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This essay analyzes the transcript of Lawrence Summers' remarks to the January 14 Conference on Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce. The purpose of a close textual analysis is to develop understanding of the firestorm unleashed by Summers' remarks. Which aspects of his remarks were so incendiary and what can be learned from them? In particular, the essay explores possible sources of Summers' stated hypotheses about gender differences that contribute to women's underrepresentation in certain fields. It also explores the material consequences of these hypotheses in women's lives to highlight the interconnection between such beliefs and discriminatory behavior. The overall goal of this analysis is to contribute to a broader and deeper understanding of the relationships between gender, culture, and work and to promote a responsible approach to both diversity discourse and diversity itself.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
8 Sep 2022
111 kB



  • Subject
    • Gender

    • Labor and Employment Law

    • Law and Society

    • Science and Technology Law

  • Journal title
    • Cardozo Women's Law Journal

  • Volume
    • 11

  • Pagination
    • 569-576

  • Date submitted

    8 September 2022

  • Keywords