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


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.




Multicultural talent


Financial Services

Life sciences


Emerging Markets



United States

United Kingdom

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Wonder Women in STEM and the Companies that Champion Them

For a decade, the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) has explored the challenges women face as they attempt to climb the ladder to the C-Suite in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields - challenges that often lead them to lean out of their industries entirely. This report shifts from documenting challenges to identifying actionable approaches linked to success for individuals as well as companies. (10/9/2018, Report - 78 pages)


Sponsors: Audible, Bank of America, Bloomberg, BNY Mellon, Booz Allen Hamilton, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, GE, Genpact, Intel, New York Life, PepsiCo, Sanofi US

Delivery Options

Available electronically via PDF only. Price $20.00
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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)


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

Delivery Options

For international shipping of a printed version please contact us.
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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