth interviews.  

My primary line of research focuses on gender inequality in entrepreneurship and innovation. Three studies on this topic suggest that social policies and widely shared cultural beliefs about gender work together to structure the context in which individuals a) perceive business ownership as a viable labor market option and b) gain legitimacy and support for their business idea. In a follow-up project, I am investigating how the financial crisis impacted investment rates for men and women-run start-ups. In other work, I consider how norms of masculinity, social policies, and stereotypic beliefs about men's and women's abilities matter for understanding phenomena such as the household division of labor, the formation of gender ideologies, and men’s overrepresentation in academic science and engineering.

Selected Publications:

Thébaud, Sarah. 2015. (Published online; Forthcoming). “Status Beliefs and the Spirit of Capitalism: Accounting for Gender Biases in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.” Social Forces.

Pedulla, David S. and Sarah Thébaud (equal authorship). 2015. “Can We Finish the Revolution? Gender, Work-Family Ideals, and Institutional Constraint.” American Sociological Review. 80(1):116-139.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2013. “Entrepreneurship.” Pp. 251-254 in Sociology of Work: An Encyclopedia edited by Vicki Smith. Sage Publications.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2011. “Social Policies and Entrepreneurship: Institutional Foundations of Gender Gaps across 24 Countries.” Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2010. “Gender and Entrepreneurship as a Career Choice: Do Self-Assessments of Ability Matter?” Social Psychology Quarterly 73(2): 288-304.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2010. “Masculinity, Bargaining and Breadwinning: Understanding Men’s Housework in the Cultural Context of Paid Work.” Gender & Society 24 (3): 330-354. 

Cha, Youngjoo and Sarah Thébaud (equal authorship). 2009. “Labor Markets, Breadwinning, and Beliefs: How Economic Context Shapes Men’s Gender Ideology.” Gender & Society 23 (2): 215-243.

Correll, Shelley J., Sarah Thébaud and Stephen Benard. 2007. “An Introduction to the Social Psychology of Gender”. Pp. 1-18 in Shelley J. Correll, ed., Social Psychology of Gender (Advances in Group Processes Volume 24) New York: Elsevier.

Recent Op-Eds

Huffington Post, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune

Invited Blogposts

The Society Pages

Gender & Society


Teaching Areas

SOC 290C: Graduate Professional Development Seminar

SOC 196H: Honors Practicum

SOC 108A: Research Traditions

SOC 245A: Graduate Gender Seminar

SOC 185G: Theories of Gender and Inequality

Course Listing

Contact Information

Social Sciences and Media Studies Bldg 3129
office hours
Th 2:00-4:00pm