Stanford labor economist talks about uphill struggle as feminist scholar

book cover - sharing the workMYRA STROBER knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles.

Strober, a labor economist who studied gender issues, childcare and feminist economics, led a trailblazing career – both in and out of the classroom. The professor emerita of education and of business, was an activist, academic, wife and mother and mentor to many students and colleagues. Strober, who retired from Stanford in 2012, has plenty of advice for those entering the world of academia.

“The most important thing you can do for your career,” Strober said, “is to find a partner who will share the work at home and take your career as seriously as you do yourself.  The second lesson I’ve learned is that being a woman generally sets your salary back to about 80 percent of what a man would earn for the same position.”

Those lessons and more are encapsulated in her new book of memoirs, Sharing the Work. She’ll be giving several readings on campus, including a 4:30 pm. reading Saturday, April 16,  at the Stanford Humanities Center and another at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 19,  at the Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall. The subtitle of the work is, What My Family and Career Taught Me about Breaking Through (and Holding the Door Open for Others).

Strober was a co-founder of what is now Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research and one of the first women on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business. At the Graduate School of Education, she also researched gender issues in the labor force.

Strober said that learning from her experiences is the “equivalent to getting a combined degree in women’s studies, business and economics. Plus, it will help prevent you from making the same mistakes I did.”