BWE Podcast with Regina Madalozzo: professional ascension of women, the pandemic, and social norms

In this new episode of Brazilian Women in Economics’s Podcast, Paula Pereda and Laura Karpuska interview Regina Madalozzo, BSc in economics from PUC-Rio, MSc in economics from UFRGS, and PhD in economics from UIUC. Regina is a Professor at Insper, and her research has a focus in the labor market, specially on women’s labor market.


Regina speaks about her dilemma when starting at university: because she had many diverse interests, she could not decide which course to choose and ended up opting for economics after a family advice. She says that it took her time to discover a subject in economics that she found profoundly fascinating, although she enjoyed studying economics. It was with many incentives from professors and advisors that Regina pursued both her Master’s and her PhD degrees.


Regina comments about her research that tries to quantify the impact of the pandemic on the paid and unpaid labor market and on domestic violence. The research also includes a qualitative research in a set of communities in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. This work was discussed in details in the GeFam podcast (link).  She says that one the things that shocked her the most is that, contrary to a belief that domestic violence was contrary to a belief that domestic violence was not fought for lack of information, but what was observed was that these women understood a lot of the legislation on the subject and the ways of resorting to justice, but they understood that it didn’t work in real life. Regina provides examples of how these failures in law enforcement work and of obstacles during these process that exist for women victims.


Regina also highlights other problems that affect women generated by requirements in public services, such as, for example, inadequate schedules for health appointments for working women, a problem that is aggravated when women are disproportionately responsible for the children’s health appointments. She comments on the expectations and prejudices of both men and women about what would be functions related to each gender, and the difficulty of transforming social norms. Regina brings a series of examples that help illustrate the effects and channels, legal or informal, of perpetuating these norms.


Finally, Regina leaves a message for the young economists: look for people who look like you, find other women to talk to and look for their works.