Women at Work

Women at Work Podcast

Women face gender discrimination throughout our careers. It doesn't have to derail our ambitions — but how do we prepare to deal with it? There's no workplace orientation session about narrowing the wage gap, standing up to interrupting male colleagues, or taking on many other issues we encounter at work. So HBR editors Amy Bernstein and Amy Gallo are untangling some of the knottiest problems. They interview experts on gender, tell stories about their own experiences, and give lots of practical advice to help you succeed in spite of the obstacles.

Family Management: Everyday Joys
Everyday joys can boost our energy and productivity, so long as we’re able to notice and appreciate them. Kevin reflects on the presence of joy in his life and what keeps him from feeling it. Then, leadership development coach Amy Jen Su gives advice for getting into a mindset that primes us to experience joy and function better all around....

Family Management: Meet the Parents
Erica and Kevin show snapshots of life for them these days — basically, frantically working when not giving their all to childcare. They discuss how they’re handling the latest challenges working parenthood has thrown at them, highlighting tools and tips that are helping them cope....


May We Recommend…Coaching Real Leaders
Leadership coach Muriel Wilkins has shared her wisdom on our show multiple times. Now you can listen to and grow from it regularly through Muriel’s new podcast, Coaching Real Leaders. The show takes you inside real-life coaching sessions with executives who’ve hit a bump in the road. In this episode, Muriel speaks with a VP who’s been passed over for a promotion and needs help figuring out how to overcome the setback and get to where she wants to be....

Welcome Back to Remote Work, New Moms
Coming back to work after parental leave, after having a baby during a pandemic, when you and your colleagues are still working remotely — is complicated. Our colleague describes how she’s approaching remote reentry, and we turn to an expert on all things career and motherhood for guidance on handling childcare, boundaries, and professional relationships during this transition....


When You Need Time Off for Health Reasons
After a team member of ours faced a serious medical problem, we recognized how little guidance there was for communicating a health crisis or chronic illness. We talk through common decisions, fears, and conversations....

Has Anything Changed for Black Women at Work?
As we wait for company leaders to make good on the anti-racism commitments they made earlier this year, we check in with four Black women about how their work lives have and haven’t changed. Then we talk with an expert who helps us understand how to keep pushing forward and supporting our Black colleagues while we wait for long-overdue change....

When You’re Ready for a Big Career Move
Sometimes you want to make a career change, like a big one. We hear from a woman who is in the process of navigating a bold transition. Then we talk with an expert about how to clarify your goals and ask for what you need to make your next move....


Let’s Take Our Side Gigs Off the Back-Burner
With the help of an expert in side gigs, Emily confronts the hobbies, projects, and pursuits that she’s neglected, in hopes of helping herself and others invest in interests outside of a full-time job....

Now Is a Good Time to Take Care of Ourselves
We’re wiped out and finding it tough to stay focused, present, and optimistic. So we decided to revisit conversations that explore how and why we get worn out and that have advice for building ourselves back up....


Going Back to the Office
As offices — including HBR’s — carefully reopen after being closed for months because of the pandemic, we describe what it’s like there and discuss the risks and rewards of being back in person....

Too Shy to Be a Leader?
One woman’s struggle with shyness prompts us to explore the seeming conflict between being shy and being a leader. We offer strategies for overcoming anxieties that may be keeping you from going after your career goals, as well as advice for supporting socially anxious colleagues. Guest: Alice Boyes....

How Mothers WFH Are Negotiating What’s Normal
We continue tracking the ways the pandemic is impacting women’s lives and careers, and discuss how to not only manage the challenges but also shape a more equitable future. Guests: Kathleen McGinn and Katherine Goldstein....


All the Help We Can Get
Women don’t always feel entitled to ask for help at work — even when we need it the most. But Heidi Grant says asking has psychological benefits for you and your colleagues. She explains how to approach your request strategically and why lending a hand to others can be good for you too....

Introducing Season 6
Women at Work returns October 5 with candid conversations and practical advice that’ll help get you through the messiness of 2020. Plus, we have a new host!...

