Why killing the office won’t close the gender gap

HERMINIA IBARRA Women & Work FC

Before this pandemic, research suggested women benefited more from working from home than men. But there are three factors that indicate women are going to be at a disadvantage if we continue to work remotely. Stay-at-home orders for the COVID-19 pandemic were put in place almost overnight, removing us from the office and abruptly transforming how most of us work. …

Why WFH Isn’t Necessarily Good for Women

HERMINIA IBARRA Women & Work HBR

By altering attitudes toward working from home (WFH), COVID-19 may have forever changed the way we work. According to a new MIT study, half of those who were employed before the pandemic are now working remotely. As company executives see for themselves that excellent work can be achieved, and productivity heightened, even in jobs that no one imagined could be done virtually, a …

A Lack of Sponsorship Is Keeping Women from Advancing into Leadership

HERMINIA IBARRA Women & Work HBR

Too few women are reaching the top of their organizations, and a big reason is that they are not getting the high-stakes assignments that are prerequisite for a shot at the C-suite. Often, this is due to a lack of powerful sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs. Ensuring that women get the sponsorship they need to …

Why Strategic Networks Are Important for Women and How to Build Them

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work The EVE Program

“My problem,” said Anna, a financial services executive, “is getting to know the guys two levels above, my bosses’ boss and his peers. We just don’t have many occasions to meet and when we do, we just focus on the task at hand. I’m not really getting to know him, and he certainly isn’t getting to know me.  But, to …

Why strategic networking is harder for women

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work World Economic Forum

“My problem,” said Anna, a financial services executive, “is getting to know the guys two levels above, my bosses’ boss and his peers. We just don’t have many occasions to meet and when we do, we just focus on the task at hand. I’m not really getting to know him, and he certainly isn’t getting to know me. But, to …

Friendships forged outside work can hold women back

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work The Financial Times

In a recent Financial Times column, Sarah Gordon was right to take the Garrick Club to task, not just on its second vote to refuse women members but on the most disingenuous of explanations about why some members think such an exclusion is harmless. Work is never discussed or business conducted at the club, they told her; it is verboten. …

What the Scarcity of Women in Business Case Studies Really Looks Like

Lesley Symons and Herminia Ibarra Women & Work Harvard Business Review

“The school owed you better, and I promise it will be better,” Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria told an alumni audience in January, acknowledging and apologizing for the school’s problematic past concerning gender equity. He then pledged to double the number of business case studies that feature a woman as the protagonist up to a level of 20% over …

Inclusive Leadership: Unlocking Diverse Talent

Herminia Ibarra and Nana von Bernuth Leadership,   Women & Work INSEAD Knowledge

Gender diversity can be a polarising topic in big companies. Swiss Re holds some important lessons on how to foster a diverse environment with flexibility and inclusiveness for everyone. Nia Joynson-Romanzina, the head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Swiss Re, likens people in her organisation, and beyond, to icebergs. Not because they’re cold but because there is a diversity …

Conquering Gender Bias

Herminia Ibarra and Benjamin Kessler Women & Work INSEAD Knowledge

A lurking “second-generation gender bias” is slowing women down by dissecting their behaviour and hobbling their advancement. Companies will have to switch tactics to take on this more subtle phenomenon. If celebrity culture were a true reflection of women’s progress, one would have to call 2013 a very bad year for the glass ceiling. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo!, and …

Women Rising: The Unseen Barriers

Herminia Ibarra, Robin Ely, and Deborah Kolb Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Many CEOs who make gender diversity a priority—by setting aspirational goals for the proportion of women in leadership roles, insisting on diverse slates of candidates for senior positions, and developing mentoring and training programs—are frustrated. They and their companies spend time, money, and good intentions on efforts to build a more robust pipeline of upwardly mobile women, and then not …