we explore the challenges posed by difference – by gender, generation, culture, and sexual orientation

RESEARCH & INSIGHTS

Through our research, we explore the challenges posed by difference – by gender, generation, culture, and sexual orientation – and map solutions for both individuals and their employers.

In particular, we aim to:

  • Affirm and bolster the business case for diversifying leadership
  • Identify, through robust research, the underlying impediments to the full utilization of the talent spectrum
  • Reveal the mechanisms by which inequities can be addressed
  • Harvest and share best practices across industry sectors.

Our research spans a variety of talent streams, industries and geographies.

  • TALENT STREAMS
  • INDUSTRIES
  • GEOGRAPHIES

Women

LGBT

Multicultural talent

Generations

Financial Services

Life sciences

Technology

Emerging Markets

Germany

Japan

United States

United Kingdom

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How Diversity Drives Innovation: A Compendium of Best Practice

This publication, a companion to the Innovation,Diversity and Market Growth report, brings together 21 best practices that exemplify how companies leverage diversity to unlock innovation. (2/1/2014, Report - 84 pages)

Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Bank, EY, Siemens AG, Time Warner

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Athena 2.0: Accelerating Female Talent in Science, Engineering and Technology

In this report we revisit the science, engineering and tech landscape—expanded to include Brazil, China, India, as well as the U.S.—to determine what has changed for women for the better (since our 2008 report), and to offer solutions for what has resisted change. The good news: the pipeline of global female talent in SET remains rich and deep, with women being the majority of SET college graduates in many key geographies. (2/1/2014, Report - 72 pages)

KEY FINDINGSPRESS RELEASEINFO GRAPHICVIDEO LINK

Sponsors: American Express, Boehringer Ingelheim USA, BP, Genentech, McKesson Corporation, Merck Serono, Schlumberger, Siemens AG

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Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career

Who’s pulling for you? Who’s got your back? Who’s putting your hat in the ring? Odds are this person is not a mentor but a sponsor. If you’re interested in fast-tracking your career, what you need is a sponsor - a senior-level champion who believes in your potential and is willing to advocate for that next raise or promotion. In this powerful yet practical book, economist and thought leader Sylvia Ann Hewlett shows why sponsors are your proven link to success. (9/1/2013, Book - 228 pages, Harvard Business Review Press)

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Innovation, Diversity, and Market Growth

New research shows precisely how diversity unlocks innovation and drives growth. Our findings quantify, for the first time, the “diversity dividend” that inclusive leadership reaps from a diverse workforce: greater market share and a competitive edge in accessing new markets. When leaders embody diversity and their leadership culture embraces diversity, they create a “speak-up culture” that harnesses “point-of pain” insights to meet the needs of under-served demographics—a dynamic that exerts a measurable impact on the bottom line. (9/1/2013, Report - 60 pages)

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Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cisco Systems, Deutsche Bank, EY, Siemens AG, Time Warner

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The Power of "Out"2.0: LGBT in the Workplace

Corporations and individuals are increasingly embracing LGBT status as an emerging career asset. Yet, despite advances in workplace acceptance, 41 percent of American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) workers remain closeted at the office. Given the increased productivity and lower turnover rates of “out” workers, multinational organizations have a bottomline incentive to create a workplace where LGBT workers feel accepted,valued and comfortable being who they are.This latest CTI research quantifies the benefits of a truly inclusive workplace to both employers and employees. Being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity gives LGBT professionals access to unique business opportunities and platforms on which to exercise their leadership. In addition, out employees are better able to gain the attention and advocacy from their superiors and leverage their LGBT status internally to obtain sponsorship. Those with sponsorship have a significantly higher rate of work satisfaction and are less likely to feel stalled in their career. Finally, being out magnifies the visibility of LGBT professionals to clients and consumers specifically seeking the outlook and expertise of a company that values diversity. (2/1/2013, Report - 47 pages)

KEY FINDINGS

Sponsors: Deloitte, Out on the Street, Time Warner

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Cracking the Code: Executive Presence and Multicultural Professionals