Starting Your Career in a Pandemic
Young women who are wrestling with the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their early-stage careers share how they’re managing the unfamiliar and unexpected. Plus a career coach gives advice for young women striving to establish themselves at work in less than optimal circumstances. Guests: Rachel Bronstein, Nina Jones, Hana Ayoub, and Alex Hemmer. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Unpause Yourself
We reflect on what moving ahead means now and give advice on when and how we should be pushing ourselves, as well as ways to protect a job you love. Guests: Kathleen McGinn and Daisy Wademan Dowling. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Sisterhood Is Critical to Racial Justice
To push for a racially just workplace, white women must put in the effort to understand black women’s experiences. We talk about what has historically driven women of different races apart at work and about how we can stick together and support one another. Guests: Ella Bell Smith, Stella Nkomo, Tina Opie, and Verónica Rabelo. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Helping Men Help Us
We get an update on what men are doing or should be doing to support the women they work with. And we talk about our role in helping them help us. Guests: Brad Johnson, David Smith, and Lily Zheng. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Working Through Menopause (at Work)
We talk about why menopause shouldn’t be a taboo topic at work, how managers can be supportive, and what to say when you’re having a hot flash in the middle of a meeting. Guests: Dr. Heather Hirsch, Jeneva Patterson, and Tina Opie. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Advice for Less Than Optimal Circumstances
We talk through questions from listeners seeking advice on dealing with the challenges they’re facing right now—from how to handle pandemic-related burnout to how to increase their company’s diversity in hiring. Guest: Alison Beard. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

When Your Career Is Suddenly on Hold
We talk about the different professional setbacks women are facing because of the coronavirus crisis and offer advice for dealing with a promotion, project, career move, or entrepreneurial endeavor on hold or lost forever. Guests: Alexandra Kalev and Daisy Auger-Domínguez....


A Time for Women Leaders to Shine
A nurse who’s risen to CEO talks about the leadership skills she’s learned through her experience managing global health crises and how she’s applying those skills to the Covid-19 crisis. Guest: Sheila Davis. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

So Many Feelings
There’s often pressure to keep it together at work. But is that even possible right now when we’re all feeling so many intense feelings? Understanding when and how to express fear, anger, sorrow, and stress isn’t easy, but it’s crucial. Guests: Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Making the Most of This Mess
A behavioral scientist gives advice on how to better muddle through working from home during the crisis. She also points out the long-lasting positive changes in women’s personal and professional lives that may come from having to reset expectations and boundaries right now. Guest: Ashley Whillans. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


We’re Beyond Stretched
Women from around the world tell us how the coronavirus crisis is impacting them both professionally and personally. We share how we've been coping and give advice for handling all of this extra stress. Guests: Aliya Hamid Rao and Ruchika Tulshyan. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Season 5 Is on the Way
Women at Work is back April 13 with stories, conversations, and practical advice about being a woman in the workplace. Expect to hear from us every Monday through the spring....


Seeing Ourselves as Leaders
Stepping into a leadership role doesn’t always require permission — but it can require some soul-searching. We speak with leadership development experts on how to be seen as a leader by others and feel like one yourself. Guests: Muriel Wilkins and Amy Su. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

When You Work in a Male-Dominated Industry
For women in male-dominated fields like engineering, there are lots of stressors, both subtle and overt. As a result, many end up leaving the field altogether. But the ones who stay develop strategies to survive and to even challenge the status quo. Guests: Jessica Townsend, Ana, Elena, and Teresa Cardador. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Aging Up, Not Out
As we grow older, we have to deal with not only sexism at work but ageism too. Still, age has its advantages. We talk with an expert on aging, and then we share personal experiences and answer questions from listeners. Guests: Nancy Morrow-Howell and Maureen Hoch. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Aging Up, Not Out
As we grow older, we have to deal with not only sexism at work but ageism too. Still, age has its advantages. We talk with an expert on aging, and then we share personal experiences and answer questions from listeners. Guests: Nancy Morrow-Howell and Maureen Hoch. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Navigating Conflict
Conflict at work is inevitable, and resolving conflicts can lead to higher job satisfaction, stronger relationships with colleagues, and innovation. But dealing with conflict becomes especially difficult when we feel pressure to be likeable or accommodate others. In this live show we talk through a general plan, as well as common situations. Guest: Linda Hill. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


