Joana Probert

Jane Jie Sun Career Development Fellow in Women’s Leadership

  • joana.probert@sbs.ox.ac.uk

Saïd Business School
University of Oxford
Park End Street


Joana is the Jane Jie Sun Career Development Fellow in Women’s Leadership at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Her area of expertise is on leaders’ personal and psychological journeys to and at the top of organisations. Joana’s research focuses on CEO succession and women in leadership.

She holds a PhD in Management & Leadership (Cranfield, UK), a Master of Arts in Psychology (USM, USA), and a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology (UFRJ, Brazil).


Joana’s research explores how leaders and their behaviours and careers are shaped by social, cognitive, and emotional factors.

Two topics shape her research agenda:

First, Joana investigates how CEOs transition and integrate into the organisation and the factors, structures and processes that impact both how they influence the firm and how they are influenced by it. This research explores CEO succession from the perspective of the CEOs themselves.

Second, Joana examines how women reach the top of organisations and what makes them effective once they get there. Instead of focusing on the obstacles, ceilings and failures female leaders often face, this research explores the positive aspects of female leadership, examining the success stories and trajectories of women who have reached top senior positions.

Key research interests:

  • CEO Succession and Transition
  • Women in Leadership
  • Leader and Organisational Identity
  • Imagination and Vision
  • CEO – Top Team Interface
  • Emotion Regulation


Joana engages with leaders to help them reflect on their leadership journeys and experiences.

Through her consulting and academic activities, she works with both leaders and organisations. Joana helps individual leaders explore and gain insights from their past and potential future leadership journeys; examine how they are transitioning into new roles; and integrate successfully into their current or new organisations. She helps Boards of Directors and Human Resources teams of both private and public companies define their expectations and mandates for new CEOs; examine how potential candidates may integrate with the organisation; and facilitate a transition programme between the new CEO, the Board and the firm.

Currently Joana is recruiting both male and female new CEOs to take part in a longitudinal study that examines how trust, relationships, and power impact transition into the CEO role. If you have been appointed recently to a CEO position or if you are a board member of an organisation that recently recruited or is about to recruit a new CEO, please get in touch to learn more about the study and the advantages of participating. 


Joana’s teaching experience includes undergraduate, postgraduate, and executive education.

Joana has taught courses on leadership and top management skills, women and leadership, qualitative research, organisational behaviour, and neuroscience.

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Thought-leadership and insights for business leaders written by our Faculty and Associate Fellows.

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