Faculty Profiles

Sarah Thébaud
Associate 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.  

In recent and ongoing projects on the topic of gender inequality in entrepreneurship, I investigate how work-family policies and widely shared cultural stereotypes 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. I also identify certain macroeconomic trends—such as the Great Recession—that may affect the prevalence of gender bias in entrepreneurial lending. In other work, I consider how organizational policies and practices, gender norms, and stereotypic beliefs about men's and women's abilities matter for understanding phenomena such as the household division of labor, gendered patterns of hiring and workplace authority, and men’s overrepresentation in academic science and engineering.

Selected Publications:

Doering, Laura and Sarah Thébaud. 2017. “The Effects of Gendered Occupational Roles on Men's and Women's Workplace Authority: Evidence from Microfinance.” American Sociological Review 82(3):542-567.

Kuwabara, Ko and Sarah Thébaud. 2017. “When Beauty Doesn’t Pay: Gender and Beauty Biases among Entrepreneurs in a Peer-to-peer Loan Market.” Social Forces 95(4):1371-1398. 

Weeden, Kim A., Sarah Thébaud, and Dafna Gelbgiser. 2017. “Degrees of Difference: Gender Segregation of US Doctorates by Field and Institutional Prestige.” Sociological Science 4:123-150.

Thébaud, Sarah and David S. Pedulla. (equal authorship). 2016. “Masculinity and the Stalled Revolution: How Gender Ideologies and Norms Shape Young Men’s Responses to Work-Family Policies.” Gender & Society  30(4): 590-617. 

Thébaud, Sarah and Amanda J. Sharkey. 2016. “Unequal Hard Times: The Influence of The Great Recession on Gender Bias in Entrepreneurial Investment Markets.” Sociological Science 3:1-31.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2016. “Passing up the Job: The Role of Gendered Organizations and Families in the Entrepreneurial Career Process.” Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. 

Thébaud, Sarah. 2015. “Business as Plan B? Institutional Foundations of Gender Inequality in Entrepreneurship across 24 Industrialized Countries.” Administrative Science Quarterly 60(4):671-711.

Thébaud, Sarah. 2015. “Status Beliefs and the Spirit of Capitalism: Accounting for Gender Biases in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.” Social Forces 94: 61-86.

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. 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.

Policy Briefs, Press Articles, and Blogposts

LSE USAPP, LSE Business Review, Council on Contemporary Families, Fortune

Newsweek, The New Republic

World Economic Forum, Huffington Post

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
R 9:00-11:00am