Being a top producer or performer isn't enough: you must have executive presence (EP) in order to be considered for positions of authority. Yet, because senior leaders are overwhelmingly Caucasian, multicultural professionals find themselves at an immediate disadvantage in trying to look, sound, and act like a leader. In this report, CTI unpacks the impediments to achieving EP for the multicultural professional - and reveals what people of color and their organizations can do to transform its ill - defined tenets into a more transparent, teachable skill set. (12/1/2013, Report - 78 pages)

KEY FINDINGSPRESS RELEASE

Sponsors: Bank of America, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, Deloitte, GE, Intel Corporation, McKesson Corporation

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On-Ramps and Up-Ramps India

Indian women on-ramp after taking a career break with much greater ease than their counterparts in the U.S., Germany and Japan, but Indian women find it more difficult to regain their career momentum (up-ramp). Building on the Center’s widely covered global work on “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps,” this study adds new fire to the ongoing debate about why highly qualified female talent take career breaks and the challenges they encounter when they try to accelerate their professional ambitions. (4/1/2013, Report - 71 pages)

KEY FINDINGS

Sponsors: Citi, Genpact, Sodexo, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever

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Vaulting the Color Bar: How Sponsorship Levers Multicultural Professionals into Leadership

An era of vibrant diversity is rewriting our culture, schools, workplaces and history. But more than a decade into the twenty-first century, talent of color are not breaking into the top executive ranks in numbers proportionate to their achievements and demographic mass. To move past lingering bias and subtle exclusion, people of color need the powerful advocacy of sponsorship. This robust relationship capital drives engagement and retention, fostering workplaces of inclusion, authenticity and innovation. Sponsorship levers talent of color and syncs progressive organizations with a rapidly diversifying world. (10/1/2012, Report - 80 pages)

KEY FINDINGS

Sponsors: American Express, Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Deloitte, Intel, Morgan Stanley, NBCUniversal

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Executive Presence

Performance, hard work, and sponsors get top talent recognized and promoted. But “leadership potential” isn’t enough to lever men and women into the executive suite. Leadership roles are given to those who also look and act the part. Center for Talent Innovation research reveals that the top jobs often elude women and professionals of color because they lack “executive presence” (EP), or underestimate its importance. And they’re simply not getting the guidance they need to acquire it. (11/1/2012, Report - 88 pages)

KEY FINDINGS

Sponsors: American Express, Bloomberg LP, Credit Suisse, Ernst & Young, Gap Inc., Goldman Sachs, Interpublic Group, Moody’s Foundation

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Sponsor Effect 2.0: Road Maps for Sponsors and Protégés

Sponsorship can be a game changer. Our research (The Sponsor Effect, Harvard Business Review Research Report, December 2010) shows that men and women who have powerful advocates tend to get the stretch assignments and ask for the raises that translate into career mobility. Sponsors lever qualified women and people of color out of the marzipan layer into top leadership roles, while protégés confer on their advocates a host of benefits, extending their capacity to deliver and burnishing their brand in the C-suite. To win sponsorship, however, one must know how the game is played. Synthesizing our key learnings from four surveys, dozens of focus groups, and scores of interviews, Sponsorship 2.0 comprises two “road maps,” one for the junior party intent on cultivating advocacy, the other for the leader who recognizes he/she will need a powerful posse to fulfill his/her own mission and vision. (11/1/2012, Report - 84 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Freddie Mac, Genentech, Morgan Stanley

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Sponsor Effect: UK

Women enter the white-collar workforce in the UK in far greater numbers than men: 57 females for every 43 males. Yet as employees in large corporations move from entry-level to middle management, and from mid- to senior-level positions, men advance disproportionately. Women comprise almost a quarter (24 percent) of the “marzipan layer,” that talent-rich level right below the icing on the corporate cake. And there they stall out. For all their qualifications, women represent only 4 percent of CEOs and 6.6 percent of executive directors of the FTSE 100. In addition, women currently hold only 22 percent of seats in Parliament, putting the UK 54th among 189 countries with national parliaments. (6/1/2012, Report - 69 pages)

