Sex and the Working Mom

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work Harvard Business Review

At one of the companies with which I work there is a legendary story about work life balance. The firm’s most senior line woman was asked to join a newly constituted high-level diversity committee, which included the company CEO. One of the hurdles that was holding women back, everyone agreed, was the high degree of transcontinental travel required of executives …

To Close the Gender Gap, Focus on Assignments

Herminia Ibarra Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

A new McKinsey study (PDF) reports statistically what we already knew from personal experience: that mid-career and senior women tend to be found disproportionally in staff jobs, or “pink ghettos,” relative to men. The report tells us that 50% to 65% of women at the vice-president level and higher are in staff roles, compared with only 41% to 48% of …

Help Women Take the Stage

Herminia Ibarra Leadership,   Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has been speaking out a lot lately about subtle dynamics that hold women back from reaching senior roles in business. Her TED talk and Barnard commencement speech went viral. Lean in, she says to women, take your place at the table, seize the stage. I never suspected she had a personal message for me, but …

Her Key to Efficiency: Arrive Late, Leave Early

Herminia Ibarra Women & Work The New York Times

A COUPLE of years ago, a well-intentioned friend, hearing me describe the horrors of my commute in Paris, said I should decide when I wanted to see my son each day: in the morning or at night, but not both. The mythology of my fellow commuters is of the same ilk: either come in early (the crack of dawn) and …

Taking Gender into Account: Theory and Design for Women’s Leadership Development Programs

Robin Ely, Herminia Ibarra and Deborah Kolb Women & Work Academy of Management Learning & Education

We conceptualize leadership development as identity work and show how subtle forms of gender bias in the culture and in organizations interfere with the identity work of women leaders. Based on this insight, we revisit traditional approaches to standard leadership topics, such as negotiations and leading change, as well as currently popular developmental tools, such as 360-degree feedback and networking; …

Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women

Herminia Ibarra, Nancy M. Carter and Christine Silva Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Nathalie (all names in this article are disguised), a senior marketing manager at a multinational consumer goods company and a contender for chairman in her country, was advised by her boss to raise her profile locally. An excellent intracompany network wouldn’t be enough to land her the new role, he told her; she must also become active in events and …

Women and the “Vision Thing”

Herminia Ibarra and Otilia Obodaru Women & Work Harvard Business Review

Many believe that bias against women lingers in the business world, particularly when it comes to evaluating their leadership ability. Recently, we had a chance to see whether that assumption was true. In a study of thousands of 360-degree assessments collected by Insead’s executive education program over the past five years, we looked at whether women actually received lower ratings …