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 …

Top 50 Ranking of China’s Business Leaders Exposes Common Myths

Xiaowei Rose Luo, Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer Leadership Harvard Business Review

“A general who fears to unsheathe his sword is not a good general,” says Mr. Li Jiaxiang, Chairman of Air China from 2004 to 2008 and the #1 performing corporate leader in China according to our new ranking (just published in the Harvard Business Review China and the centerpiece for the magazine’s launch events in Beijing and Shanghai). Under his …

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 …