News & Events

Alumna, Valerie Davisson, to Lead Upcoming Faculty Book Discussion

Event Details
Professor of Sociology Jake Rosenfeld discusses his newest book, You’re Paid What You’re Worth And Other Myths of the Modern Economy. This myth-busting book challenges the idea that we’re paid according to objective criteria and places power and social conflict at the heart of economic analysis. Your pay depends on your productivity and occupation. If you earn roughly the same as others in your job, with the precise level determined by your performance, then you’re paid market value. And who can question something as objective and impersonal as the market? That, at least, is how many of us tend to think. But according to Jake Rosenfeld, we need to think again. 

This virtual event on Sept. 14, 2021 at 5 p.m. will be led by led by WashU alumna, Valerie Davisson, and is brought to you by the WashU Alumni Association and University Libraries. Submit your questions for the author and RSVP for this event here.

About the Author
Jake Rosenfeld’s research and teaching focus on the political and economic determinants of inequality in the United States and other advanced democracies. He is primarily interested in the determinants of wages and salaries and how these vary across time and place. He earned his PhD from Princeton University and is currently an executive board member of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), an advisory group member of Harvard Law School’s “Rebalancing Economic and Political Power: A Clean Slate for the Future of Labor Law,” and a senior contributor to

You can listen to a recent interview with Rosenfeld from St. Louis Public Radio here.

Rosenfeld’s 2014 book, What Unions No Longer Do, shows in detail the consequences of labor’s decline: curtailed advocacy for better working conditions, weakened support for immigrants’ economic assimilation, and ineffectiveness in addressing wage stagnation among African Americans.

Purchase You’re Paid What You’re Worth And Other Myths of the Modern Economy.

About the Host:
Valerie Davisson is a corporate leader known for strategic management of human capital for several major retail and restaurant corporations during her career. Most recently Valerie was Chief People Officer for At Home, a home decor retailer with 150+ stores across the country, and part of the management team to take the company public on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “HOME” in 2016. During that time and under her leadership, At Home was certified as a 2017 Great Place to Work. Valerie was also named one of Dallas Business Journal’s Women in Business in recognition of the transformational improvements she made to the company’s employee benefits, compensation, and corporate culture during At Home’s rebranding process. Prior to that role, Valerie served as executive vice president and chief peopleworks officer for Brinker International where she led human resources and for more than 800 restaurants and 100,000 employees worldwide.

Valerie currently is an Operating Advisor for Orangewood Partners, a NY-based investment firm, serves on the Board of Elizabeth Toon Charities, and is a past Board member of the Dallas Chapter of the International Women’s Forum. Valerie also volunteers for multiple local and national organizations, especially those aimed at promoting women in business and leadership. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University and earned a master’s in human resources management from Washington University in St. Louis.