Michelle “Mikki” Hebl , the Martha and Henry Malcolm Lovett Professor of Psychological Sciences and professor in the Jones Graduate School of Business, is the 2023 recipient of the Advancing Women in Leadership Award from the Academy of Management (AOM).
Presented by the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) division of the AOM, Hebl received the honor at the organization’s annual meeting earlier this month. The accolade recognizes a deserving individual for significant contributions to educational practices that support the advancement of women in leadership.
When reflecting on the award, Hebl said she owes a lot to her own undergraduate experience at Smith College.
“It made me very aware of the gender inequities that have existed and continue to predominantly affect women in our world,” she said. “I have been blessed to be able to watch so many Rice women and people from underrepresented backgrounds break down barriers that have long held them back from reaching their full potential.”
Elena Doldor, chair of the award committee, said competition for the award was stiff with many impressive nominations, but Hebl stood out for a number of reasons. She has authored 200 publications exploring workplace and other subtle forms of discrimination and how to address it, is the recipient of 21 teaching awards throughout her career, and is a champion for diversity both at Rice and in her profession.
But Doldor said the most touching aspect of Hebl’s nomination was her “deliberate, relentless and generous mentorship provided to graduate and undergraduate female students throughout her career.”
“So many personal experiences shared with us in glowing award nomination letters tell the story of someone who doesn’t just talk the talk, but truly walks the walk of promoting diversity and inclusion,” Doldor said.
Hebl said it is a joy to help her students even in some small way.
“I love my students, and I believe in them,” she said. “I also know we will eventually see the pendulum swing forward the right way and women will gain the professional and personal rights that they so deserve. They will be CEOs en masse, they will have paid leave, they will have the right to choose, and they will not have to ‘juggle the struggle.’ I am hopeful that I get to see that day, and until then, my work is unfinished.”
Hebl has been at Rice since 1998. More information on her scholarship and lab is available at https://www.mikkihebl.com . More information on the award and past recipients is online at https://dei.aom.org/dei/awards/advwomenlshippastwinners .