Rebecca Knight

Kristin Forbes has experience at the top of two professions: academia and policy. She is a tenured professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and used to serve as a member of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, where she was the youngest person to ever hold that position. The mother of three has also recently been honoured as a “Young Global Leader” as part of the World Economic Forum at Davos.

Rebecca Knight

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year, women made up less than a third of personal financial advisors, 35 per cent of financial analysts and 39 per cent of workers in the securities, commodities, and fund management business. Similarly, the 2010 Catalyst Census of Women Executive Officers found that women comprised less than a quarter of all senior officers in the financial services and insurance industries. It is an imbalance that many companies are keen to rectify.

Rebecca Knight

How does a woman respond when she’s being recruited for a top job that may prove to be just too much of a stretch? And how is that different from how a man reacts in the same circumstances?

Rebecca Knight

What makes a company great to work for? New and stimulating challenges, for one; a collegial and professional atmosphere, for another. Regular pay increases and good training opportunities are also key. But if you’ve got small children at home, the answer may not be so clear; other things, such as a flexible work schedule, onsite childcare and generous insurance benefits are more of a priority.

Rebecca Knight

My colleagues and I here at the FT’s Women at the Top blog have written a great deal about the persistent pay gap between men and women – and the various reasons for it.

Rebecca Knight

It is official: Hewlett-Packard is once again the biggest Fortune 500 company led by a woman.

After the close of the stock market on Thursday, HP, the world’s largest computer maker by revenue, announced that Meg Whitman, the former head of Ebay, would replace Léo Apotheker as chief executive.

Rebecca Knight

It is hard not to be cynical about the recent announcement by Walmart, the world’s largest retail company, that it plans to use its enormous “size and scale to help empower women across its supply chain”.

The scheme – which Walmart has dubbed its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative – involves doubling the money the company spends with women-owned businesses, providing women around the world with job training and access to education and approaching its biggest suppliers to use more women and minorities on work they do for the company.

Rebecca Knight

In this blog, my colleagues and I often write about companies that seek to help female employees move up organisations and advance their careers. Rarely, though, do we touch on how male employees perceives such initiatives.

Evan Apfelbaum, assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, usually studies how people of different races wrestle with this issue in social settings. But his work has implications for how different genders relate to each other.

Rebecca Knight

As countries around the world set targets to increase the number of women directors in public companies, new research suggests that meeting those goals might be complicated by the fact that male and female board members do not agree on whether board diversity will improve a board’s performance.

According to the research, women and men on corporate boards disagree on the need for quotas and the reasons why fewer women are represented on boards, and whether or not a diverse board matters for good corporate governance.

Rebecca Knight

Bess Truman once famously quipped that her job as first lady entailed little more than sitting “quietly on the podium next to her husband” and making sure “her hat was on straight”.

Times are different, of course, and while the position of first lady comes with no pay and no official responsibilities in most countries, a new fellowship programme developed by the Rand Corporation, the non-for-profit research organisation, is trying to change that. The programme, which is held at Rand’s office in Arlington, Virginia, aims to help African first ladies and their staff develop analysis skills that will enable them to exert a bigger role in health and social policy across the continent.

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.
 

The 'Women at the Top' blog is part of a series of online and print publications that focuses on women's achievements in business. With up-to-date news and incisive analysis, the blog will provoke discussion on the role of the world's most prominent businesswomen. www.ft.com/womenblog

For more Women at the Top news, video interviews and other features, visit www.ft.com/womenatthetop

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About our bloggers

Liz Bolshaw

Liz Bolshaw is a business journalist and editor. She has been a successful book publisher, online editor, magazine editor and publisher.

She was launch editor of the Europe-wide online community Entrepreneur Country, has published magazines for PwC, 3i, dunhill and Bafta, and launched The Sharp Edge, a magazine for and about entrepreneurs, with Duncan Bannatyne. She is a regular contributor to Thomson Reuters’ Venture Capital Journal.

Her last project for the Financial Times was as editor of the paper’s Business Education magazine.

Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight is a freelance journalist based in Boston. She writes regularly for the FT on business education, entrepreneurship, and management.

Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill is an associate editor and the management editor of the FT. He was City editor of the FT and editor of the daily Lombard column on British business and finance from September 2006 to December 2010.

He was the FT’s financial editor from June 2005 to September 2006, with overall responsibility for coverage of companies and markets. Before becoming financial editor, he was the FT’s comment & analysis editor, in charge of the paper’s opinion and features pages.

From 1999 to 2003, he was the FT’s New York bureau chief. He joined the FT in 1988 and has also worked as foreign news editor, UK companies reporter and correspondent in Brussels and Milan.

Pino Bethencourt

Pino Bethencourt is a professor and leadership expert at IE Business School in Madrid. She is also an author and executive coach.

Lynda Gratton

Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business School.

Linda Tarr-Whelan

Linda Tarr-Whelan, former ambassador to the UN commission on the status of women, is a Demos distinguished senior fellow.