Sponsors: Lloyds Banking Group

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The X Factor: Tapping into the Strengths of the 33-to 46- Year- Old Generation

The Baby Boomers and Millennials are demographic darlings but for companies throughout the United States and the European Union, Generation X may be the most important generation of all. At just 46 million in the U.S., Generation X is small compared to the 78 million Boomers and 70 million Gen Ys but they wield a disproportionate amount of influence. Born between 1965 and 1978, they are the bench strength for leadership, the skill bearers and knowledge experts corporations will rely on to gain competitive advantage in the coming decades. Approaching or already in the prime of their lives and careers, they are prepared and poised for leadership. Yet their career progress has been blocked by Boomers—who are postponing retirement—and threatened by leapfrogging Gen Ys. At the same time, they are working harder than ever. In this study we examine Generation X’s attitudes and experiences around work. Companies that acknowledge the issues affecting Gen X have the opportunity to establish programs and practices that will retain and sustain this impressive talent pool, and allow these key men and women to realize their potential. (9/1/2011, Report - 50 pages)

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Sponsors: American Express, Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Cisco, Credit Suisse, Google

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The Relationship You Need to Get Right

Sponsorship can help catapult junior talent into top management while also greatly expanding the reach and impact of senior leadership—but only when both sponsor and protégé recognize that it’s a mutually beneficial alliance, a truly two-way street. (10/1/2011, Harvard Business Review Article - 4 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Freddie Mac, Genentech, Lloyds, Morgan Stanley

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Japan: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success

In 2005, our groundbreaking study “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success,” found that 37% of highly-qualified women in the U.S. take an off-ramp—voluntarily quitting their jobs for a period of time. To explore the global dimension of off-ramps and on-ramps, we conducted a “deep dive” into the Japan context. How many professional Japanese women leave their careers, and for how long? What are the main reasons for off-ramping? Are women “pulled” by their family responsibilities or “pushed” by male-dominated workplace cultures? In this report we investigate the challenges and opportunities faced by Japanese women, delve into the forces that impede women’s career progress, and lay out what can be done to help this highly qualified but under-leveraged talent pool thrive in a nation that faces severe skill shortages going forward. (11/1/2011, Report - 59 pages, also available in Japanese)

Sponsors: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Cisco, Goldman Sachs

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The Power of "Out": LGBT in the Workplace

Until now, the direct line has not been clearly drawn between the corporate closet and the revolving door. New research from the Center for Work-Life Policy quantifies the loss to U.S. companies that fail to create a workplace hospitable to their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Our data show the consequences of LGBT employees forced to keep their lives and loved ones a secret from colleagues. Also included in the report are cutting-edge initiatives employed by a range of companies to break down barriers for their LGBT employees. (6/1/2011, Report - 34 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, Boehringer Ingelheim USA, Cisco, Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Google

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Asians in America: Unleashing the Potential of the "Model Minority"

Asians in the United States have long been viewed as a "model minority," lauded for their hard work, ambition and impressive qualifications. At the same time, this highly credentialed talent pool seems to come up against a “bamboo ceiling” that prevents them from breaking into upper management positions. Why are so few Asians reaching the top? In this study we explore the dynamics that keep Asians from fully realizing their potential. (7/1/2011, Report - 42 pages)

KEY FINDINGS

Sponsors: Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Time Warner

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For LGBT Workers, Being "Out" Brings Advantages

Corporations have made great progress over the past decade creating more-welcoming environments for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. Today 85% of Fortune 500 companies have protective policies that address sexual orientation—up from 51% in 2000. Nonetheless, surveys show that many LGBT employees still view their sexual orientation as a hindrance on the job: Fully 48% of LGBT respondents report remaining “closeted” at work. (7/1/2011, Harvard Business Review Article - 1 page)

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The Battle for Female Talent in Brazil

