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Sylvia Ann Hewlett
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Sylvia Ann Hewlett is an economist and the founding president and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, a Manhattan-based think tank where she chairs the “Task Force for Talent Innovation”—75 global companies focused on fully realizing the new streams of labor in the global marketplace. For the last nine years she's directed the “Gender and Policy” program at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. She's also the Co-Director of the Women's Leadership Program at the Columbia Business School. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association.
Hewlett is the author of 10 Harvard Business Review articles and 10 critically acclaimed nonfiction books including When the Bough Breaks (Basic Books, winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Prize), Off-Ramps and On-Ramps (Harvard Business School Press, named as one of the best business books of 2007 by, Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets (Harvard Business Press, 2011) and Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor (Harvard Business Review Press, forthcoming September 2013). She is currently ranked #11 on the “Thinkers 50” listing of the world’s top business gurus. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, and the International Herald Tribune and she is a featured blogger on Harvard Business Online. In 2011 she received the Isabel Benham Award from the Women’s Bond Club and Woman of the Year Award from the Financial Women’s Association.
Hewlett is the founder of Hewlett Chivée Partners LLC advisory services that focus on helping organizations leverage talent across the divides of culture, gender, geography and generation.
Hewlett has taught at Cambridge, Columbia and Princeton universities and held fellowships at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London and the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard. In the 1980s she became the first woman to head up the Economic Policy Council—a non-profit composed of 125 business and labor leaders.
Hewlett is a sought-after speaker on the international stage. She has keynoted International Women’s Day at the IMF, given the featured address at Pfizer’s Emerging Markets Leadership Summit in Dubai, and spoken at the White House. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio, appearing on Oprah, NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, ABC World News Tonight, The Today Show, The View, BBC World News, Talk of the Nation—and she has been lampooned on Saturday Night Live.
A Kennedy Scholar and graduate of Cambridge University, Hewlett earned her PhD in economics at London University.

Entries by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

Women CEOs: Higher Profile, Higher Risk

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 5:07 PM

GM CEO Mary Barra had a tough time in March and April being grilled by Congress for a botched recall of 2.6 million vehicles with faulty ignition switches. But that's only one of the reasons she's in the hot seat -- and she's got company.

Barra inherited a situation...

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The Power of the Purse: An Untapped Opportunity

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 11:49 AM

Women wield a big purse -- and it's getting bigger. Around the globe, women create, control and influence about a quarter of the world's wealth -- upwards of $20 trillion -- and this base is set to rise eight percent a year. As the largest and fastest-growing segment...

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Making Science, Engineering and Technology More Female-Friendly

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 4:59 PM

Women in science, engineering and technology (SET) are responsible for a plethora of inventions that have made our lives healthier, safer, easier and more enjoyable, some in surprising ways. For the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner (and feline distractor), thank engineer Helen Greiner. Scotchgard, the spray-on fabric protector? Hats off to...

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Why Global Gay Rights Is NOT a NIMBY Issue

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 10:25 AM

It's tempting for many Westerners to take a "Not In My Backyard" approach to articles like the recent New York Times front-page story, "Wielding Whip and a Hard New Law, Nigeria Tries to 'Sanitize' Itself of Gays." In fact, for many employees of multinational corporations (MNCs), global gay...

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Tackling Talent Bias On and Off the Field

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 1:19 PM

When is a thug not a thug?

Whether you admired or abhorred -- or simply ignored -- Richard Sherman's 15-second rant moments after his interception helped the Seattle Seahawks get to the Super Bowl, we should all be grateful for one thing: The ensuing discussion has taken a...

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How Can You Unlock the Diversity Dividend?

(2) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 1:11 PM

January 15, 2014 would have marked Martin Luther King Jr.'s 85th birthday. It's a reminder to us to see how far we've come in promoting equal opportunities no matter what one's race, ethnicity, gender or religion -- and how far we still have to go.

Those of us who...

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Bill de Blasio and the Diversity Dividend

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 7:46 AM

Dante's Afro is only the starter. We soak up Chiara's teenage panache (pink roses and a nose piercing teamed up with the world's most radiant smile) and Chirlane's spunky authenticity -- after all, how many African-American political wives wear their hair "au naturel" and talk easily about having been a...

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Gender Smarts Break Congressional Deadlock

(9) Comments | Posted October 20, 2013 | 3:26 PM

The next time we find ourselves teetering on the default cliff--and given this month's historic precedent, we surely will revisit it -- let it be remembered who dragged us back from the brink: a bipartisan caucus of courageous women.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) led the effort by crafting...

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Wanted: An Inclusive Workplace. Needed: Active Allies.

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 1:51 PM

"Out" is in. The Supreme Court's dismissal of a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in June and the ongoing strong bipartisan support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) are just two outstanding reasons to celebrate the LGBT community's progress.

The shifts in...

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50 Years Later, How Can We Help Realize Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream?

(4) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 9:10 AM

Fifty years ago, on August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered one of the most eloquent speeches in the English language. As he stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, he proclaimed, "I have a dream." His dream, he explained was "deeply rooted in the American dream......

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When Women Win, Everyone Wins

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2013 | 1:14 PM

To commemorate the 165th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, a call to arms for women to gain complete equality with men, Nancy Pelosi along with House Democrats unveiled "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families." The agenda advances three core pillars of...

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ENDA Vote Is Just the Beginning

(12) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 4:09 PM

July 10 may not have quite the resonance of July 4, but it's a significant date in the ongoing fight for liberty, equality and the pursuit of happiness. That's because it's the date that the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions adopted the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA),...

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DOMA Dead! Workplace Discrimination Next?

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 5:30 PM

DOMA down! As the mother of a beloved son who is gay, I couldn't have been happier when I heard the news that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. The ruling endows all legally...

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The Sponsorship Secret

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 10:41 AM

It's been nearly two generations since college-educated women and people of color started pouring into the professional ("white" collar) workforce. Back then, no one doubted that the ambitious ones would eventually move into the executive suite. With greater access to both educational and professional opportunities, making it to the top...

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Cherie Blair and the On-Ramping Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2007 | 11:05 AM

This month Cherie Blair is scrambling to re-calibrate her work life. As her husband Tony Blair left Downing Street last week, Blair was looking to ramp up her career -- expanding her staff, moving into newly renovated office space in London's Cadogan Square.

It's not that Blair ever opted...

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Off-Ramps and On-Ramps

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2007 | 10:19 AM

What do Cherie Blair and Michelle Obama have in common? Well, there's the obvious stuff. They're both married to high octane politicians. But they also share some deep concerns on the career front. As Tony Blair's political star sets and Barak Obama's star rises, these impressively credentialed women are scrambling...

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Working Moms--Between a Rock and a Hard Place

(9) Comments | Posted May 14, 2007 | 3:56 PM

What do French Presidential Candidate Segolene Royale and pop-star Britney Spears have in common?

Both are women with fierce ambition and family baggage. Sometimes it lifts them up; mostly it weighs them down. Royale's four children and unmarried status are often held against her by French traditionalists, while Spears'...

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