Women in Public Leadership Resources

By Cynthia Richie Terrell on

University of Chicago, Harris Public Policy - SAME AS HEADLINE???


Women in Public Leadership at Chicago Harris is more than an executive education program; we are a resource to provide you with news, research, and practical advice that will help you explore the wide world of policy and take your place in the public square.

On this page, you’ll find links to articles, books, and other media focused on women who lead, as well as information on policies that affect the lives of girls and women around the globe.

We hope these resources will inspire you to learn more, develop new ideas, join forces with other women leaders and take action to make the world a better place. We welcome your ideas and suggestions of newsworthy articles and other useful resources.

Please send your thoughts and suggestions to me at rasive@uchicago.edu. (To learn more about our November program and to register, click here.)

Thank you for visiting the Women in Public Leadership website. Together, we can change the world.


Rebecca Sive
Academic Director


Publications by Women in Public Leadership Faculty

Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company's Most Valuable Asset
By Daniel Diermeier, Provost, University of Chicago

Reputation Rules is a landmark work bringing to light Dr. Diermeier’s groundbreaking insights in this critical area. He offers the frameworks, strategies, and processes for changing your company’s focus as quickly as the world is changing around you. He touches on all of the reputational issues that need to be managed from a strategic level, describing how to:

  • Overcome direct challenges from influential activist and political forces
  • Manage corporate scandals, including executive compensation
  • Use external, seemingly unrelated events to boost reputation
  • Build a reputation management process into everyday operations

Every Day is Election Day: A Woman's Guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House
By Rebecca Sive, Academic Director, Women in Public Leadership Executive Education Program, and Lecturer, Chicago Harris

With expert guidance and abundant resources, this practical and inspirational guide is for women at all stages of life who want to achieve political leadership and be influential voices on public policy. It teaches women how to surmount public barriers, conquer private fears, and run winning campaigns -- with joy, humor, confidence, and no apologies. In a no-nonsense, woman-to-woman style, Every Day is Election Day offers pragmatic advice and strategies for women's daily lives as advocates, candidates, and powerbrokers. In this book, Sive provides tips for realizing the power of sisterhood; bankrolling oneself; creating an inimitable brand; making local victories national; overcoming negativity; and getting men to accept a take-charge personality. Sive shares the true-life stories, secrets of success, and frank suggestions of women who have led, run, and won.

Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal about Getting It Right When You Have To
By Sian Beilock, professor, Department of Psychology at The University of Chicago

Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests?
Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag?
Why do you mess up when it matters the most—and how can you perform your best instead?
It happens to all of us. You’ve prepared for days, weeks, even years for the big day when you will finally show your stuff—in academics, in your career, in sports—but when the big moment arrives, nothing seems to work. You hit the wrong note, drop the ball, get stumped by a simple question. In other words, you choke. It’s not fun to think about, but now there’s good news: This doesn’t have to happen.
Dr. Sian Beilock, an expert on performance and brain science, reveals in Choke the astonishing new science of why we all too often blunder when the stakes are high.

The Jackie (and Jill) Robinson Effect: Why Do Congresswomen Outperform Congressmen? by Sarah F. Anzia and Christopher R. Berry, American Journal of Political Science

If voters are biased against female candidates, only the most talented, hardest working female candidates will succeed in the electoral process. Furthermore, if women perceive there to be sex discrimination in the electoral process, or if they underestimate their qualifications for office, then only the most qualified, politically ambitious females will emerge as candidates. We argue that when either or both forms of sex-based selection are present, the women who are elected to office will perform better, on average, than their male counterparts. We test this central implication of our theory by studying the relative success of men and women in delivering federal spending to their districts and in sponsoring legislation. Analyzing changes within districts over time, we find that congresswomen secure roughly 9% more spending from federal discretionary programs than congressmen. Women also sponsor and cosponsor significantly more bills than their male colleagues.

