UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


From Pink-Collar to Lab Coat: Cultural Persistence and Diffusion of Socialist Gender Norms

21 October 2022, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

A Woman in a Black Shirt Holding Pliers

A SSEES CCSEE seminar with Prof Claudia Senik (University Paris-Sorbonne)

This event is free.

Event Information

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230 Daryll Forde Seminar Room
14 Taviton Street

In this seminar, Prof. Senik will present her work on documenting the persistence and transmission of the Soviet unconventional gender norms, both vertically across generations of immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel, and horizontally through neighborhood and school peer effects. We identify the persistence of two important features of the Soviet culture among young Israeli women: the prioritization of science and technology, and the strong female attachment to paid-work. Women born in the FSU who immigrated in infancy are significantly more likely than natives and other immigrants to major in STEM in high school. In tertiary education, they remain over-represented in STEM, but specifically avoid of “pink collar” study fields with a work-life balance more committed to paid work. Finally, the choice patterns of native women shift towards STEM and away from traditional female study fields as the share of FSU immigrants in their lower-secondary school increases. The working paper can be found here.


Prof Claudia Senik was born in Paris, France, in 1964. A former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Ulm), she wrote her PhD thesis at DELTA (EHESS). She is now full Professor at the University Paris-Sorbonne and Research Fellow at Paris School of Economics. Her main research interest is the micro-econometric analysis of income distribution and subjective well-being. She frequently appeals to a comparative approach, based on the different environments in Western versus Eastern Europe. She is in charge of several international scientific cooperation programs related to her field of research.

Image credit: Mikhail Nilov, Pexels