Sylvia Ann Hewlett is the founding president and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, and the founder of Hewlett Consulting Partners LLC. She’s the co-director of the Women’s Leadership Program at the Columbia Business School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association. An economist with 20 years of experience in global talent management, Hewlett has particularly focused on the “power of difference” and the challenges and opportunities faced by women, minorities and other previously excluded groups. She has forged a signature style of enquiry which blends hard data and rigorous analysis with concrete solutions and on-the-ground action.
She is the author of eleven Harvard Business Review articles and twelve critically acclaimed books, including When the Bough Breaks (winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Book Award); Off-Ramps and On-Ramps; Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets; Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor (named one of the best business books of 2013 by the Globe and Mail and winner of the 2014 Axiom book award); and Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success (Harper Business), an Amazon “Best Book of the Month,” (June 2014). In 2014 she was recognized as the Most Influential International Thinker by HR magazine and won the Google Global Diversity award. Her writings have appeared in the New York Times, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal, she’s a featured blogger on the HBR Blog Network. In 2011 she received the Isabel Benham Award from the Women’s Bond Club, and a Women of the Year Award from the Financial Women’s Association, and in 2013 she received a Work Life Legacy Award from the Families and Work Institute.
Hewlett Consulting Partners, the advisory services firm that she founded, focuses on helping organizations leverage talent across the divides of culture, gender, geography, and generation. Hewlett has taught at Cambridge, Columbia, and Princeton universities and has held fellowships at the Institute for Public Policy Research in London and the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard. In the 1980s she became the first woman to head the Economic Policy Council, a nonprofit composed of 125 business and labor leaders.
Hewlett is a sought-after speaker on the international stage. She has keynoted International Women’s Day at the IMF, given the featured address at Pfizer’s Emerging Markets Leadership Summit in Dubai, and spoken at the White House. She is a frequent guest on TV and radio programs, appearing on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Charlie Rose, ABC World News Tonight, The Today Show, The View, BBC World News, and Talk of the Nation—and she has been lampooned on Saturday Night Live.
A Kennedy Scholar and graduate of Cambridge University, Hewlett earned her PhD in economics at London University.
Praise for Executive Presence:
“In today’s business world, authenticity is the new currency of leadership. In Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s valuable book, she demonstrates how you can crack the code of executive presence by embracing what differentiates you from the pack.”
—Mark T. Bertolini, Chairman, CEO & President, Aetna
“With clarity and honesty Sylvia Ann Hewlett shines a light on a central truth: if we fail to master the ‘intangibles’ of leadership we’re in danger of missing the mark. Sylvia’s impeccable research and guidance prepares us to crack the Executive Presence code.”
—Ann Beynon, Commissioner, UK Equality and Human Rights Commission; Director for Wales, BT
“Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book is essential reading for anyone striving to minimize the gap between how others perceive you and how you want to be seen. It arms you with the skills to create, curate and manage your personal brand and convince people they are in the presence of someone going places. Executive Presence will transform careers and unleash a current of previously untapped potential on the world.”
—Joanna Coles, Editor-in-Chief, Cosmopolitan
“Clear and compassionate, Hewlett explains what it means to have executive presence and why it’s essential for anyone who wishes to lead in today’s uncertain and fast paced work environment. With memorable stories and examples—including the author’s own first-hand experiences of getting it wrong as a young woman just starting her career—Executive Presence is both practical and compelling.”
—Amy C. Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management, Harvard Business School; Author of Teaming: How organizations learn, innovate and compete in the knowledge economy (Jossey-Bass, 2012)
“This is a powerful and urgent book for young professionals climbing the ladder. Credentials alone will not get you the next big opportunity, you also need Executive Presence – the ability to signal confidence and credibility. In this immensely readable study, replete with vivid stories as well as hard data, Sylvia Ann Hewlett tells us how to ace EP.”
—Sallie Krawcheck, Business Leader, 85 Broads
“Sylvia Ann Hewlett has taken some of the mystery out of the claim that “you just don’t have what it takes” in this groundbreaking book on Executive Presence. Combining story after story with well-grounded research, this book provides a simple guide that will help you crack the code to career success.”
—Katherine W. Phillips, Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics, Columbia Business School
“Whether you are an aspiring corporate star or a seasoned veteran Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s Executive Presence will captivate you—pithily written, laden with stories and grounded in the latest research. You will find a lesson that you can’t wait to adopt on every page. It is the modern handbook on the art of visible leadership for which many of us have been waiting.”
—Trevor Phillips, Former Chairman, UK Equality and Human Rights Commission