Kathleen L. McGinn is the Cahners-Rabb Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Chair of Harvard Business School's Doctoral Programs, having previously served as Director of Research and Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Development. Professor McGinn studies the role of gender at work and in negotiations. Her current field research investigates these issues in North & Central American professional service firms, among self-employed women in 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 gender attitudes, household dynamics and organizational practices affect women’s careers and the allocation of responsibilities within households across 34 countries. Deborah Kolb, Lakshmi Ramarajan and Professor McGinn are investigating the process through which an organization incorporates changes in workforce composition and 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 leaders. Professor McGinn, Mukti Khaire and Alexandra Feldberg are investigating how women's work in India in the last three decades has affected and been affected by gender, community, and family. With Nava Ashraf and Corinne Low, Professor McGinn is carrying 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 exploring gender and negotiations with Pinar Fletcher and Elizabeth Wolf. Professor McGinn's research is published in academic journals, book chapters and practitioner outlets.
Professor McGinn advises not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, gender and employment relations. 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.