Women enter the white-collar workforce in the UK in far greater numbers than men: 57 females for every 43 males. Yet as employees in large corporations move from entry-level to middle management, and from mid- to senior-level positions, men advance disproportionately. Women comprise almost a quarter (24 percent) of the “marzipan layer,” that talent-rich level right below the icing on the corporate cake. And there they stall out. For all their qualifications, women represent only 4 percent of CEOs and 6.6 percent of executive directors of the FTSE 100. In addition, women currently hold only 22 percent of seats in Parliament, putting the UK 54th among 189 countries with national parliaments. Why? Our research reveals a surprisingly simple answer: To break through to the top, well-qualified women need sponsors, powerful leaders who are willing to advocate for their next key role or promotion and propel and protect them through the perilous straits of upper management. Furthermore, in order to attract, win and retain such career-boosting backers, women must do their part to ensure the alliance remains mutually beneficial. (12/1/2011, Report - 61 pages)

Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Booz & Company, Intel, Pfizer, Siemens AG

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Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets

The war for talent is heating up in emerging markets. Without enough "brain power," multinationals can't succeed in these markets. Yet they're approaching the war in the wrong way-bringing in expats and engaging in bidding wars for hotshot local "male" managers. The solution is hiding in plain sight: the millions of highly educated women surging into the labor markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and the United Arab Emirates. Increasingly, these women boast better credentials, higher ambitions, and greater loyalty than their male peers. But there's a catch: Attracting and retaining talented women in emerging economies requires different strategies than those used in mature markets. Complex cultural forces - family-related "pulls," such as daughterly duties to parents and in-laws, and work-related "pushes," such as extreme hours and dangerous commutes - force women to settle for dead-end jobs, switch to the public sector, or leave the workforce entirely. In Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets, Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Ripa Rashid analyze these forces and present strategies for countering them, including: (1) Sustaining ambition through stretch opportunities and international assignments, (2) Combating cultural bias by building an infrastructure for female leadership (networks, mentors, sponsors), (3) Introducing flexible work arrangements to accommodate family obligations, and (4) Providing safe transportation, such as employer-subsidized taxi services. Drawing on groundbreaking research, amplified with on-the-ground examples from companies as diverse as Google, Infosys, Goldman Sachs, and Siemens, this book is required reading for all companies seeking to strengthen their talent pipeline in these rich and expanding markets. (8/1/2011, Book, Harvard Business Press)

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Letzte Ausfahrt Babypause

This German Harvard Business Manager article reports highlights of the report "Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Germany" (in German) (5/1/2010, Harvard Business Manager (Germany) article)

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Germany

Five years ago our groundbreaking study “Off -Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success” (see Harvard Business Review, March 2005), found that 37 percent of highly qualified women in the U.S. took an off-ramp—voluntarily leaving their jobs for a period of time. In addition, a large percentage took a scenic route—working part-time, reduced hours or flex-time for a number of years. All in all, more than two-thirds of the accomplished women who participated in this study failed to conjure up the linear lock-step progressions of a successful male career. For this they paid a huge price in terms of earning power and long-run promotional prospects. This research had tremendous impact. It was featured in hundreds of news articles around the world—coverage ran the gamut from the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal to the Hindustan Times and the South China Morning Post—and found its way into several high-profile books. “Off-ramps and on-ramps” entered the zeitgeist. If you Google this term these days, you’ll get over 1,280,000 hits. In response to this high level of interest, five years later we went into the field again to update the U.S. study (see “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Revisited,” Harvard Business Review, June 2010). We also decided to go global, taking the off-ramps and on-ramps research to key economies around the world. We started with Germany in 2009 and have plans to take the research to Japan in 2010. Other country studies will follow. (5/1/2010, Report - 74 pages, also available in German)

Sponsors: Boehringer Ingelheim, Deutsche Bank, Siemens AG

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The Battle for Female Talent in Emerging Markets

With rolling debt crises blasting Western economies already weakened by the recession, hopes are resting on the BRICs—the emerging market dynamos of Brazil, Russia, India and China—to power countries and corporations back to growth. Keeping those engines humming is increasingly dependent on women. In the BRICs (which have accounted for 45% of global growth since 2007), female earnings are growing twice as fast as male earnings and women now control two-thirds of consumer spending. Most significantly, the majority of tertiary degrees in these countries now go to women. From Shanghai to Sao Paolo highly qualified, ambitious women are pouring into the labor market bringing urgency to the challenge of managing diversity. An important component of this study is an exploration of best practice in the private sector—12 cutting-edge initiatives that leverage the newly-rich pool of female talent. (5/1/2010, Harvard Business Review Article - 4 pages)

Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Booz & Company, Intel, Pfizer, Siemens AG

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The Battle for Female Talent in China

Just as China is feeling the talent squeeze of rapid growth, Chinese women are emerging as a deeply qualified and ambitious talent pool, rivaling not only Chinese men but also their US counterparts. The study reveals the extent to which Chinese women are surpassing their peers, but also how they’re impacted by cultural traditions and demographic trends that are quite different from their female counterparts in other nations. They have a solid foothold in the high-echelon talent pool; they are enormously ambitious and passionate about their work; and they are playing an ever-larger role in the economic progress of their countries. Yet little attention has been paid to understanding this talent pool that is undoubtedly essential to the success of any player in the Chinese economy. An important component of this study is an exploration of best practice in the private sector—cutting-edge initiatives that leverage the newly-rich pool of female talent. (3/1/2010, Report - 70 pages, Key findings also available in Chinese)

Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Booz & Company, Intel, Pfizer, Siemens AG

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Revisited

How much has the recession shaped women’s choice to take more circuitous career paths than men? Not a lot, it turns out. Our surveys from 2004 and 2009 yield surprisingly similar results. (12/1/2010, Harvard Business Review Article - 1 page)

Sponsors: Cisco, Ernst & Young, The Moody’s Foundation

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps Revisited

Five years ago our groundbreaking study “Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success,” (see Harvard Business Review, March 2005) found that 37 percent of highly-qualified women take an off ramp--voluntarily leaving their jobs for a period of time. In addition, fully 66 percent take a scenic route--working flextime or part time for a number of years. All in all, nearly three-quarters of the accomplished women in this 2004 survey failed to conjure up the linear lock-step progression of a successful male career. For this they paid a huge price in terms of both earning power and long run promotional prospects. In the fall of 2009 we conducted a new survey--using the same questionnaire and sampling a similar pool of women--indeed, we were able to capture some of the same respondents. We discovered that the ground had shifted in some interesting ways. (6/1/2010, Report - 68 pages)

Sponsors: Cisco, Ernst & Young, The Moody’s Foundation

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The Battle for Female Talent in India

As multinational corporations look to the developing market dynamo of India to power them out of the recession and debt crisis, women will comprise one of the main engines of growth. Educated women are pouring into the professional workforce. They have a solid foothold in the high-echelon talent pool; they are enormously ambitious and passionate about their work; and they are playing an ever-larger role in the economic progress of their countries. An important component of this study is an exploration of best practice in the private sector—cutting-edge initiatives that leverage the newly-rich pool of female talent. (12/1/2010, Report - 56 pages)

Sponsors: Bloomberg LP, Booz & Company, Intel, Pfizer, Siemens AG

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The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling

Women aren't making it to the top. Despite gains in middle and senior management, they hold just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the C-suite, they're outnumbered four to one. What's keeping women under the glass ceiling? High-performing women simply don't have the sponsorship they need to reach the top. Spearheaded by American Express, Deloitte, Intel, and Morgan Stanley, the Hidden Brain Drain Task Force launched a study in 2009 to determine the impact of sponsorship and why women fail to make better use of it. The study found that women underestimate the role sponsorship plays in their advancement. And those who do grasp its importance fail to cultivate it. It's also a classic catch-22: a woman's personal choices, whatever they may be, brand her as not quite leadership material. What will it take to promote sponsorship? In 2010, leading-edge companies are making relationships between sponsors and protegees safe and transparent. Much work remains. But companies that foster sponsorship of their standout women will gain a competitive advantage in talent markets the world over. (12/1/2010, Harvard Business Review Research Report - 77 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, Deloitte, Intel, Morgan Stanley

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Bookend Generations: Leveraging Talent and Finding Common Ground

