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Women’s Struggles in Public Service Topic of Nov. 14 Talk at UW

November 10, 2016
head portrait of a woman
Camilla Stivers

Despite the fact that women in public service have increased nationwide, the pay gap continues to lag behind men. That will be the topic of a University of Wyoming lecture Monday, Nov. 14.

Educator Camilla Stivers will present “Why Can’t a Woman Be Less Like a Man? Women in Public Service” at 6 p.m. in Room 129 of the UW College of Business. The Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research at UW sponsors her discussion.

Stivers says recent decades have seen increasing numbers of women in U.S. public service as elected and career officials. Yet, progress has been slow, a glass ceiling remains, and women’s salaries have continued to lag behind men’s.

“Despite laws and regulations, cultural stereotypes and attitudes present women in public service with a double bind: ‘Look like a lady, act like a man,’” she says. “Since ancient Greece, the public has been defined as a space for men, in contrast to the household, the space for women.”

Stivers will discuss some of the taken-for-granted gender assumptions that continue to restrict women’s public activities and highlight some of the contributions women have made to the public good as they struggled to find an equal place in public service.

Partially retired, Stivers serves as a public administration professor and lecturer at Cleveland State University. She has had a career of more than 25 years as an academic, teaching at Evergreen State College in Washington state and at Cleveland State University. She also has more than 20 years in public service as a practitioner in community-based nonprofit organizations.

She is a fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration and has written several books, including “Governance in Dark Times” (2008), which was named the National Academy of Public Administration’s Brownlow Book Award winner.

Stivers has published several scholarly articles and book chapters; was associate editor of Public Administration Review; and is now editor of a public administration book series for University of Alabama Press, titled “Public Administration Criticism and Creativity.”

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