Therese Huston, writer and faculty development consultant at Seattle University, visited Elon University Oct. 10 to discuss the bias in gender-based decision-making. Her latest book, “How Women Decide,” was the foundation for her lecture. 

The lecture included various activities to engage the audience and some stories of the women in Huston’s book.

“What I really enjoy about giving the lecture is to see people grapple with the ideas and get excited about it,” Huston said. “When the room bursts into conversation, I feel so good.”

According to Huston, at least 67 percent of the students in a classroom must be female for the women to participate. 

In Huston's opinion, her research isn’t all about observation. She hopes a change will be made to the gender stigma.

“I would love to see men matching women, if not exceeding women, on taking on responsibilities at home, because it would free up so many hours for women to be able to do this incredible work that their brothers, fathers and husbands get to do,” Huston said.

In recognition of gender stereotypes in pop culture, Huston mentioned she disagrees with the book titled, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” by relationship counselor John Gray. 

“If men are from Mars, women are from a less respected part of Mars. We need to recognize that imbalance,” Huston said. 

Huston decided to take action by writing her book when she found a noticeable bias in other books about decision-making.

“It’s a boy's club,” Huston said. “They’re written by men. They’re written for men.”

Despite her interest in this area and her lecture, she was not always interested in studying gender.

"I thought it was very gendered to study gender, so I wanted to avoid the topic,” Huston said.

She calculated her time spent researching and writing her book as well as giving lectures — she has invested more than 5,000 hours into researching gender-based decision-making.

“[There are] many more to come,” Huston said. “It’s funny — there’s a statistic that you need about 10,000 hours to be an expert in something, so I'm halfway there.”

Huston led a workshop Tuesday in Belk Pavilion called, “Why Josh speaks for his group more often than Jessica," which examined participation based on gender in the classroom. 


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