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Does achieving gender equality only benefit women? Are gender quotas thwarting meritocracy? Are women more risk averse than men? If you think you know the answers to these questions, then think again! Busted is an audio podcast series that busts prominent myths surrounding gender and the economy by teaming up with leading experts in the field. We uncover the origins of each myth and give you the tools to bust each myth yourself!

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Episode 14: Myth: Accessibility is optional

Accessibility is about making information, resources, activities, and environments, well, accessible. That means that everyone should be able to engage with these things with minimal effort and as meaningfully as possible. Countries around the world including Canada and the US have adopted accessibility laws, but there’s still a huge disconnect between how important this issue is and how much attention it receives. Many people don’t think about accessibility at all. Or if they do, they think of it as a nice-to-have that’s kind of optional or that’s it’s just about accommodations and modification to physical space.

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Episode 13: Myth: Care work is women’s work

Care work is foundational to societies and to humanity. But even though everyone needs care, care work and those who provide it are often ignored, trivialized, or devalued. Why? Part of the reason is that care work is gendered: there’s a myth that care work is women’s work and that women just have the natural skill to be carers. In this episode, experts share research that shows that caring for others is a skill that anyone can and should learn – and if everyone participated in care, we could have more empathetic, healthier societies and relationships.

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Episode 12: Special Episode–Dr. Sarah Kaplan on the gender pay gap 

What causes the gender pay gap? Is it just because women are choosing lower-paying jobs? Are they just not qualified enough to make higher salaries? Think again. There are structural and historical dynamics that lead to unequal outcomes we observe in pay today. This episode with GATE founder, Dr. Sarah Kaplan, delves into how labour market biases influences the gender pay gap. 

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Episode 11: Special EpisodeDr. Tina Opie on Shared Sisterhood 

How can we make meaningful progress on equity and inclusion? Now that we’ve busted many different myths about gender and the economy, you might be wondering about more concrete steps you can take to change inequality in your workplace and daily life. On this special episode, Dr. Tina Opie shares three practices for dismantling systemic inequities from her book Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work, co-authored with Dr. Beth A. Livingston. This special episode was written and produced by the team at our sister podcast, Rotman Visiting Experts. 


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Episode 10 – Myth: Gender-based violence is a private issue

Overview: There’s a perception that gender-based violence (GBV) only happens in the home, and that means it’s a private matter, just for families or partners to deal with. This is a misconception that can keep survivors from reporting violence and finding support. Gender-based violence is a human rights violation that encompasses many types of actions including harassment, assault, manipulation, and abuse. It can happen anywhere, including in workplaces, schools, and public spaces, and has significant consequences for all of society. In this episode, we hear from experts from different organizations working against gender-based violence to understand why it is not a private issue but something that everyone should be working to address.

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Episode 9 – Special Episode – Busting Myths on Remote Work and Inequality

Since the pandemic, remote work has become much more commonplace, especially for knowledge workers. While it has many advantages for workers, remote work isn’t going to mitigate inequality unless organizations implement it purposefully and with the intention to prioritize well-being and equity for workers. This episode delves into the effects of remote work on workplace inequality and makes suggestions for better workplaces for all. This special episode was written and produced by Rotman Executive Summary and features GATE’s director, Sarah Kaplan, and Senior Research Associate Carmina Ravanera.

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Episode 8 – Myth – Women don’t negotiate

If women just negotiated more, maybe they’d close the gender pay gap, right? Think again. While some popular media has characterized women as just needing to step up and ask for more to change inequality, research shows that when they do negotiate, they often face backlash for going against gender norms. In this episode, we discuss how people of different social groups experience different responses when they try to negotiate – and how women negotiate in many different ways beyond just for pay.

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Episode 7 – Myth – Good leadership is masculine leadership 

What makes a good leader? When you hear this question, do you think about traits like assertiveness, ambition, and determination?  A lot of people may be surprised to realize that as a society, we often associate good leadership with stereotypically masculine traits. In fact, a range of different traits—including both stereotypically masculine and feminine traits—make effective leaders. This episode delves into the myth that good leadership is masculine leadership and explores how we can facilitate more diverse and representative leaders across our workplaces and our societies.  

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Episode 6 – Myth: Gender inequality has a one-size-fits-all solution

What is intersectionality, anyway? We’ll demystify it in this episode–and delve into the myth that gender inequality can have a one-size-fits-all solution. Intersectionality shows us how we need to consider how our different social identities such as race, gender, religion, Indigeneity, immigrant status, disability, and sexual identity all intersect to play a significant role in how we experience the world. So, rather than creating policies, services, and research that homogenize people, we need to make sure we apply intersectionality—or we risk leaving people behind. 

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Episode 1 – Myth: Gender Equality Only Benefits Women

Conversations around gender equality tend to focus on the significant barriers to resources and opportunities that women face. As a result of this focus, there is a pervasive myth that gender equality will only benefit women. Yet, contrary to this myth, gender equality benefits everyone. All people grapple with gender roles and stereotypes. We bust this myth with leading experts to show how, faster child development, greater peace, and economic prosperity are related to gender equality!

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Episode 2 Myth: Gender quotas thwart meritocracy

The issue of whether to implement gender quotas for leadership positions, boards, political parties, and other groups is hotly debated. Some have argued that quotas are necessary to push gender equality forward and create a more level playing field. Others believe that implementing quotas gives an unfair advantage to women who do not deserve these positions: if they did deserve them, they would achieve them on their own merit. In other words, they perceive that gender quotas thwart meritocracy. We bust this myth with leading experts to show how quotas can actually be more beneficial than harmful.

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Episode 3 Myth: It’s Not Us, It’s the Pipeline

There is a common belief that women are underrepresented in fields dominated by men, such as in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors, because there are just not enough women in the pipeline. Some have argued that women choose not to enter these careers because they simply have different preferences or aspirations. In turn, this implies that companies and firms do not have responsibility for a lack of gender diversity. However, this is a myth. A substantial number of women are qualified to work in fields dominated by men. For instance, in 2015 in Canada, women accounted for 43% of university graduates from STEM programs. Yet, women with STEM degrees are less likely than men with the same degrees to work in science and technology occupations. We bust this myth with leading experts to show that companies and firms need to take more action to make STEM fields more equitable and less gender-segregated.

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Episode 4 Myth: Women Are More Risk-Averse Than Men

Popular discourse tends to depict women as less likely than men to take risks. Christine LaGarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, famously implied that women make less risky financial decisions when she stated that the financial crisis of 2008 would not have occurred “if it had been Lehman Sisters rather than Lehman Brothers”. But are women really more risk-averse than men? Research has in fact shown that men and women are more similar in their risk preferences than commonly believed. We bust this myth with leading experts to show that women may act more risk-averse only because of gender norms that place expectations on them to do so.

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Episode 5 Myth: Sexual Harassment is a Women’s Issue and a Result of Sexual Desire

Sexual harassment is often portrayed as an issue that only concerns women, where women are victims of harassment because they were “asking for it” through their behaviours or dress. This portrayal puts the onus on women to stop harassment by simply changing their actions. . Yet, sexual harassment is not a “women’s issue” in the sense that victims can be of any gender and perpetrators tend to be men. This perception also ignores the reality that sexual harassment is often about having power and control over someone else. We bust this common myth to show that it is imperative that the social norms that drive harassment and toxic work cultures are addressed instead of blaming the actions of women

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