Right now, a battle for survival has eclipsed the war for talent. Business leaders are slashing headcounts and budgets, and focusing with laser vision on what it takes to succeed in a deep global recession. But when the economy recovers, companies will return swiftly to the crucial work of recruiting and retaining top performers. Renewal and growth cannot be rekindled without high-octane brain power. Yet the value proposition is changing dramatically in a new era of talent management. Two dominant demographic cohorts—Gen Y and Baby Boomers—are redefining what it takes for a company to be an "employer of choice." The 78 million Boomers and 70 million Gen Ys crave flexibility, personal growth, connection, and opportunities to "give back." The Bookend Generations are remapping old ideals of success as they pursue a "Rewards Remix" that prizes meaning and choice over money. (7/1/2009, Report- 70 pages)

Sponsors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Lehman Brothers, Time Warner, UBS

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How Gen Y & Boomers Will Reshape Your Agenda

When it comes to workplace preferences, Generation Y workers closely resemble Baby Boomers. Because these two huge cohorts now coexist in the workforce, their shared values will hold sway in the companies that hire them. The authors, from the Center for Work-Life Policy, conducted two large-scale surveys that reveal those values. Gen Ys and Boomers are eager to contribute to positive social change, and they seek out workplaces where they can do that. They expect flexibility and the option to work remotely, but they also want to connect deeply with colleagues. They believe in employer loyalty but desire to embark on learning odysseys. Innovative firms are responding by crafting reward packages that benefit both generations of workers - and their employers. (7/1/2009, Harvard Business Review Article - 6 pages)

Sponsors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young, Lehman Brothers, Time Warner, UBS

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Top Talent: Keeping Performance Up When Business Is Down

During tough economic times it's more vital than ever to hold on to and leverage your top performers: They've got the outsize smarts and dedication your firm needs to survive recession and emerge stronger. Yet in 2009 many employers are failing to support and sustain their best people. Loyalty and trust are out the window. Engagement is through the floor. Flight risk is at an all time high. In Top Talent, a volume in the Memo to the CEO series, Sylvia Ann Hewlett presents new data detailing what has happened to top talent in this brutal down cycle. She then explains how companies can re-engage and re-energize their stars. (1/1/2009, Book, Harvard Business Press)

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Sustaining High Performance in Difficult Times

Viewed from Wall Street the current credit crunch and market downturn is exceptionally difficult to deal with. The cascading losses, the scale of the layoffs (100,000 and counting) and the fear that generous profit margins are a thing of the past—that new restrictions on leverage and risk will limit profitability going forward—make this the toughest down cycle in a generation. So how is top talent dealing with this onslaught? In a word--badly. In focus groups conducted for this study, senior executives talked about being angry, anxious and deeply stressed. Troubled firms are finding that precisely the wrong people (top performers with other job options) are heading for the door. (9/1/2008, Report - 16 pages)

Sponsors: The Moody's Foundation

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Stopping the Exodus of Women in Science

A new study reveals that U.S. companies face a troubling brain drain: Fifty-two percent of female scientists, engineers, and technologists abandon their chosen professions. If companies understand why women drop out, however, they can create targeted interventions and head off a talent shortage. (6/1/2008, Harvard Business Review article - 2 pages)

Sponsors: Alcoa, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer

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The Athena Factor: Reversing the Brain Drain in Science, Engineering, and Technology

Forty-one percent of highly qualified scientists, engineers, and technologists on the lower rungs of corporate career ladders are female. But more than half (52%) drop out. Why? To better understand the scope and shape of female talent, the Athena Factor research project studied the career trajectories of women with SET credentials in the private sector. It found 5 powerful "antigens" in corporate cultures. Women in SET are marginalized by hostile macho cultures. Being the sole woman on a team or at a site can create isolation. Many women report mysterious career paths: fully 40% feel stalled. Systems of risk and reward in SET cultures can disadvantage women, who tend to be risk averse. Finally, SET jobs include extreme work pressures: they are unusually time intensive. Moreover, female attrition rates spike 10 years into a career. Women experience a perfect storm in their mid- to late thirties: They hit serious career hurdles precisely when family pressures intensify. Companies that step in with targeted support before this "fight or flight moment" may be able to lower the female attrition rate significantly. This study features 13 company initiatives that address this female brain drain. Some, for example, are designed to break down female isolation; others create on-ramps for women who want to return to work. These initiatives are likely to be "game changers": They will allow many more women to stay on track in SET careers. (6/1/2008, Harvard Business Review Research Report - 100 pages)