How to Make Part Time Work for You
Going from full time to part time is a complicated career move. First we talk with a woman who’s made part time work well for her about how she set expectations and boundaries. Then we get advice from an expert on work-life balance on how to manage the risks of being part time. Guests: Kristin McElderry and Linda Duxbury. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

How to Make Part Time Work for You
Going from full time to part time is a complicated career move. First we talk with a woman who’s made part time work well for her about how she set expectations and boundaries. Then we get advice from an expert on work-life balance on how to manage the risks of being part time. Guests: Kristin McElderry and Linda Duxbury. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

How We Take Care of Ourselves
At work, self-care might mean asking for a deadline extension, going to the gym in the middle of the day, or blocking off a few hours to prioritize tasks for the week. But that’s all easier said than done. We speak with a happiness researcher about how to find the time we need to take care of ourselves (and then actually do it). Guest: Ashley Whillans. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


How We Take Care of Ourselves
At work, self-care might mean asking for a deadline extension, going to the gym in the middle of the day, or blocking off a few hours to prioritize tasks for the week. But that’s all easier said than done. We speak with a happiness researcher about how to find the time we need to take care of ourselves (and then actually do it). Guest: Ashley Whillans. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

May We Recommend…The Anxious Achiever
Anxiety comes up in our conversations on the show from time to time, and we think it’s important to think about and talk about mental health. That’s why we’re recommending you listen to The Anxious Achiever, a new podcast by HBR Presents that’s all about dealing with anxiety at work....

Work Friendships Are Mostly Amazing and Sometimes Messy
Having a close friend at work feels great. You have someone to laugh with, confide in, and exchange glances with during a meeting. But we often fail to anticipate how the conflicting demands of work can occasionally strain that relationship. We talk through common tensions and how to handle them, either to maintain the friendship or to ease off of it. Guests: Nancy Rothbard and Julianna Pillemer. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Sponsorship: Defining the Relationship
Sponsorship is when someone influential in your organization advocates on your behalf to get you where you want to go. But the sponsor-protege relationship isn’t always clear-cut. We talk about what sponsors really do and what the protege’s role is. Guest: Rosalind Chow. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Networking Doesn’t Have to Be a Drag
Building relationships that benefit our careers isn’t about exchanging business cards at work events; it’s about getting to know people we can learn from. We discuss how to develop a strong network and what the very best women networkers do. Guest: Inga Carboni. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Networking Doesn’t Have to Be a Drag
Building relationships that benefit our careers isn’t about exchanging business cards at work events; it’s about getting to know people we can learn from. We discuss how to develop a strong network and what the very best women networkers do. Guest: Inga Carboni. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Let’s Talk About Money
Talking with colleagues about how much we earn can help us figure out if we’re being paid fairly, but sharing those numbers is stressful. With the help of experts, we discuss the tricky practicalities of salary disclosure and what to do with that sensitive information once we’ve got it. Guests: Zoë Cullen, Gaby Dunn, and Amelia Ransom. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Introducing Season Four
Women at Work is back Oct. 14 with stories, conversations, and practical advice about being a woman in the workplace. Expect to hear from us every Monday for the next couple of months. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Introducing Season Four
Women at Work is back Oct. 14 with stories, conversations, and practical advice about being a woman in the workplace. Expect to hear from us every Monday for the next couple of months. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

gender women hbr equality progress human resources workplace presents


Sisterhood Is Trust
High-quality relationships with other women at work, and the productivity and creativity those connections bring, are built on trusting one another with our emotions. Two researchers share findings from their recent survey about emotional vulnerability in the workplace. Guests: Beth Livingston and Tina Opie. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Why Things Aren’t Better, Yet
Many companies are still sorting out the right policies to put in place around sexual harassment. But even where good policies exist, we all need the skills and confidence to respond to and prevent inappropriate behavior at work. Guests: Marianne Cooper and Sarah Beaulieu. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

When You’re Responsible for Eldercare
Women are responsible for most eldercare, and it’s often an exhausting, isolating job that has to be done on top of your paid work. We talk with a researcher who’s gone through it herself; she shares coping strategies and advice on how to support the caregivers on your team. Guest: Anne Bardoel. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


