Women’s Career Growth: Little Things Make a Difference

Johnson Professor Elizabeth Mannix shares insights from her research, strategies to overcome gender inequities in the workplace

Women’s Career Growth: Little Things Make a Difference

Women’s reluctance to negotiate compensation—or negotiate anything, for that matter—costs them big time, says Elizabeth “Beta” Mannix, the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Management at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. The same applies to failing to develop a strong professional network.

“Resistance to negotiating and failure to network are two of the subtle disadvantages of women, relative to their male peers,” Mannix says. “The accumulation of disadvantage, even small inequities, can add up to major inequalities—as much as $1.5 million over the course of a woman’s career, according to one study.”

Mannix addressed these issues in a recent webinar titled ““Women Who Lead: Building and Negotiating Power,” sponsored by the New York State ACE Women’s Network for women leaders in higher education. Mannix’ presentation is available online. In it, she guides viewers through research illustrating how women disadvantage themselves, and how to overcome these barriers to career growth.

“Despite making great strides in recent years, even in seemingly progressive organizations women rarely achieve the power and economic status of men,” says Mannix. “By understanding when gender inequities are most likely to arise, and taking charge through pro-active strategizing, negotiation, and networking, women can control and advance their careers.”

Professor Mannix's research and teaching interests include effective performance in managerial teams, diversity, power and alliances, negotiation and conflict, and organizational change and renewal. Recently, she has been studying the effects of power in diverse teams. In addition to teaching in Johnson’s MBA, Accelerated MBA, and executive MBA programs, she also served as director of Cornell University’s Institute for the Social Sciences from 2005 to 2008. Mannix was recognized by executive MBA students with their top teaching award in 2001, and also by the dean of Johnson with the Faculty Research Award in 2008. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Society and the Society for Organizational Behavior.

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