Professor Anne-Wil Harzing (front row, third from left) with members of CYGNA network
MDX Professor of International Management Anne-Wil Harzing has been named one of 50 Leading Lights in the 2019 Kindness & Leadership Awards, for her work mentoring young academics at MDX and across female academic support network CYGNA, which she co-founded.
The campaign, devised by the Women of the Future programme and supported by Unilever, celebrates leaders who have worked to create a kinder culture, showing humanity, generosity and compassion and dedicating themselves to promoting others’ wellbeing and fostering a spirit of collaboration. The winners were named in the Financial Times on 13th November, World Kindness Day, and had a reception held in their honour at St James’s Palace on 19th November hosted by Women of the Future Global Ambassador HRH the Countess of Wessex.
Anne-Wil was previously a Professor of International Management and an Associate Dean of Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia, before joining Middlesex in 2014. She is a Fellow of the Academy of International Business and visiting Professor of International Management at Tilburg University. Her own research focuses on expatriate management, cross-cultural management, and multinational corporations, as well as the quality and impact of academic research.
Given her passion to support young female academics in an increasingly competitive world of academia, “Middlesex had the foresight to create a dedicated but open-ended role for me in helping junior academics realise their research potential – through one-on-one support and coaching, skills development seminars, research lunches, writing boot camps and informal staff development groups” says Anne-Wil. “They also gave me the time to run CYGNA and to maintain an active blog on all things academia. In turn, investment in these activities has significantly increased both Middlesex’s research performance and its national and international reputation”.
A drive to foster a collaborative, supportive research environment in the Business School led by Anne-Wil, Deans Anna Kyprianou and Joshua Castellino and Research Deans Richard Croucher and Stephen Syrett has helped MDX rise in the Times Higher Young University Rankings for universities less than 50 years old to best in London (in 2017) and best in the UK (in 2019).
Anne-Wil was nominated for 50 Leading Lights by Jacqueline Brassey, Director of Enduring Priorities Learning at McKinsey and Adjuct Professor of IE University, Spain, and supported by her head of department Mariana Dodourova and Research Dean Stephen Syrrett. The honour follows her Decade Award from the Academy of Management Learning & Education for her article When Knowledge Wins, about research with a profound societal impact, and a silver medal from the Journal of International Business Studies, both announced this summer.
Kindness and Leadership Programme Leader Pinky Lilani CBE said of the Leading Lights campaign: “Kindness in business and leadership is not a secret weapon, rather it is the DNA that can transform relationships, impact outcomes and uplift our colleagues and communities. By empowering others to succeed, kind leaders create an environment for organisations as a whole to thrive”.