Inclusive Leadership Initiative: Transforming the Workforce, Together.

Inclusive Leadership Initiative

Transforming the Workforce, Together.

Inclusive Leadership Initiative: Transforming the Workforce, Together.

 

Research


ILI’s objective is to create a partnership with businesses to create opportunities for scholars to research diversity, equity, and inclusion activities in organizations. This research is being published in top academic and practitioner journals. The purpose of the research is to better understand the processes involved in helping and hindering organizations as they attempt to become diverse, fair, and inclusive organizations and develop evidence-based practices to achieve DEI goals.

The following table highlights examples of the areas of research expertise by the world-class ILI faculty.

Scholar: Leanne Atwater

Leanne Atwater

C. T. Bauer Professor of Leadership and Management in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. She has a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. She has served in positions as Department Chair and Interim Dean. She also has experience as a research psychologist and teaching experience at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Research Areas

Her research deals with a variety of gender issues. A sample of this work is highlighted below.

First, she has done research demonstrating that men and women deal with discipline delivered by men and women differently. Specifically, women are likely to accept discipline delivered by men while men are reluctant to accept discipline delivered by women. Women delivering discipline also need to allow the other person to present their side which is less important for men. This work suggests that special training in discipline delivery may be needed for women.

She has also done work in the area of self-awareness which suggests that women tend to underestimate how their leadership behaviors are viewed by others, particularly by their bosses. This underestimation can be problematic as it reduces the likelihood of asking for promotions or believing one is capable of such. Interestingly bosses did not rate the leadership behaviors of men and women differently. Reasons women gave for their underestimation were largely lack of confidence, insufficient feedback, and humility. Concrete steps need to be taken in how we educate and train women to increase their self-awareness (e.g., multi-source feedback processes).

She has recently written about the #MeToo movement in response to sexual harassment in the workplace. She learned that in general, both men and women understand what sexual harassment is and agree about the differing severity of different types of harassment (e.g., statements vs. behaviors). However, very few men believe they have ever engaged in sexual harassment whereas nearly 60% of women said they had experienced it. Unfortunately, her work highlighted the backlash that women are experiencing as a result of the #MeToo movement. For example, 21% of men and 12% of women said in the wake of #MeToo, they are more reluctant to hire women for jobs that require close interpersonal interactions with men (e.g., traveling); 16% of men said they were more likely to exclude women from social interactions and 27% said they have avoided having meetings with women with no others present. These behaviors are not going to result in good workplace outcomes for women and managers need to be very perceptive to ensure that they are not occurring. On the positive side, her research into the reactions to #MeToo also revealed that both men and women believe #MeToo is empowering women and that employers are taking allegations of sexual harassment more seriously.

Scholar: Derek R. Avery

Derek Avery

C. T. Bauer Chair of Inclusive Leadership, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston. Ph.D. 2001 Rice University, Houston, TX, Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Research Areas

Published two papers on minority leaders focusing on stigma-by-association. They show that customers sometimes engage in bias against organizations that employ minority leaders (i.e., are less apt to patronize them), but this bias tends to be limited to situations wherein there are non-racial factors that can be blamed, such as when the organization is objectively underperforming or its facilities are substandard. Because there is no evidence of customer bias against minority leaders when firms perform well or have nicer facilities, the practical implication is that firms should focus on setting their leaders up to be successful rather than capitulating to perceived customer preferences for White leaders. In another study of minority leaders, we examined the impact of corporate leadership ethnically resembling the employees they lead. The less the resemblance, the less employees tend to trust their employer and the more apt they are to interpret ambiguous actions as workplace mistreatment. This shows that employees interpret the representativeness of their leaders as a cue when making sense of the things that happen to them (and around them) at work.

Scholar: Sana (Shih-chi) Chiu

Sana (Shih-chi) Chiu

Assistant Professor of the Management & Leadership Department at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. Ph.D. University of Missouri in Columbia.

Research Areas

Her research has been focused on key factors behind a firm’s commitment to achieving the triple bottom line, i.e., social performance, environmental performance, and financial performance. Specifically, her research deals with the psychological/cognitive mechanisms that influence managerial decision-making in relation to corporate responsible and irresponsible actions. She also studies the differential impacts between female and male leaders on corporate sustainability performance. Dr. Chiu is particularly interested in how strategic leaders cope with stakeholders’ (conflicting) demands and ways to motivate those at the top of corporate hierarchy (firm executives and board directors) to engage in more prosocial behaviors during critical organizational change events (e.g., restructuring), environmental crisis, and unexpected external shocks (e.g., COVID-19 pandemic).

