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Women, Law and Leadership: Research

Helping to Move Global and National Policy Development in the field of Women's Leadership and Gender Equality

Additional Resources and Research from Penn Law and Beyond

The following institutes and groups are conducting important research in the field of leadership, gender equality, and diversity. Reports, projects and compendia on these topics are highlighted below.

Bending the Arc of the Moral Universe: Three Essays on Moral Leadership

Student Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the Women Peace and Security Agenda

A Gender Equality Map

Global Women’s Leadership Project - UN Women’s Family Law Database

WAPPP (Harvard Kennedy School) - Gender Action Portal

Gender Action Portal

The Gender Action Portal (GAP) by the Women and Public Policy Program of Harvard Kennedy School  is a collection of summarized research evaluating the impact of specific policies, strategies, and organizational practices to close gender gaps in the areas of economic opportunity, politics, health, and education. GAP focuses on experimental approaches to evaluate policies – both in the field and in the laboratory – and draws from multiple disciplines, including economics, psychology, and organizational behavior. GAP serves as an online tool for decision makers across sectors to utilize evidence-based research in order to create better informed policies and procedures.

Thomson Reuters - Transforming Women's Leadership in the Law

Transforming Women's Leadership in the Law

The content on Thomson Reuters' Transforming Women’s Leadership in the Law page will highlight organizations’ successes in removing barriers to the advancement women and spotlight some of the most powerful women in law, business, government and academia, who will share their experience of their rise to the top.

The goal of our new initiative is:

  • To curate conversations between law firms and general counsels to discuss the barriers that hinder women’s advancement.
  • To enhance connections between senior women in law firms and corporate counsel offices.
  • To enable law firms and business to explore, identify and implement solutions to remove structural and organizational obstacles that impede women’s advancement.

World Bank - Women, Business and the Law

Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform 

Women, Business and the Law (WBL) is a World Bank Group project collecting unique data on the laws and regulations that restrict women's economic opportunities. WBL provides new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination by examining ten years of Women, Business and the Law data.

World Bank - Compendia of International and National Legal Frameworks

Compendia of International and National Legal Frameworks

Law and legal frameworks are a foundation to ensuring that solid institutions and policies are built to help countries tackle their most pressing development challenges. These in turn help alter norms and behaviors that favor progressive development outcomes, benefitting women and men equally across all fields and improving societies at large. But many challenges remain across countries, with issues such as child marriage, female genital mutilation, and domestic violence remaining prevalent as various forms of gender-based violence. How can countries improve their laws and policies to addressing these forms of GBV? What exists and remains to be done across countries in order to improve the legal frameworks that would tackle these issues?

Spearheaded by the World Bank Legal Vice Presidency, the compendia of international and national legal frameworks are a set of practical tools that not only inform about existing laws, but also provide a baseline to help countries identify opportunities to intensify their fight across these areas of focus.

World Economic Forum - Global Gender Gap Report 2020

Mind the 100 Year Gap: World Bank Global Gender Gap Report 2020

None of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children. That’s the sobering finding of the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, which reveals that gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years.

McKinsey and Co. - Women in Law Firms

Women in Law Firms 2017

Law firms have many of the right policies and programs in place to improve gender diversity, but more can be done to translate stated commitments into measurable outcomes.

As part of our broader Women in the Workplace 2017 research, we conducted a deep dive on women in law firms in North America. The survey finds that law firms are taking important steps to increase gender equality. They are providing senior-leadership support to advance attorneys’ careers and offering programs that provide flexibility and address major work-life balance issues.

McKinsey & Co. - Women in the Workplace

Women in the Workplace 2019

This year marks the fifth year of our research on women in the workplace, conducted in partnership with LeanIn.Org. We look back on data and insights since 2015 from close to 600 companies that participated in the study, more than a quarter of a million people that were surveyed on their workplace experiences, and more than 100 in-depth one-on-one interviews that were conducted. 

McKinsey & Co. - The Power of Parity: Advancing Women’s Equality in Africa

The Power of Parity: Advancing Women's Equality in Africa (2019)

This report explores the “power of parity” for Africa, looking at the potential boost to economic growth that could come from accelerating progress toward gender equality. It builds on MGI’s global research on this topic since 2015 and further develops the thinking contained in McKinsey’s long-established research on women in leadership roles and, in particular, its report Women Matter Africa published in 2016.

Deborah L. Rhode - Women and Leadership

Iris Bohnet - What Works: Gender Equality by Design

Top Law Reviews 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment Publication

Women and Law a Publication by the Top 16 Law Schools

A series of essays compiled by the top 16 law reviews commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment as well as the first time all the editors-in-chief at the flagship law reviews of the top 16 law schools in the country were all women. The writers we've their personal experience to underscore their individual journey as well as the impact gender has had in the pursuit of their careers.