There’s More to Gender Than “Man” and “Woman”
Thinking of gender as man/woman and masculine/feminine leaves out a lot of people. We talk about the problems the gender binary causes at work and get advice on how to support transgender and nonbinary colleagues. Guest: Lily Zheng. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

When Women Compete
We discuss how women think about and approach competition at work and get advice on how to keep our disagreements — and people’s perceptions of them — from turning negative. Guest: Leah Sheppard. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Sorry Not Sorry
Do women really apologize more than men at work? We speak with a psychology professor and a leadership consultant about the impact that saying “sorry” and using other minimizing language has on job success, and what words and phrases to use instead. Guests: Karina Schumann and Sally Helgesen. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


No Partner, No Kids, No Problem
Just because some of us are single and childless doesn’t mean we don’t have problems at the office or responsibilities outside of it. We talk with a woman who’s been writing a series of essays about her singlehood, as well as a researcher who studies this demographic. Guests: Shani Silver and Tracy Dumas. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

The Upside of Working Motherhood
There are a lot of reasons women should feel optimistic about having both a career and children. Two professors tell us about the takeaways from their research on working motherhood and from their experience raising three kids each. They give advice about managing expectations, transitions, and difficult times. Guests: Danna Greenberg and Jamie Ladge....

Step into the Spotlight
Visibility at work is important for our professional advancement — and tricky, especially for women. In this live episode, we talk about navigating the risks and rewards of being in the spotlight, as well as the best ways to increase our visibility. Guest: Muriel Maignan Wilkins. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Managing Burnout
Stress can enhance our performance at work, but not if it leads to burnout. We talk with an expert on workplace well-being about how women experience burnout and how to manage its causes, symptoms, and repercussions. Guest: Mandy O’Neill....

Introducing Season Three
Women at Work is back April 15 with stories, conversations, and practical advice about being a woman in the workplace. Expect to hear from us every Monday for the next couple of months....

Meet Our New Co-Host!
Amy Gallo is a contributing editor for HBR, an expert on conflict and difficult conversations, a prolific giver of advice — and now she takes up the baton of co-hosting the show from Sarah Green Carmichael. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Self-Disclosure at Work (and Behind the Mic)
In this special live episode, we share stories, research, and practical advice for strategic self-disclosure, and then take questions from the audience. Guest: Katherine Phillips. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Sisterhood Is Power
Women will be a stronger force against sexism and racism at work if we know and trust each other. We talk through best practices for listening to, learning about, and advocating for women who are different from us. Guests: Tina Opie and Verónica Rabelo. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Your Parental Leave Stories
We bring you three stories about parental leave, from listeners whose experiences with it changed them, for better or for worse. They talk about having to fight for more time off, go back to work before they were ready, care for sick babies, and try to hide their exhaustion and stress. Ultimately, they’re stories about how inadequate leave policies hurt families and companies....


Sisterhood Is Scarce
We hold ourselves back when we let differences like race or class divide us from other women. We talk about the very different experiences and professional relationships black and white female managers had in 1970s and 1980s corporate America, and how workplace sisterhood is still in short supply. Guests: Ella Bell Smith and Stella Nkomo. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

When We Make All (or Most of) the Money
If you’re your family’s chief breadwinner, research suggests that the pressure you’re feeling is different from what men have been dealing with for eons. We talk about the highs and lows of being in this role and examples of support at work and at home that can make it more manageable. Guest: Alyson Byrne. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

The Art of Claiming Credit
Women have to work harder to be recognized for our ideas. And that recognition is essential for getting the assignments and the promotions we deserve — for moving our careers forward. We talk about how to present an idea in a group so that you come out owning it. Next, we cover how to respond when someone takes credit for your work. Guests: Amy Jen Su and Amy Gallo....


