After 20 years of blogging, learning to do academic research was a steep learning curve. People told me to ask for help from professors at Harvard because they’d feel obligated to help me because I’m at Harvard as well. In fact most did not even feel obligated to reply to my email. But Claudia replied.

She told me what I was asking for was best accomplished with an econometrics grad student and gave me some ideas. So basically I asked a professor who was six months away from winning the Nobel Prize in economics if she wanted to be my grad student.

But really, now we know how much Claudia Goldin helped people throughout her career.

Is there an equation for how many times I’ve cited Claudia Goldin’s research on my blog to determine how brilliant I am about women in the workforce? When I called Melissa to tell her Claudia won the Nobel Prize Melissa immediate recognized the name as the one she cuts when she edits because I drop Claudia into every post I write.

I think my blog is like a Claudia Goldin book club. Each week we read blog posts that are in some way about her research. Sometimes we talk about policy. Sometimes we make it all about us. Sometimes  we’d read a bit of her book, or read a nod to her research at Jezebel . But Claudia’s been with us the whole time

When I first started reading her, I wrote about The End of the Glass Ceiling. In 2005. People thought I was nuts, but I was hooked. I trusted Claudia’s research. The same year I cited her when I wrote you can’t get respect for work and for parenting, right after I had a baby. And it was Claudia’s research, in 2006, that made me realize most high-earning women quit after maternity leave and we should just own it.

Claudia would never tell people what to do. She’s not like that. But I am.

So I told you in 2013 don’t be the breadwinner. Because Claudia showed that if you have a stay-at-home husband you’re likely to get a divorce. In 2016 Claudia found that even paying professional women more than men could not get women to keep working after they had kids. So I ranted about don’t pay for an MBA or law school or medical school when you won’t even stay in the workforce long enough to pay back loans.

People always ask me, “How do you know that my job is stupid job if you don’t know what I do?”

And I say, “Because you told me that your husband works full time and makes a lot of money and you’re also the primary caretaker of the kids.”

That’s Claudia Goldin right there. She won a Nobel Prize for showing us that it’s impossible to have two parents doing “greedy jobs” — which is her term for jobs that are serious enough to earn the parent respect. Because if both people have greedy jobs then no one is parenting.

The other thing people say to me is, “I have a friend who has a great career and she’s a great parent.”

And I say, “No you don’t. She’s lying to you.”

I started calling out the liars. Claudia’s data gives me confidence to go one step further and say to women no, you are not an exception, stop posturing to other women. Stop pretending to be superhuman to make other women feel bad.

Let’s pause right there and let it sink in. Someone just won a Nobel Prize in economics for saying that you can either be a high performer in your career or a good parent but you can’t be both. This is revolutionary.  It’s important because we have known since the 1960s that parents who can manage on one income should have one parent stay home.

So why does the second parent work if we have fifty years of research saying the second parent shouldn’t work? Emily Oster, an economist who writes about parenting, cites this study in her first book, Crib Sheet. In the book she writes that she knows the research and she doesn’t care, because parenting is not as interesting to her as work.

It takes a special person to go to work when everyone knows the family does not need the extra income. Goldin shows that the majority of women, even the very educated of those women, choose to drop out of the workforce because they know they can’t be a good mother and also be good at their job. Whatever good might mean to them, they know they can’t be good at both.

I say this as a parent who did everything wrong. I wanted to have a really interesting career and I wanted to be very involved with the kids. And there was no room for my marriage. I wanted to get everything. Be everything. And be respected for everything. And that’s probably why I’ve been entranced by Claudia Goldin for 20 years.

I see Claudia’s research as a celebration of humanity. She traces women’s rights from the 60s and 70s where almost 50% equity was achieved, through the 80s where women fought for a lot more. So by the time Generation X (my generation) got to the workforce we felt mostly equal.

Her research resonates with us because my generation didn’t want to fight. We wanted to raise our kids. All her data now validates us, because we lived counter to what the baby boomers were doing yet had no voice of our own. She discovered that the more power women have the less women want to work.

Claudia Goldin is so ahead of her time. She is so post-feminist. And her Nobel Prize is a celebration of what can happen when we are committed to elevating each other. And trusting the data.

