Kathleen L. McGinn is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She previously served as Harvard Business School’s Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Director of Research, and Chair of Doctoral Programs. Professor McGinn studies the role of gender at work, at home, and in negotiations. Her current field research investigates these issues internationally—in families, among women “firsts,” in North American professional service firms, across organizations and communities in Mexico and India, and in relation to health and welfare outcomes for young women in Zambia.
With Myra Ruiz Castro and Martha Rivera, Professor McGinn is studying how maternal employment, gender attitudes, household dynamics and organizational practices affect men’s and women’s employment and domestic outcomes across 24 countries. Lakshmi Ramarajan, Deborah Kolb, and Professor McGinn are investigating the process through which an organization incorporates changing understandings of gender into its own evolving mission, structure, and practices over a twenty-year period. With Beth Humberd, Rachel Arnett, and Judy Clair, she is investigating professional and personal transitions in the careers of women who were pioneers in their fields. Alexandra Feldberg and Professor McGinn are studying how men’s and women’s work in India over the last three decades has affected gender, community, and family within over 17,000 villages. With Nava Ashraf and Corinne Low, Professor McGinn carried out a field experiment testing the efficacy of negotiation skills in affecting health and welfare outcomes among teenage girls in Zambia. She is also engaged in laboratory experiments with Pinar Fletcher exploring gender and competition.
Professor McGinn advises not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, gender and employment relations. She chairs the board for WAVE (US & Nigeria) and is a member of the board for CFK (US & Kenya). Before coming to Harvard, Professor McGinn taught at Cornell University’s Johnson School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Prior to her academic career, Professor McGinn was a director of labor relations in the public sector. When her daughter left for college, Professor McGinn and her husband moved to a long-abandoned farm and are (forever) in the process of bringing it back to some semblance of its prior self.