Scholar: Juan M. Madera

Juan M. Madera

Curtis L. Carlson Endowed Professor at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hospitality Management, University of Houston (UH). Dr. Madera received a doctoral degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Rice University.

Research Areas

His research interest includes diversity and discrimination in the workplace. He has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, trade articles and book chapters.

In particular, his research has examined (1) how corporate diversity management messages influence job attitudes from current employees and applicants (Guchait, Madera, & Dawson, 2016; Madera, 2017; Madera, 2018; Madera, Dawson, & Neal, 2016; Madera, King, & Hebl, 2013; Madera, Lee, & Kapoor, 2017; Waight & Madera, 2011); (2) the ways in which discrimination manifests in HR practices and how employees perceive discrimination (Bahardwaja, Lee, & Madera, 2017; Bavishi, Madera, & Hebl, 2010; Madera & Hebl, 2019; King, Madera, Hebl, Knight, & Mendoza, 2006; Madera, 2010; Madera, 2013; Madera, 2016; Madera, Dawson, & Neal, 2013; Madera, Dawson, & Neal, 2016; Madera, Dawson, & Guchait, 2016; Madera, King, & Hebl, 2012; Madera & Abbott, 2012; Madera & Hebl, 2012; Madera & Hebl, 2013; Madera, Hebl, & Martin, 2009), and (3) how employees react to workplace sexual harassment in customer-service settings (Abbott, Elkins, & Madera, 2013; Madera 2018; Madera, Guchait, & Dawson, 2017; Madera, Lee, & Dawson, 2019; Madera, Podratz, King, & Hebl, 2007). Lastly, I also serve as a research fellow for the Center for Advancement UH Faculty Success where I am involved in research examining gender and racial bias in academic contexts, such as in the promotion and tenure process.

Scholar: Dr. Chet Miller

Chet Miller

C. T. Bauer Professor of Organizational Studies at the University of Houston. Ph.D. University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Research Areas

His research interest includes diversity and discrimination in the workplace. He has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, trade articles and book chapters.

Has extensive work in the cognitive diversity of the strategic apex, which focuses on diversity of perspectives and ideas about goals, strategies, task ideas, and task processes. He developed a valid and reliable direct measure of cognitive diversity which is widely used in the field. His publications in the area include:

Miller, C. C., Burke, L. M., & Glick, W. H. (1998). Cognitive diversity among upper‐echelon executives: implications for strategic decision processes. Strategic Management Journal, 19(1), 39-58.

Glick, W. H., Miller, C. C., & Huber, G. P. (1993). The impact of upper-echelon diversity on organizational performance. Organizational change and redesign: Ideas and insights for improving performance, 176, 214.

Samba, C., Van Knippenberg, D., & Miller, C. C. (2018). The impact of strategic dissent on organizational outcomes: A meta‐analytic integration. Strategic Management Journal, 39(2), 379-402.

Dr. Miller is currently leading a team of colleagues at Bauer (Dr. Avery, Dr. Chiu, Dr. Wesley, and Dr. Vera) in a comprehensive review of the upper echelon's cognitive diversity literature, asking the question: "Do different perspectives and ideas among senior leaders really make a difference?"

Scholar: Vanessa Patrick

Vanessa Patrick

Associate Dean for Research, Bauer Professor of Marketing, Fulbright Specialist (2019-2022) and Lead Faculty for the Bauer Executive Women in Leadership Program at the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. She has a Ph.D. in Business from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Research Areas

Her research deals with the psychology that underlies the two sides of the pleasure coin. On one hand, she studies the pursuit of pleasure in her work dealing with art, everyday aesthetics, design, and luxury branding. On the other hand, she develops strategies to help individuals successfully manage and control the pull of pleasure (self-regulation) and to pursue personal development and self-mastery in personal and professional spheres.

Based on her research on compassionate self-control, identity-based choice and consumer well-being, she has developed courses that help women leaders achieve personal and professional mastery and success. She has also presented her work on this topic at numerous conferences and workshops.

Another emerging area of research for Dr. Patrick is the area of inclusive design. Specifically, her research examines how organizations can offer products, services and experiences that meet the needs of a more diverse customer base, as well as consumer response to inclusive design. She has published the first paper on inclusive design in the field of marketing in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. She has developed a “starter kit” to help marketing professors include the topic of inclusive design in the classroom. The deck introduces the concept, provides examples and suggestions for in-class exercises/class discussions and 8 mini case studies that marketing professors might find useful.

