The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women's Dead-End Work 

Lise Vesterlund, Professor, Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh; Director, the Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory (PEEL); Director, the Behavioral Economic Design Initiative (BEDI)
Wednesday, April 12 4PM - 5:30PM
538/539 Conference Room, 130 North Bellefield

All organizations have work that few employees want, low impact assignments like proofing documents, onboarding new staff, screening interns, attending to that time-consuming client, or simply helping others. Women are disproportionately asked and expected to do this “non-promotable work,” which leaves them overcommitted and underutilized as companies forfeit revenue, productivity, and top talent.

Lise Vesterlund, professor of economics and co-author of The No Club, will explain what non-promotable work is, how and why it affects women disproportionately, and what we can do to make smarter decisions about the work we take on. She will also address how organizations and managers can benefit from reassessing how they assign and reward work.

Bio: Lise Vesterlund is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Department of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and the Director of the Pittsburgh Experimental Economics Laboratory (PEEL) and of the Behavioral Economic Design Initiative (BEDI). She is a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. A co-author of the book, “The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work,” her highly influential research on gender differences in advancement has been featured by The New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Financial Times.

RSVP here.

PNC Technology for Social Change series

“We need people designing technologies for society to have training and an education on the histories of marginalized people, at a minimum, and we need them working alongside people with rigorous training and preparation from the social sciences and humanities.” Safiya Umoja Noble.

With this talk series, sponsored by PNC Bank, the School of Computing and Information highlights the importance of understanding how computing and information technology can be designed, implemented, and incorporated to support positive change in our communities. With the thought-provoking talks and open conversations, we welcome new ways to challenge our scholarly efforts to embrace positive changes around us. We are delighted to kick start the series with three wonderful scholars who approach this challenge from different angles.

All the talks will be organized in a hybrid format, supporting participation in-person or virtually through zoom. We hope to see many of you at these talks, in-person or virtually. If you are interested to give a talk in future series, please contact our Associate Dean for DEI (

 Upcoming Talks 

Coding Black Functions for White Software Programs

Dr. Antonio Byrd, Assistant Professor of English, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Thursday, October 26 5PM - 6:30PM
501 Cathedral of Learning

Abstract: In this talk, Dr. Byrd presents findings from the third chapter of his book tentatively titled The Literacy Pivot: How Black Adults Learn Computer Programming in a Racist World. Coding bootcamps must grapple with the reality that race and racism determine how Black students and their instructors do and do not leverage coding literacy into social mobility. To understand how Clearwater Academy's curriculum and assessment practices rhetorically address this reality, I conducted focus group interviews with instructors and Black adults and year-long participant observations. Findings suggest that coding bootcamps are racial organizations whose curricula and assessment practices “program” racially marginalized people into viable bits of code called functions to assist in designing white software systems – the technologies that largely center white end users and uphold white supremacist policies and practices. Black adults proposed an alternative vision that uses their own knowledge and lived experiences to create a Black coding literacy.

Bio: Antonio Byrd teaches technical communication, digital rhetoric, and qualitative research methods. He serves on the Modern Language Association and Conference on College Composition and Communication Joint Task Force on Writing and AI. His forthcoming book The Literacy Pivot: How Black Adults Learn Computer Programming in a Racist World is under contract with The WAC Clearinghouse/University Press of Colorado.

Dr. Byrd’s visit is sponsored by the PNC Technology for Social Change speaker series in Pitt’s School of Computing and Information; the Pitt English Composition Program; Pitt English; the Humanities Center; Pitt Cyber; and the Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences.

Past Talks