Sponsors: Alcoa, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Pfizer

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The Under-Leveraged Talent Pool: Women Technologists on Wall Street

Right now, a battle for survival has eclipsed the war for talent. Business leaders are slashing headcounts and budgets, and focusing with laser vision on what it takes to succeed in a deep global recession. But when the economy recovers, companies will return swiftly to the crucial work of recruiting and retaining top performers. Renewal and growth cannot be rekindled without high-octane brain power. Yet the value proposition is changing dramatically in a new era of talent management. Two dominant demographic cohorts—Gen Y and Baby Boomers—are redefining what it takes for a company to be an "employer of choice." The 78 million Boomers and 70 million Gen Ys crave flexibility, personal growth, connection, and opportunities to "give back." The Bookend Generations are remapping old ideals of success as they pursue a "Rewards Remix" that prizes meaning and choice over money. (12/1/2008, Report - 25 pages)

Sponsors: Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Merrill Lynch, NYSE Euronext

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Sin Fronteras: Celebrating and Capitalizing on the Strengths of Latina Executives

This study showcases the strengths of Latina executives. Drawing upon a heritage that is rich in transferable skill sets – work ethic, collaborative leadership, cultural fluency – Latinas have extraordinary potential in the executive suite. Potential is the key word here. The fact is, many of the rich assets Latinas bring to the workplace are either ignored or denied by employers. Negative stereotypes are alive and well – impeding progress, undermining trust and increasing “flight risk” among Latinas. (CWLP October 2007) (10/1/2007, Report - 20 pages)

Sponsors: Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, Credit Suisse, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Time Warner

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success

Most professional women step off the career fast track at some point. With children to raise, elderly parents to care for, and other pulls on their time, these women are confronted with one off-ramp after another. When they feel pushed at the same time by long hours and unsatisfying work, the decision to leave becomes even easier. But woe to the woman who intends for that exit to be temporary. The on-ramps for professional women to get back on track are few and far between, the authors confirm. Their new survey research reveals for the first time the extent of the problem--what percentage of highly qualified women leave work and for how long, what obstacles they face coming back, and what price they pay for their time-outs. And what are the implications for corporate America? Off-Ramps and On-Ramps provides a proven road map to help companies stop the female brain drain, and to help women achieve their full potential with rewarding and balanced lives. (1/1/2007, Book, Harvard Business Press - 299 pages)

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Seduction and Risk: The Emergence of Extreme Jobs

Detailed findings of the research underlying in "Extreme Jobs: Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Work Week" are the basis of the Center for Work-Life Policy Report. (CWLP, 2007) (2/1/2007, Report - 52 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, BP plc, ProLogis, UBS

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Extreme Jobs: The Dangerous Allure of the 70-Hour Workweek

Across the economy, there are high-earning professionals whose work has become all consuming. Do these professionals constitute a new breed? Not entirely. Highly demanding and important jobs have always been around - along with the workaholics who created them where they didn't need to exist. Yet there is a difference. No longer the pitiable drones and graspers of society, today's overachieving professionals are recast as road warriors and masters of the universe. What emerges from our two large surveys is a complex picture of the all-consuming career - rewarding in many ways, but not without danger to individuals and society. (Harvard Business Review, December 2006) (12/1/2006, Harvard Business Review Article - 12 pages)

Sponsors: American Express, BP plc, ProLogis, UBS

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Global Multicultural Executives and the Talent Pipeline