I was an early adopter of a bad attitude toward Chief — as soon as they announced they’re “a network of 2000 female executives on their way up.” I don’t think there are 2000 women in all of corporate America who want to climb up the ranks to be CEO. Read more

The Bureau of Labor says that by 2026 we will be short 1.2 million engineers. Right now, the majority of developers are men. So presumably it’s a crisis that women are not in STEM.

Microsoft is thinking that filling the funnel with girls is the way forward. Microsoft decides the Wonder Woman movie has a female protagonist, so girls will identify with her. And Microsoft announces it will solve this engineering shortfall with Wonder Woman. Coding lessons for girls! Turn your tech skills into superpowers!

But the majority of people who saw the Wonder Woman movie were male. And, the majority of those viewers were ages 25-44. So Microsoft targeted girls who want to code with a character from a movie only 2% of girls saw.

Which is because it’s likely based on a porn fantasy. But whatever, as a gimmick for coding, Wonder Woman was a huge failure. Luckily we don’t need Microsoft to encourage girls to write code because girls do as well as boys in grade-school coding classes. And girls do as well as boys in computer science courses in college, but girls don’t stay in the major. They don’t like it.

A study from Accenture shows why: girls aren’t interested in the abstraction. “The content of coding projects is typically less engaging for girls, who often prefer health and real-world problem-solving challenges.”

This study is consistent with a study that asked Harvard Business School students what motivated them, and what was the best part of their work experience. Male students were more likely to say they were motivated by competition and female students were more likely to say they were motivated by collaboration.

Stuart Reges teaches computer science at University of Washington and he shows that women and men coded at the same rate until the 80s, when women began to have other professional opportunities. Now, Reges says that after decades of all sorts of initiatives, women are no more than 20% of tech workers in any country, even in societies with otherwise remarkable gender equity.

Finally, research also shows that the less power a woman has in society, the more likely she is to choose STEM. So instead of assuming girls are oppressed and therefore do not code, why not assume girls use their power to choose not to code?

Jacquelynne Eccles found that women primarily choose non-STEM careers because they have strengths that men often lack. Eccles found that if someone has high math skills and only moderate verbal skills, the person will choose a career in STEM. However if they have high math skills and high verbal skills, the person will choose a non-STEM career. Female math students were of course more likely to be in the group with high verbal skills. Eccles concludes that women who are good at math shift away from STEM because they have so many more career opportunities than men who are good at math.

Encouraging women to go into STEM is a waste of money. Any woman who wants to can study STEM. No one is stopping women. Women are choosing not to. So stop trying to get more women to go into STEM and just leave the women alone.

What we do need from the world is marketing that gives girls credit for making good choices. The real superheroes are the ones actually listening to girls, instead of telling girls that their goals aren’t the right ones.

Companies that have both men and women in high-level positions see improvements in productivity, innovation, safety, and profitability. Yet the number of women with jobs at the top is still decreasing.

You know why you would not want one of those jobs: 80-hour weeks, monthly travel, other people raising your children. But I wonder if you know the incredible lengths a company will go to attract and keep a woman who has reached a top position. These are stories I hear from women I coach and companies who hire me to recruit the type of women I coach. Read more

This week at the US Open Serena Williams drew attention to sexist rules governing women’s attire by wearing a tutu on the court. It turned out this was the perfect outfit for her final match.  Read more

I am so sick of people telling me I don’t have Asperger’s syndrome. I am also so sick of people not listening to me when I tell them their daughter has Asperger’s.

Women who have Asperger’s do not look like men who have Asperger’s. Men who have Asperger’s look like socially incompetent men. Women who have Asperger’s look like neurotypical men. Of course, this is just a nice way of saying that women with Asperger’s are incompetent women. But the truth is that neurotypical men still look like social outcasts compared to neurotypical women. Read more

Maybe you have not said all of these phrases, but you have said one of these, and you need to own up to it. Because all the #metoos of the world are not going to change things without you taking personal responsibility for the ways you put down other women. Read more

I’m in the Houston airport waiting to fly home and I am sad that I’m not with my kids. It doesn’t feel fun to fly around the country making deals when you have a home life that depends on you. Which is why most women who have control over their lives don’t travel for work. Read more

Melissa is not going to move in with the next guy she dates. Even though Melissa and I are both completely incompetent at all things social, we can see that Melissa has moved in with three guys who were never going to marry her. So part of her new dating plan is she has to stop doing that. Read more