Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2006

Managing a Public Image: Cheri Mack

by Robin J. Ely and Ingrid Vargas


Cheri Mack, an African-American woman, has just arrived at Harvard Business School after working for three years at a major consulting firm where she learned to adopt the demeanor of her male colleagues in order to fit in. Some of her male classmates are critical of her masculine, aggressive style in the classroom. As she begins to plan for a new career in health care, their criticisms cause her to wonder whether having shed much of her femininity will compromise her effectiveness as a leader.

Keywords: Management Style; Race; Reputation; Personal Development and Career; Leadership Style; Gender; Massachusetts;


Ely, Robin J., and Ingrid Vargas. "Managing a Public Image: Cheri Mack." Harvard Business School Case 406-096, April 2006.