Susan Fisk

Susan Fisk

Department of Sociology and Criminology
Associate Professor
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The overarching goal of Dr. Fisk's work is to deepen our knowledge of the mechanisms that create gendered inequalities in the economy and to create interventions to disrupt them. Specifically, her research seeks to identify and understand processes through which broad, macro-level stereotypes about women and men create micro-level gender inequalities in the labor force, which in turn reinforce existing macro-level gender disparities and stereotypes about women and men. 

Her recent work examines the social sanctioning of risk-taking women, the gendered nature of risky decision-making contexts, and how gender differences in risk-taking behavior can lead to more men at the top of hierarchies. Her research has been covered in The Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Science Daily, Business News Daily, Daily Mail, Women’s Health Magazine, and Think Adviser.

Research and teaching interests:

  • Gender
  • Social Psychology
  • Inequality
  • Economic Sociology
  • Social Class
  • Organizations and Work
  • Quantitative Research Methods


Ph.D., 2015, Stanford University, Department of Sociology


Inequalities (class/gender/race/ethnicity), Social Psychology


  • Fisk, Susan R. and Jon Overton. “Who Wants to Lead? Anticipated Gender Discrimination Reduces Women’s Leadership Ambitions.” Forthcoming in Social Psychology Quarterly.
  • Fisk, Susan R. 2018. “Who’s on Top? Gender Differences in Risk-Taking Produce Unequal Outcomes for High-Ability Women and Men.” Social Psychology Quarterly, 81(3): 185-206.
  • Fisk, Susan R. and Cecilia Ridgeway. 2018. “Framing Gender.” In The Handbook of the Sociology of Gender, edited by Barbara Risman, Carissa Froyum, and William Scarborough. Springer Press.
  • Fisk, Susan R., Brennan J. Miller, and Jon Overton. 2017. “Why Social Status Matters for Understanding the Interrelationships Between Testosterone, Economic Risk‐Taking, and Gender.” Sociology Compass, 11(3): e12452.
  • Fisk, Susan R. 2016. “Gender Stereotypes, Risk-Taking, and Gendered Mobility.” In Advances in Group Processes, pp. 179-210, Vol. 33, edited by S. R. Thye and E. J. Lawler. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
  • Ridgeway, Cecilia and Susan R. Fisk. 2012. “Class Rules, Status Dynamics, and ‘Gateway’ Interactions.” In Facing Social Class: The Social Psychology of Social Class, edited by S. T. Fiske and H. R. Markus. Russell Sage Foundation.


  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2013-2015. “The Cost of Failure: Gender and Risk-Taking Behavior.” $10,990.
  • The Myra Strober Prize, awarded by Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research, 2015.
  • The Barbara and Sandy Dornbusch Award in Social Psychology, awarded by Stanford University's Sociology Department, 2014.
  • The Marjorie Lozoff Prize, awarded by Stanford University's Clayman Institute for Gender Research, 2013.
  • Cilker Award for Excellence in Teaching, awarded by Stanford University's Sociology Department, 2011.
  • Honorable Mention, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2010.
  • Best Senior Thesis, awarded by The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Economics Department, 2006.
  • Phi Beta Kappa, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2006.