Gender, Power, Leadership, and the Workplace

A photograph of a group of women sit on the ground nursing their babies.

During an International Women's Day demonstration in Valencia, Spain, women gathered to collectively breastfeed to advocate for their rights as working mothers. (Image courtesy of Amadeu Sanz on Flickr. CC NC-BY-SA.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2014



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Course Features

Course Description

This course will provide students with an analytic framework to understand the roles that gender, race, and class play in defining and determining access to leadership and power in the U.S., especially in the context of the workplace. We will explore women and men in leadership positions within the corporate, political and non-profit sectors, with attention to the roles of women of color and immigrant women within this context. We will also look at specific policies such as affirmative action, parental leave, child-care policy, and working-time policies and the role they play–or could play–in achieving parity. We will further investigate ways in which these policies address gender, racial, and class inequities, and think critically about mechanisms for change. The course will be highly interactive, and will combine texts, theater, videos and visual arts.

Fried, Mindy. WGS.S10 Gender, Power, Leadership, and the Workplace, Spring 2014. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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