Erika Hayes James

Women in Leadership

Two of Erika James’s earlier published journal articles inspired her evolving work on women emerging in leadership: “SHE’-E-Os: Gender Effects and Investor Reactions to the Announcements of Top Executive Appointments,” is a study that explores the relationship between announcements of CEO appointments and investor reactions, and particularly the influence of CEO gender on that relationship.  “A Woman’s Value(s): Evolutionary Psychology and the Differences in Compensation Packages for Male and Female Top Executives,” asks the question: What are the psychological aspects that may account for the pay gap between male and female executives?

Through her continuing work on this topic, she examines the dynamics of women emerging as leaders and why it’s a game-changer. In recent years, Erika pioneered a new open-enrollment Executive Education course at the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia called the “Women’s Leadership Program.” The interactive curriculum helps women and their organizations excel by further developing them into highly effective, visionary leaders. Throughout the course, participants address key business and personal leadership challenges, understand how to analyze and approach them as opportunities, and return to their organization ready to lead at the next level.

Hear program creator and faculty leader Erika James talk about the course.

Erika is also passionate about increasing the number of women in business roles, beginning with increasing the ranks of women among MBAs.

“Women make up more than 50% of the US population, and almost half the applications to graduate programs in law and medicine. But in business education, MBA programs regularly enroll classes of approximately 38% women,” James writes for Catalyst.

“We celebrate when a school achieves 40%.

“This is more than a pipeline issue. It’s also about how we prepare women for the business world.”

Erika has discussed the topic in public forums as well as media.

The Wall Street Journal highlighted the problem, its probable sources and various solutions on the table. [highlight]I spoke in more detail with Kristen Scholer on WSJ Live[/highlight]:

Community of WeJoin the Discussion

Erika hosts two discussion groups about the challenges, issues, and advice from participants about women in leadership positions in varying types of organizations called the Community of WE (Women Executives) on LinkedIn.