Perfect Is the Enemy
Perfectionist tendencies are a trap that can be difficult to avoid, but we’ll be more productive and advance faster if we don’t worry so much about making the occasional mistake. We talk about how perfectionists can get out of their own way, and how to effectively manage a perfectionist. Guest: Alice Boyes. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

We Deserve Better Than “Attagirl”
Both male and female managers tend to give women low-quality feedback. And when we don’t hear how we’re really doing at work and what we can do to improve — and men do — we’re put at a disadvantage. We talk about how to get high-quality feedback that is direct, specific, and focused on behavior we can change. Guests: Robin Ely and Ella Bell Smith....

Making Great Decisions
Being a great decision maker is uniquely challenging for women. It’s not us; it’s sexism. Stereotypes about the way we make calls can be insulting and distracting. Knowing that we’ll be judged more harshly than men when we make mistakes is discouraging. We talk about how to make informed decisions that stick, despite gender bias. Guest: Therese Huston....


Managing Parental Leave (Yours or Someone Else’s)
Women around the world have access to vastly different amounts of paid parental leave. In some countries, they can take a year or more. In the U.S., they’re not guaranteed any paid leave at all. We talk about how to manage your leave, or someone else’s, no matter how long it is. We also hear from a woman in Washington, DC, who had the rare opportunity to take a year of paid leave. Guest: Daisy Wademan Dowling. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

Let’s Do Less Dead-End Work
Women are expected and asked to do thankless tasks — order lunch, handle less-valued clients — more than men, and research shows that doing those tasks slows down our career advancement and makes us unhappy at work. We talk about why we wind up with so much office drudgery and how to get some of it off our plates. Guests: Lise Vesterlund and Ruchika Tulshyan....

Introducing Season Two
Women at Work is back Sept. 17 with stories, conversations, and practical advice about women and work. Expect to hear from us every Monday for the next couple of months. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....


Back in September with Season Two!
We’re delighted to be making more episodes for you. And we’re asking you to help shape this next season to fit what you’re dealing with and needing guidance on. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network....

The Advice We Get and Give
Professional women get all kinds of advice — some of it helpful, some of it really unhelpful, and some of it nice-sounding but pretty impossible to use. We question some of the classic advice women get (and give) on asking for more money, achieving more by doing less, and not burning out. Guests: Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, Arianna Huffington, Tiffany Dufu, Susan Orlean, and Alison Beard. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network. For links to the articles mentioned in this epi...

Work After #MeToo
While once accusations of sexual harassment would be met with — at most — a monetary settlement and a non-disclosure agreement, today they are more likely to be publicized and investigated. Now, the challenge is, how do we harness this new attention to sexual harassment to make work a safer place for women? Guests: Joan Williams, Amy Gallo, and Michael Kimmel. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network. For links to the articles mentioned in this episode, as well as other inf...


Mind the (Wage) Gap
The gender wage gap is the lifetime financial curse that punishes so many of us. What’s going on in women’s careers that causes us to earn so much less? Guests: Claudia Goldin and Margaret Gullette. Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network. For links to the articles mentioned in this episode, as well as other information about the show, visit hbr.org/podcasts/women-at-work....

Lead with Authenticity
As leaders, we know we’re supposed to be authentic, but for women, that can be tricky. For one thing, it can be hard to even know what our “true selves” want with all the demands competing for our attention. For another, there are different expectations about how women should look, and behave. In this episode, we talk with an expert on authenticity, as well as a woman trying everyday to bring her best self to work and help others do the same. Guests: Tina Opie and Candice Morgan. Our theme music is Matt ...

Couples That Work
Simmering resentments over whose career comes first. Bickering over household tasks. Arguments over who should pick up the kids this time. This is the portrait of two-career coupledom in much of the popular media. But for a lot of couples, the reality is much rosier. Mutually supportive relationships let us take career risks, help us be more resilient to setbacks, and even “lean in” at work. In this episode, we talk with three experts to help us paint a picture of what a truly supportive dual-career relatio...


Make Yourself Heard
Have you ever been in a meeting and shared an idea, only to have it ignored? Then, 10 minutes later, a guy shares the same idea, and your boss says “Great idea!” (Grrr.) Or maybe you’ve been told you apologize too much, don’t speak up enough, or that you need more “confidence” or “leadership presence.” (Ugh.) In this episode, we tackle three aspects of communication: first, how and why women’s speech patterns differ from men’s; second, how women can be more assertive in meetings; and third, how women can...