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Ronnie Steinberg

Professor of Sociology Emerita
Director of the Women’s Studies Program Emerita

Ronnie Steinberg joined the faculty at Vanderbilt and became Director of the Women’s Studies Program in 1997. As Director of Women’s Studies at Vanderbilt, Steinberg energized the program by developing an undergraduate major and graduate certificate. By the time she left, the program was attracting many majors each year.

Throughout her career, Steinberg’s scholarship was geared toward policy-making in support of equal pay for equal work. Her best-cited book aimed to understand labor reforms and wages in 20th century America, and it helped set the stage for subsequent work that examined the impacts of comparable worth policies on gendered wage differences. She has also investigated the emotional work required of women in their jobs, and more recently, turned her attention to the experiences of workers and residents in eldercare settings. For nearly 20 years, Steinberg edited a book series, Women in the Political Economy published by Temple University Press. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation; Ford Foundation; states of New York, Massachusetts, and Tennessee; and the University of Tokyo.

In addition to her scholarship and teaching, Steinberg engaged in community projects geared toward empowering women and reducing gender inequality in the workplace. From 1999 to 20001, for example, Steinberg chaired the Tennessee Council on the Economic Status of Women. In recognition of her leadership, she received the 2001 Athena Award from Nashville CABLE. Here at Vanderbilt, she also received numerous awards including the Mary Jane Werthan Award from the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center in 2003.