Research Series

The Promise of Future Leadership: A Research Program on Highly Talented Employees in the Pipeline

2009 – 2015

Catalyst’s longitudinal project, The Promise of Future Leadership: A Research Program on Highly Talented Employees in the Pipeline, followed the careers of graduates of leading business schools in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. The series included timely reports on the recruitment, development, advancement, and retention of these so-called high-potential women and men. This global research study discredited a number of prevalent myths that suggested the gender gap in corporate leadership exists and persists largely because of women’s choices and actions. Our findings pointed to the value of addressing the biases inherent in the system, rather than fixing the individuals within it.

Role Negotiation and the Pursuit of Hot Jobs (Report)

What Can Managers and Employees Do to Reap the Mutual Benefits of Role Negotiation?


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Advancing Women in Tech-Intensive Industries: Transforming Organizational Cultures (Tool)

This interactive tool will help your tech-intensive organization become an employer of choice for high-potential women.

High Potentials in Tech-Intensive Industries: The Gender Divide in Business Roles (Report)

This report identifies the gender gap women experience working in business roles in tech-intensive industries from day one.

High-Potential Women in Europe (Infographic)

Women working in Europe trail their male counterparts in position, pay, and the management responsibilities critical to advancement.

Managing Flex 1: Creating an Organizational Culture Supportive of Flexible Work Arrangements (Tool)

This tool helps companies assess whether their organizational culture is supportive of all employees working flexibly.

Managing Flex 2: Successfully Managing Employees Working Flexibly (Tool)

This tool provides managers with the resources they need to have conversations with their employees about their flexible work options.

Managing Flex 3: Requesting a Flexible Work Arrangement as an Individual (Tool)

This tool is a step-by-step guide for individuals who want to begin to work flexibly.

Assessing the Talent Management of High-Potential Women in India (Tool)

Use this tool to promote inclusive work environments as a means to help organizations attract, develop, and retain high-potential talent—especially women.

High Potentials Under High Pressure in India’s Technology Sector (Report)

This report shows the struggles of high-potential women in Indian business.

High-Potential Employees in the Pipeline: Maximizing the Talent Pool in Canadian Organizations (Report)

This report helps organizations operating in Canada understand their talent pool within a regional context.

High Potentials in the Pipeline: On Their Way to the Boardroom (Report)

This report highlights the differences between women's and men's career experiences and satisfaction.

The Great Debate: Flexibility vs. Face Time – Busting the Myths Behind Flexible Work Arrangements (Report)

This report separates myth from fact using data from actual high-potential employees working around the world.

Career Pathways 1: Assessing Your Career Advancement Strategies (Tool)

This first tool provides interactive self-assessments designed to help you develop a greater understanding of your current career advancement strategies.

Career Pathways 2: Building Workplace Relationship Self-Awareness (Tool)

This second tool provides interactive self-assessments to help you gain a better understanding of how key workplace relationships and interactions can benefit your career. 

Career Pathways 3: Applying Proven Career Advancement Techniques (Tool)

This third tool in the Career Pathways Toolkit includes self-guided activities designed to help you develop or redesign your career advancement action plan.

Good Intentions, Imperfect Execution? Women Get Fewer of the “Hot Jobs” Needed to Advance (Report)

This report examines the impact of leadership development—both formal programs and on-the-job experiences—on high potentials' career advancement.

High Potentials in the Pipeline: Leaders Pay It Forward (Report)

This report reveals that high potentials who have received career development are now “paying it forward” and developing others.

The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead? (Report)

This report includes a series of questions for the reader to reflect about why disparities in career advancement may persist.

Pipeline’s Broken Promise (Report)

This report examines the conventional wisdom of the past two decades in regards to women in the pipeline.

Opportunity or Setback? High Potential Women and Men During Economic Crisis (Report)

This report examines whether organizations that have paid a premium to recruit up-and-coming talent are leveraging that investment during the economic downturn.