In her talk about ambition, Michelle Ryan discusses the under-representation of women in the workforce and the complex circumstances surrounding work-life balance. The speaker wants to look beyond simplistic solutions like innate biology to discover why there are less women in executive positions and fields like science and engineering.
The talk about ambition explores the idea that women are more likely to leave the workplace because of issues of identity rather than issues of timing. She analyzes recent research that underlies the importance of relating to successful people. If you feel like you are different than the people who have been successful at work, it can explain why many people, not just women, are more likely to be less ambitious. This also includes people of color and of working class backgrounds.