Cover art for podcast Women at Work

Women at Work

39 EpisodesProduced by Harvard Business ReviewWebsite

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… read more

47:36

Let’s Do Less Dead-End Work

Could you take notes? Would you mind ordering lunch? We need someone to organize the offsite event — can you do that? Whether you’ve just started your career or are the CEO of the company, if you’re a woman, people expect you to do routine, time-consuming tasks that no one else wants to do.

We talk with University of Pittsburgh economics professor Lise Vesterlund about why women get stuck with — and even volunteer for! — tasks that won’t show off our skills or get us promoted, and how that slows down our career advancement and makes us unhappy at work. Women of color in particular are asked to do more low-promotability projects, and we talk with inclusion strategist Ruchika Tulshyan about some ways they can say no. Lise and Ruchika tell us how they’ve handled these kinds of requests and what managers can do to assign work fairly.

Our HBR reading list:

Why Women Volunteer for Tasks That Don’t Lead to Promotions,” by Linda Babcock, Maria P. Recalde, and Lise Vesterlund

Women of Color Get Asked to Do More “Office Housework.” Here’s How They Can Say No.” by Ruchika Tulshyan

For Women and Minorities to Get Ahead, Managers Must Assign Work Fairly,” by Joan C. Williams and Marina Multhaup

“‘Office Housework’ Gets in Women’s Way,” by Deborah M. Kolb and Jessica L. Porter

Get the discussion guide for this episode on our webpage, hbr.org/podcasts/women-at-work.

Email us: womenatwork@hbr.org

Our theme music is Matt Hill’s “City In Motion,” provided by Audio Network.

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