Glass Half-Broken: Shattering the Barriers That Still Hold Women Back at Work
Why the gender gap persists and how we can close it.
For years women have made up the majority of college-educated workers in the United States. In 2019, the gap between the percentage of women and the percentage of men in the workforce was the smallest on record. But despite these statistics, women remain underrepresented in positions of power and status, with the highest-paying jobs the most gender-imbalanced. Even in fields where the numbers of men and women are roughly equal, or where women actually make up the majority, leadership ranks remain male-dominated.
The persistence of these inequalities begs the question: Why haven't we made more progress?
In Glass Half-Broken, Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg reveal the pervasive organizational obstacles and managerial actions—limited opportunities for development, lack of role models and sponsors, and bias in hiring, compensation, and promotion—that create gender imbalances. Bringing to light the key findings from the latest research in psychology, sociology, organizational behavior, and economics, Ammerman and Groysberg show that throughout their careers—from entry-level to mid-level to senior-level positions—women get pushed out of the leadership pipeline, each time for different reasons. Presenting organizational and managerial strategies designed to weaken and ultimately break down these barriers, Glass Half-Broken is the authoritative resource that managers and leaders at all levels can use to finally shatter the glass ceiling.
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About the Author
Colleen Ammerman is Director of the Harvard Business School Gender Initiative, which catalyzes and translates cutting-edge research to transform practice, enable leaders to drive change, and eradicate gender, race, and other forms of inequality in business and society. She has authored various articles and teaching materials on gender and work and is a researcher with Life and Leadership After HBS, a longitudinal study of the post-MBA paths of Harvard Business School alumni that examines how race, gender, and other factors shape their life and career experiences.
Boris Groysberg is the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and a faculty affiliate at the Gender Initiative. He has won numerous awards for his research, which focuses on the challenge of managing human capital in small and large organizations across the world. Groysberg is the author of the award-winning book Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance and the coauthor of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations. A frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, he has written more than a hundred articles, notes, and case studies on how firms hire, engage, develop, retain, and communicate with diverse talent to create inclusive cultures.
You can find Colleen Ammerman and Boris Groysberg on Twitter @colleenammerman, @bgroysberg, @HBSgender, and hbs.edu/gender.
"This nuanced and comprehensive look at the gender gap hits as an impassioned cry for corporate leaders to make some serious changes." — Publisher's Weekly
Advance Praise for Glass Half-Broken:
"Many have lamented that the world of work is still full of obstacles for women, but few have been able to do anything about it. This book could finally make a dent: it's packed with evidence and enlivened with examples of how organizations can finally start making real progress on gender parity." — Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author, Think Again and Originals; host, TED podcast WorkLife
"This book is a call to action—for all of us. Business leaders, educators, women, and male allies will discover that the glass ceiling can be shattered if we get our day-to-day practices and our formal procedures right." — Iris Bohnet, Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School; author, What Works: Gender Equality by Design
"We need to transform norms at home and in the workplace that continue to reinforce gender bias and make it harder for women to reach their potential. Fortunately, this book offers tools for managers and leaders to do their part to create and sustain that change." — Commodore M. Jitendran, former Chairman and Managing Director, Cochin Shipyard Ltd.
"Glass Half-Broken is a must-read for every manager and leader. Packed with insightful research, coupled with real and raw stories, this book by Ammerman and Groysberg delves deep into the issues that cause women to lose out in the leadership race." — Maya Hari, Vice President and Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Twitter
"Ammerman and Groysberg provide a real service in terms of exposing the perceptions that still impede the progress of too many talented women at all stages of their careers. A must-read for those who either lead or aspire to lead organizations capable of competing and winning in the evolving business landscape of the twenty-first century." — Ken Frazier, Chairman and CEO, Merck
"Are you a leader wondering what you can do to create a more equitable working environment? Glass Half-Broken will give you a specific set of actions you can take today to build teams that are more innovative, productive, and fair." — Kim Scott, author, Radical Candor