In recent months violence and turmoil in different parts of the world-from race riots in France's ethnic ghettos to protests after the publication of cartoons of Muhammad, to American outrage at botched relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina that left mostly black victims to fend for themselves-have highlighted the ongoing challenge posed by difference and discrimination. These events capture not only the impact of prejudice, but also the need to look closely at what is going on in the labor force and talent pool- where lack of opportunity is felt by non-whites and women from the very bottom on up to the very top rungs of power. The data showcased in this study describe an enormous opportunity: multicultural executives rich in human and cultural capital. But they also describe serious challenges: how to realize this new stream of talent with its enormous leadership potential. This is a wake up call for global corporations. (4/1/2006, Report - 20 pages)

Sponsors: Citigroup, General Electric, PepsiCo, Time Warner, Unilever

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Invisible Lives: Celebrating and Leveraging Diversity, in the Executive Suite

Detailed findings of the research underlying in "Leadership in Your Midst" are the basis of the Center for Work-Life Policy Special Report. (CWLP, November 2005) (11/1/2005, Report - 61 pages)

Sponsors: General Electric, Time Warner, Unilever

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Leadership in Your Midst: Tapping the Hidden Strengths of Minority Executives

Minority professionals often hold leadership roles outside work, serving as pillars of their communities and churches and doing more than their share of mentoring. It’s time their employers took notice of these invisible lives and saw them as sources of strength. Our new research underscores that the lives of minority professionals are rich with experience that goes unleveraged by their employers. But they also reveal a startling fact: These lives remain invisible largely by choice. For many reasons, minority professionals are reluctant to speak of their outside pursuits and accomplishments to colleagues and managers. We are left with a dual challenge: Companies can’t leverage what they don’t see – and they can’t see what is purposely concealed. Case studies reveal innovative solution sets. (Harvard Business Review, November 2005) (11/1/2005, Harvard Business Review Article - 9 pages)

Sponsors: General Electric, Time Warner, Unilever

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Talented Women on the Road to Success

Most professional women step off the career fast track at some point. With children to raise, elderly parents to care for, and other pulls on their time, these women are confronted with one off-ramp after another. When they feel pushed at the same time by long hours and unsatisfying work, the decision to leave becomes even easier. But woe to the woman who intends for that exit to be temporary. The on-ramps for professional women to get back on track are few and far between, the authors confirm. Their new survey research reveals for the first time the extent of the problem--what percentage of highly qualified women leave work and for how long, what obstacles they face coming back, and what price they pay for their time-outs. And what are the implications for corporate America? One thing at least seems clear: As market and economic factors align in ways guaranteed to make talent constraints and skill shortages huge issues again, employers must learn to reverse this brain drain. Like it or not, large numbers of highly qualified, committed women need to take time out of the workplace. The trick is to help them maintain connections that will allow them to reenter the workforce without being marginalized for the rest of their lives. Strategies for building such connections include creating reduced-hour jobs, providing flexibility in the workday and in the arc of a career, removing the stigma of taking time off, refusing to burn bridges, offering outlets for altruism, and nurturing women's ambition. An HBR Special Report, available online at www.womenscareersreport.hbr.org, presents detailed findings of the survey. (5/1/2005, Harvard Business Review Article - 11 pages)

Sponsors: Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers

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The Hidden Brain Drain: Off-Ramps and On-Ramps in Women's Careers

Corporations have done a dismal job of retaining female talent. Indeed, they make it very easy for women to depart. When women take a temporary leave of absence to have children or deal with other personal matters, they find it difficult to return to work and contribute as they had previously. In essence, corporations provide women with many career off-ramps, but provide them with few on-ramps. This problem bodes badly for CEOs and top managers who view human resources as a critical asset. This research report, based on an extensive study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, a nonprofit research firm in New York City, provides the first comprehensive view of the forces behind the ongoing exodus of talented women from the workforce. The study identifies the reasons why women lose much of their earning power when they "off-ramp" and outlines the limited possibilities for finding on-ramps, or reentry points, for those wishing to re-enter. With in-depth case studies and dozens of charts and tables accompanied by insightful interpretations of the data, the report constitutes one of the most detailed looks at the hidden brain drain that will prevent companies from effectively competing in the incipient war for talent. Detailed findings of the research are the basis of this HBR Special Report. (Harvard Business Review, March 2005) (3/1/2005, Harvard Business Review Research Report - 140 pages)

Sponsors: Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers