Consider these recent reports in the financial press: Even though women hold a minority of financial sector jobs, five times as many women as men were laid off after the start of the recession. Meanwhile, the pay gap between men and women in the industry actually widened between 2000 and 2007. The result is that while women in the broader work force have made significant progress toward pay and opportunity parity, they have actually lost ground on Wall Street. Is the financial services industry just an inhospitable place for women, or are there better opportunities elsewhere? Wharton faculty and others weigh in.
Published: November 16, 2010 Stubborn Obstacles: What's Hindering Female Engineers?
In China, 40% of engineers are women, and in the former USSR, women accounted for 58% of the engineering workforce. But in Western countries, and in a large number of emerging economies, the feminization of engineering continues to be very slow, and now seems to have reached a growth limit. Experts have pointed out factors in engineering education that discourage female students, but workplace inequalities are also real reasons why there aren't more women in engineering.
Published: November 16, 2010 Rethinking the Power of Money: How Has the Financial Crisis Affected HR Management in China?
The job market for white-collar workers in China is buoyant once again if rising salaries and attrition rates are anything to go by. That's leaving HR professionals facing many of the same hiring and retention headaches they grappled with in the pre-financial crisis days. But while the overall challenges are old, HR strategists say much has changed -- particularly for companies that tarnished reputations with big job cuts and office closures during the economic downturn -- and they now need a new plan of action to attract and retain the best employees.
Published: October 05, 2010 'Upsetting the Natural Order': Managing Employees Old Enough to Be Your Parents
If one looks at the research on older workers, one finds what Peter Cappelli, director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources, calls "an incredible amount of discrimination, bigger even than discrimination against race or gender." Older people, he says, often find it difficult to get a job, partly because relatively young supervisors are reluctant to hire and then manage employees who are decades older, even though these employees are the type of worker many employers say they want. In a new book titled, Managing the Older Worker: How to Prepare for the New Organizational Order, Cappelli and Bill Novelli, former CEO of AARP, analyze this phenomenon.
Published: September 21, 2010 India's Next IT Upgrade: To Better Align Employee Performance with Rewards
During the high-growth phase of the Indian information technology (IT) industry, human resources management was all about hiring in large numbers and lowering attrition. The recent slowdown, however, has made organizations more demanding of their employees. The focus has shifted to building competencies and increasing productivity, and employees are now being evaluated more stringently on the value they bring to the table. But experts warn that with the economic recovery gathering pace, the lessons of the downturn could soon be forgotten.
Published: September 07, 2010 'Good Father, Good Boss': How to Succeed by Combining Business and Family Life
Given the pace of business today and lengthy work days, is it possible to balance a high-level career with family life? Natalia Gómez del Pozuelo, a professor at ICADE and the University of Nebrija in Madrid, believes that we can combine aspects of business and family life in order to achieve success in each of them. In her book, Good Father, Good Boss, Gómez del Pozuelo attempts to apply the advice and formulas that we use in the family arena to our careers, while also using professional and managerial skills in ways that improve our performance as parents.
Published: September 07, 2010 Ranking Employees: Why Comparing Workers to Their Peers Can Often Backfire
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.
Published: August 24, 2010 When Do Exaggerations and Misstatements Cross the Line?
Embellishing stories about one's accomplishments or qualifications, whether by exaggeration or misstatement, is part of human nature, experts say, and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another. Left unchecked, however, exaggerations that seemed innocuous at first can result in serious, potentially career-ending consequences. Thanks to the Internet, it's easier than ever to get caught in an exaggeration, Wharton experts and others note. But the temptation to embellish has also never been greater, as recession-weary workers feel pressured to justify their worth and a 24-hour news cycle demands that leaders have an immediate, sound-bite-ready answer for everything.
Published: July 13, 2010 Today's HR Executives: How Career Paths Have Changed -- and Stayed the Same
Step into the office of the head of corporate human resources today and the odds are you will find a 53-year-old man with a bachelor's degree who has been with his current employer for 15 years. He has spent about half his work life in HR roles, most often in workforce development. And he would not be that much different from the man holding the job a generation earlier. While the face of corporate human resources departments is changing as more women and more executives with international expertise ascend to the top HR positions, predictions that HR leaders would increasingly come to their jobs with broad and diverse front-line management experience have failed to come true. Indeed, HR leaders are even more likely to rise up from their own ranks than a decade earlier, according to a new Wharton research paper titled, "Who Gets the Top Job? Changes in the Attributes of Human Resource Heads and Implications for the Future."
Published: May 18, 2010 Linking Passion and Career: The Perils of Nonprofit Recruiting
The conventional wisdom on the campuses of elite universities used to be that the nonprofit sector could never compete for top job seekers against big-name Wall Street players like Goldman Sachs or consulting firms like McKinsey that promised a meteoric career path. But that was before the rise of Teach for America (TFA), the unique nonprofit that recruits some of the nation's best minds to spend two years right out of college in the most challenging urban and rural school districts. By appealing to students' most altruistic instincts, TFA attracted a whopping 35,000 applicants in 2009 for just 4,100 slots -- luring as much as 10% of the graduating classes at some leading private schools.
Published: March 17, 2010