Articles 1 to 15 of 26
Results from a recent Nielsen survey show that women in India are the most stressed out. What exactly is weighing on women in one of the fastest growing economies in the world? Says one observer: "The Indian woman has far more familial interfaces to manage than her western counterpart."
Running a family business can be rewarding -- when it goes well. Sometimes company struggles require hard decisions that displace the loyalty of family relationships. After Rosani Aparecida de Souza Lopes took over Búfalo Ferramentas from her father, she was forced to take on a tough management role -- a decision she says helped the family business survive.
While women have indeed come a long way since earning the right to vote in 1920, they still have not achieved wage and income equity compared with their male counterparts, notes a government report released this month. The reason, according to a series of speakers and panelists at the recent Wharton Women in Business Alumnae Conference 2011, is that women still need to assert themselves more when establishing work relationships, seeking sponsors, trying to make their presence -- and contributions -- known, or negotiating for a raise. As one speaker noted: "Women don't ask."
Construction is among the most in-demand and risky businesses in Afghanistan, posing a serious threat to on-site workers and leaving small business owners to take what they can get in an often dubious system of contracts and bidders. Young entrepreneur Fatima Hakimzada is meeting those challenges head-on as she works to win larger contracts in a quest to rebuild the city of her birth.
Afghan entrepreneur Fatema Akbari makes more than wood products in her carpentry business; she helps to rebuild lives. Akbari prioritizes hiring women whose husbands have either been killed or disabled in the war. Still, it was a very different family-related employee situation that challenged Akbari in recent months. She called upon the lessons from her Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
training to help her resolve the issue and move on.
When Tajamala Lester, an MBA candidate and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women
scholar at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., was well into her 30s she began a deep exploration of the world of venture capital. What she discovered was a new career path that suited her strengths and her appetite for risk.
What inspires an employee to work harder? More money, more often than not. But what about being benchmarked against peers, asks Wharton management professor Iwan Barankay in a new study titled, "Rankings and Social Tournaments: Evidence from a Field Experiment." With the help of a "crowd-sourcing" website, Barankay set out to discover not only whether workers are interested in how they rank against their peers, but also what happens to their performance if they find out how they placed. His conclusion may leave companies thinking twice about the best way to appraise staff performance.
Poor economic conditions in Spain have triggered much higher rates of unemployment. Jobless numbers have reached historic highs, with more than four million Spaniards out of work, according to the latest official data. Of these, almost half are women. In 2009, some 415,000 women joined the list of unemployed. At the end of the year, their numbers had swelled to 1,934,000, which meant that the rate of unemployment among women in Spain was 19.07% -- four points higher than in 2008. Universia Knowledge@Wharton spoke with two scholars whose research focuses on the role of women in the managerial world.
Could a simple five-minute interaction with another person dramatically increase your weekly productivity? In some employment environments, the answer is yes, according to Wharton management professor Adam Grant. Grant has examined what motivates workers in settings that range from call centers and mail-order pharmacies to swimming pool lifeguard squads. In all these situations, Grant says, employees who know how their work has a meaningful, positive impact on others are not just happier than those who don't have this knowledge; they are vastly more productive, too.
When microfinance began, its scope was simple: Charitable, donor-driven organizations with a mission to eliminate poverty gave out very small business loans to help the world's poor. Big banks -- deeming the loans too small to be profitable -- steered clear. That is now changing, said microfinance leaders who gathered in spring 2010 at Wharton to participate in the Women's World Banking Advanced Leadership Workshop. Banks, realizing there is money to be made at the bottom of the pyramid, are entering microfinance markets they previously ignored. One of their most immediate needs: loan officers and branch managers with knowledge of the field.
Women scholars at the School of Finance and Banking in Kigali are eager to learn new skills related to human resources -- in particular, how to motivate, empower and delegate. One long-time supermarket owner has improved sales and service at her business by grasping a new understanding of her role as manager, including how job-related performance can nurture her employees' self-worth.
Entrepreneurs are notorious control freaks. They are wired to multi-task and take risks that assure start-up success, which often results in a stubborn strategy of refusing to let go of anything, to anyone. This management approach is unrealistic and inevitably weakens a business, rather than builds it. As a graphic artist in India recently discovered, delegating responsibility to employees is a powerful and essential business skill.
Women entrepreneurs around the world have discovered that they need not go it alone. Through Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership programs in countries like Cairo, Egypt, they are embracing strategies for developing networks and working with mentors to share knowledge and grow their businesses.
Whether you are seeking financing or talking to potential customers, the way you communicate your message is critical to the success of your business. Women entrepreneurs in Cairo, Egypt, learned the art of communicating and negotiating and, ultimately, building lasting relationships.
While Wal-Mart Stores, Payless ShoeSource and other major retailers have moved to computer-driven scheduling systems that put more workers on the floor at the busiest times, Ann Taylor Stores has added the dimension of individual sales productivity to the equation. The clothing retailer's latest technological style assigns the busiest and most desirable hours to employees with the strongest sales numbers. Experts warn that there is no substitute for hands-on management when it comes to dealing with employees.
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