Changing the Game for Women

Increasing the number of women at every level of an organization is possible if its leaders are ready to use practical solutions.

Sandrine Devillard, Vivian Hunt, and Lareina Yee

Drawing on research in behavioral psychology and what McKinsey calls the “organizational health” of a company, we showed that women tend to encourage a more participatory decision-making process, such as improving the “working environment” component of organizational health. Men, meanwhile, tend to take corrective action more frequently when objectives are not achieved to bolster the “coordination and control” component of organizational health. Not all women … [ Read more ]

How Women Manage the Gendered Norms of Leadership

A wealth of research shows that female leaders, much more than their male counterparts, face the need to be warm and nice (what society traditionally expects from women), as well as competent or tough (what society traditionally expects from men and leaders). The problem is that these qualities are often seen as opposites. This creates a “catch-22” and “double bind” for women leaders.

To alleviate this … [ Read more ]

How Women Can Succeed by Rethinking Old Habits

Everyone has self-limiting behaviors; this is simply part of being human. But our combined six decades of professional experience coaching and working with women in virtually every sector have taught us that even women at the highest levels can undermine themselves with specific self-sabotaging behaviors that are different from those that most frequently undermine men.

Expertise, connections, and personal authority are all non-positional kinds of power … [ Read more ]

What’s Stalling Progress for Women at Work?

Corporate America’s gender-diversity programs are falling short. Companies need to think differently to ignite change.

Women in the Workplace 2017

More companies are committing to gender equality. But progress will remain slow unless we confront blind spots on diversity—particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo.

Focusing on What Works for Workplace Diversity

For faster progress, companies need to draw on the power of design, rethink their assumptions, and use data to inform decision making.

Women Matter: Ten Years of Insights on Gender Diversity

A decade into our research, we highlight key findings—and invite 16 global leaders to look at how to increase gender diversity in corporations and imagine the inclusive company of the future.

This Might Help Explain Why Corporate Boards Are Still an Old Boy’s Club

Companies with the highest percentage of female directors have been shown to outperform on return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital. They pay less to gobble up other firms. They have lower stock price volatility. And those with more women at the top have even been shown to have fewer governance controversies, such as bribery and fraud. Yet according to a … [ Read more ]

Iris Bohnet

About $8 billion a year is spent on diversity trainings in the United States alone. Now, I tried very hard to find any evidence I could. […] Sadly enough, I did not find a single study that found that diversity training in fact leads to more diversity. Now, that’s disappointing, discouraging, but maybe when we unpack it also understandable. The unpacking means that there’s a … [ Read more ]

Here’s How to Wield Empathy and Data to Build an Inclusive Team

When Ciara Trinidad left her post as Lever’s Head of Diversity and Inclusion, the numbers made her understandably proud: The startup’s team of 125 people was 59% women, 39% men, and 2% gender nonconforming. Even the sales team — historically a male-dominated group — had a 50/50 gender split. “The product team was at about 40% white; the majority was a mix of every other … [ Read more ]

Adam Bryant

I believe it’s time to give the narrative about whether men and women lead differently a rest. Yes, we need to keep talking and writing about why there are so few women in the top ranks. But this trope about different styles of leadership among men and women seems past its expiration date.

And while we’re at it, could everyone agree to drop the predictable questions … [ Read more ]

Allison Kluger

Women rarely do something unless they feel 100% certain they can, and men only have to feel like they’re 60% certain. But if a woman and a man go and take the same exam, women will do just as well or better. As women, it’s easy to opt out of things that make us nervous, but we should develop a mind-set of, “I’m going to … [ Read more ]

Research: Objective Performance Metrics Are Not Enough to Overcome Gender Bias

In various contexts, such as entrepreneurship and hiring, people often exhibit a preference for men over women when information about an individual’s quality (for example, their expected performance) is unavailable or unclear. Even when performance information is available, lab-based research has shown that women still tend to be disadvantaged, compared with men of equal quality. This double standard means women must outperform men to be … [ Read more ]

A Study Used Sensors to Show That Men and Women Are Treated Differently at Work

Gender equality remains frustratingly elusive. Women are underrepresented in the C-suite, receive lower salaries, and are less likely to receive a critical first promotion to manager than men. Numerous causes have been suggested, but one argument that persists points to differences in men and women’s behavior.

Which raises the question: Do women and men act all that differently? We realized that there’s little to no concrete … [ Read more ]

How to Keep Perceived Bias from Holding Back High-Potential Employees

When talented people from diverse backgrounds fail to rise in a company, there are three powerful solutions: having more inclusive team leaders, more diversity among the top leadership, and better sponsorship practices.

Cracking the Glass Ceiling

Despite the gains made by women in the job market in recent decades, the access of women to the upper levels of the business hierarchy remains limited. A vast literature seeks to explain the barrier to female advancement widely known as the “glass ceiling,” which is regarded as “an egregious denial of social justice,” at least by the U.S. Department of Labor. But the two … [ Read more ]

Research: Men Get Credit for Voicing Ideas, but Not Problems. Women Don’t Get Credit for Either

A lot of research suggests that those who speak the most in groups tend to emerge as leaders.

But does it matter who speaks up, or how they do it? In a forthcoming article in Academy of Management Journal, my colleagues Elizabeth McClean, Kyle Emich, and Todd Woodruff and I share how we explored these questions in two studies. We found that those who speak up … [ Read more ]

The Five Ways Work Isn’t a Level Playing Field

In the office or in a lecture hall, women are no less capable than men, biologically and intellectually. Yet gender disparity, equal pay, and other gender issues persist. Why? Even with programs that seek to create gender equality becoming increasingly common, men and women are working on an uneven playing field. Here are five ways the work environment is unfair, and what women — and … [ Read more ]