Backlash from Gender Equality

Last registered on November 03, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Backlash from Gender Equality
Initial registration date
October 27, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 01, 2023, 4:03 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
November 03, 2023, 3:40 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.


Primary Investigator

University of Zurich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Harvard Kennedy School
PI Affiliation
University of Bern
PI Affiliation
University of Bern

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
In this project, we conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in schools in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, to examine whether emphasizing employers’ demand for women in math-intensive occupations affects students’ occupational aspirations and their willingness to help or sabotage other students of their own and opposite gender in incentivized games. Especially, we want to investigate whether emphasizing employers’ demand for women positively affects girls’ likelihood of choosing more math-intensive apprenticeships and whether there is any backlash among boys.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Brenøe, Anne et al. 2023. "Backlash from Gender Equality." AEA RCT Registry. November 03.
Experimental Details


Students in the treatment group will watch to two videos that both emphasize that companies are looking for talented girls to promote gender equality. The first video presents the apprenticeship “information technologist” (IT; “Informatiker/in EFZ”), as the tech sector in Switzerland has a particularly low female share and extensively advertises apprenticeships to female students. The second video presents the apprenticeship “commercial employee“ (KV; Kaufmann/frau EFZ), an occupation in which companies are promoting equal career chances for women in management positions. We have produced four videos: Two videos in IT in two different sectors and two videos in KV in the same two sectors. However, students will watch in total two videos, one video in IT and one video in KV. Treated students will choose which of the two KV videos they want to watch and similarly for the IT videos.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We plan to split the sample by gender and analyze the following primary outcomes collected immediately after treatment:
(1) occupational aspirations: collected through incentivized intentions to do a math-intensive trial apprenticeship (TA) and the sign-up to a newsletter about math-intensive apprenticeships.
(2) sabotage game and help games
(a) number of tokens used to sabotage a male classmate
(b) number of tokens used to sabotage a female classmate
(c) share of new tokens distributed to girls.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
(1) confidence in own math skills collected immediately after the treatment
(2) confidence in receiving an offer from math-intensive apprenticeships immediately after the treatment
(3) occupational interest collected through a two-week follow-up.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The data will include the following:
• In-person data collection in schools: Our school visit lasts one lesson, i.e., 45 minutes. Our visit will in most cases take place during the regular weekly lesson in the subject occupational orientation. The data collection includes a baseline survey (contact information, occupational preferences, level of math and German classes attended, and economic preferences). After the baseline survey, students will watch the treatment or control videos depending on their randomization allocation and answer knowledge questions about the videos; this part will take about 10 minutes. Finally, we will collect immediate follow-up data (occupational aspirations, confidence in own skills, sabotage and help games) and demographics.
• Online follow-up 2 weeks after the school visit: occupational interests.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization at the individual level will be done in the offline version of Qualtrics.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
approximately 1616 students (around 808 female students and 808 male students)
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 1616 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
808 treated students and 808 control students. We target 95 school classes with an average of 17 students in each class.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The sample size will allow us to detect effects of about 0.197 standard deviations in the outcome by gender. Additionally, we expect to achieve higher power once we control for characteristics collected during the baseline survey, especially given that we will have a rich set of baseline information available. We will revisit these calculations once we have more information from the control variables.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The Human Subjects Committee of the Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology at the University of Zurich
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
OEC IRB # 2023-041.1
Analysis Plan

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