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 …

The Best-Performing CEOs in India

Bala Vissa, Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer Leadership Business Today

Who are the best-performing CEOs in India? Our answer to this important question is premised on the notion that the most objective test of a CEO’s leadership ought to be how the company does during his or her full tenure at the helm, rather than the CEO’s power, family pedigree, positive media coverage, or even the latest quarterly earnings of …

Is “Command and Collaborate” the New Leadership Model?

Herminia Ibarra Leadership Harvard Business Review

The theme at Davos this year was “The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models.” One of the models up for discussion was leadership. Panels with titles like “Leadership Under Pressure” and “New Leadership Models from China” abounded. Speaking at a private dinner hosted by PwC on the topic of leadership and values in a volatile world, the questions put to me …

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 …

The Iron Lady’s failed mid-career transition

Herminia Ibarra Leadership Harvard Business Review

With the recent movie, The Iron Lady, leadership scholars like myself have seized the opportunity to reflect on the lessons of her life and career. In the film we see an old and diminished Maggie flashing back to Thatcher at the pinnacle of her power. But, perhaps the most important and the least obvious lesson— for Thatcher herself as well …

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; …

Are You a Collaborative Leader?

Herminia Ibarra and Morten T. Hansen Leadership Harvard Business Review

Watching his employees use a new social technology, Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, had an epiphany. His company had developed Chatter, a Facebook inspired application for companies that allows users to keep track of their colleagues and customers and share information and ideas. The employees had been trying it out internally, not just within their own work groups but …

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 …

The Best-Performing CEOs in the World

Morte T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra and Urs Peyer Leadership Harvard Business Review

A lot of people have blamed short-term thinking for causing our current economic troubles, which has set off a debate about what time window we should use to assess a CEO’s performance. Today boards of directors, senior managers, and investors intensely want to know how CEOs handle the ups and downs of running businesses over an extended period. Many executive …