Lessons from Life: Learning to Make Experience Count
By Linda Ginzel, Clinical Professor of Managerial Psychology, University Of Chicago, Booth School Of Business

“I first read this paper the month it was published, as I was settling in as a new Booth faculty member in the summer of 1992. It showed me something I’d never seen in my prior MBA teaching experience at Stanford and Kellogg. With an approach that is still unique to Booth, two faculty members— Harry Davis was the Roger L. and Rachel M. Goetz Professor of Creative Management and deputy dean for the MBA Program, and Robin Hogarth was the Wallace W. Booth Professor of Behavioral Science and director of the Center for Decision Research—had created a framework for what they were trying to accomplish in the classroom: to help students become self-sufficient learners in order to achieve higher levels of personal performance.”

Thinking About the Presidency: The Primacy of Power
By Will Howell, Sydney Stein Professor in American Politics at Chicago Harris and a professor in the Department of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago

All American presidents, past and present, have cared deeply about power--acquiring, protecting, and expanding it. While individual presidents obviously have other concerns, such as shaping policy or building a legacy, the primacy of power considerations--exacerbated by expectations of the presidency and the inadequacy of explicit powers in the Constitution--sets presidents apart from other political actors. Thinking about the Presidency explores presidents' preoccupation with power. Distinguished presidential scholar William Howell looks at the key aspects of executive power--political and constitutional origins, philosophical underpinnings, manifestations in contemporary political life, implications for political reform, and looming influences over the standards to which we hold those individuals elected to America's highest office.


Organization Websites

Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)
Part of the Eagleton Institute of Rutgers University, CAWP is the most comprehensive U.S. research and training center for information about American women's political status and history. CAWP resources include:

Catalyst’s mission is to "expand opportunities for women in business."

Political Parity
"Political Parity is a nonpartisan platform accelerating the energies of dedicated leaders, researchers, and funders changing the face of US politics." Its website includes a number of useful resources focused on women in politics and media bias.

Barbara Lee Foundation
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation works to advance women’s equality and representation in American politics “through nonpartisan political research, strategic partnerships, and grant making.” Its website includes extensive research on successful advertising and messaging efforts by women leaders.

Institute for Women's Policy Research
"Informing policy. Inspiring change. Improving lives." The Institute publishes the highly detailed Status of Women in the States, which offers data on a wide range of indicators including demographics, economic security, education, reproductive rights, political participation, civic engagement, and access to health care and work supports.

The Broadsheet
The Broadsheet is a daily newsletter published by Fortune, providing up-to-the-minute links to news and feature articles on women in business and the issues that affect their lives.

Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review’s articles on business strategy, general management, technology, leadership, human resources and innovation offers a wide variety of women-focused research, such as this survey-based article, Are Women Better Leaders than Men? by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman.

Representation 2020
Representation 2020 “works to raise awareness of the under-representation of women in elected office, to strengthen coalitions supportive of measures to increase women's representation, and to highlight the often overlooked structural barriers to achieving gender parity in American elections.” Its research includes The State of Women's Representation, a series of reports on women in U.S. elected office to be published annually through 2020, the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Women's Media Center
The Women's Media Center—founded by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem—has the goal of making women visible and powerful in the media. Its work includes The Status of Women in U.S. Media 2015, an illuminating report summarizing the barriers to women's equal treatment in American media.

Pew Research Center
The Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew recently published an extensive report, Women and Leadership, on the barriers facing women seeking leadership posts in both government and business.

The Center for American Progress
The Center for American Progress is an independent nonpartisan policy institute that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. The Center publishes frequently on women's status and issues of concern to women. Examples include Four Generations of American Women: Great Progress, Persistent Challenges and this fact sheet on Four Generations of American Women.

Girl Scouts
The Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) is the largest leadership organization for girls in the world. They recently released Running for a Change: Girls and Politics Pulse Poll, a fascinating survey of girls' views of politics and their desire for leadership.

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