Scholar: Enrica N. Ruggs

Enrica N. Ruggs

Associate Professor of Management in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Rice University

Research Areas

Much of her published research has examined the manifestation of subtle forms of discrimination toward individuals with stigma characteristics in workplace settings. I also examine strategies people use to manage their stigmatized identities at work and the effects of these strategies on worker outcomes. This work has shown that acknowledging visible stigmas can lead to positive evaluations from others for some identities (e.g., visible disabilities; Lyons et al., 2018), but perhaps not others (e.g., racial identity; Ruggs et al., 2019). However, acknowledging marginalized identities and behaving in ways that are authentic to this identity has positive benefits for the stigma bearer (e.g., Ruggs et al., 2019; Martinez et al; 2017).

Scholar: David Sullivan

David Sullivan

Assistant Professor in the Management and Leadership Department in the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston. He received his Ph.D. in management from Texas A&M University.

Research Areas

His research focuses on the psychological and cognitive experiences of people in the workplace. Regarding the experiences of women and bias in the workplace, one of his emerging areas of research examines the impact of gender bias on entrepreneurial endeavors. This research aims to improve the experiences of women entrepreneurs by developing greater understanding about the mechanisms that impact women entrepreneur’s and their ability to gain access to critical financing for the success of their ventures. Beyond gender bias in entrepreneurship, Dr. Sullivan also examines the impact of gender bias in performance management processes, particularly within the healthcare industry.

Scholar: Alan Witt

Alan Witt

Professor of Management & Leadership (Bauer), Public Policy (Hobby School), and Psychology (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences) Received his PhD from Tulane University (New Orleans).

In 2005 named a fellow of the both the American Psychological Association and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Alan was one of 132 UH faculty listed in 2020 as among the most cited scholars in the world, reflecting being in the top 2% of their subfield discipline.

Research Areas

His work in the DEIA arena began in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s when he debunked research suggesting gender differences in fairness-at-work issues, examined breadwinner vs. non-breadwinner perspectives (vs. male and female spousal roles), and attitudes toward persons with AIDS. During this period, Alan also began his association with the U.S. Department of Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI). Following a career as a human resources director in a bank that had been annually named by the magazine, Working Mother, as one of the ten best companies for families, Alan began focusing on work-family issues. One of his papers may have been the first to actually link work-family issues with actual job performance—reinforcing the need to address work-family concerns. Ten times named a DEOMI summer faculty fellow, Alan has examined sensitive DEIA issues for the Department of Defense, including discrimination, don’t-ask-don’t-tell, hostile work environments, toxic leadership, interventions to stop sexual assaults, sexual harassment prevention strategies, and the training of equal opportunity advisors.

At UH, he and Leanne Atwater (Department of Management and Leadership) led a research team funded by the National Science Foundation to study issues related to the work experiences of female faculty, particularly those in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Most recently, Alan has studied the impact of identity suppression, code-switching, leadership, and organizational climate on well-being, voice, and related issues. Along with a team of current and former PhD students, Alan very recently developed DEIA-relevant training for the City of Houston aimed at enhancing professionalism and civility at work.

Infinite Possibility

Infinite Possibility

Dusya Vera is a flurry of motion. In conversation, she speaks with her hands, often leaning forward to nod or ask a question. Vera’s life, too, is one of constant movement — she is a mother of triplets, and she works full-time as an associate professor of management at Bauer College, producing academic research and teaching graduate-level courses.“Of course I have felt overwhelmed many times, and I still do sometimes,” Vera said. “But the problem with feeling overwhelmed is that we are judging ourselves. So, one thing I repeat to myself is, ‘I am doing the best I can.’”

“I have these humongous hopes and beliefs for my children, and now I have that for my students, too. I see infinite possibility for all of them.”

Read the full story in Inside Bauer Magazine >>

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The Direction of Her Dream

The Direction of Her Dreams

Christina Brown isn't afraid to dream big. Now 23, the Bauer College marketing senior still lives her life as she did as a kid growing up in Westchester, New York.

“When you take risks, that's when you grow the most.”

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The Places She'll Go

The Places She'll Go

In previous generations, young women may have had a more limited list of aspirations, or they may have thought of crossing one item from the list in favor of another.But today, as women continue to redefine what it means to be a female in the workplace, girls are envisioning futures for themselves that include a range of responsi-bilities and roles.

“Know your strengths, work on your weakness, and don't let anyone tell you that you cannot do it.”
— Bauer College Dean Latha Ramchand.

 

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Tenacious Taste

Tenacious Taste

Recent Bauer College alumna Rashmi Bhat (BBA ’14) discovered her career path early in life, although she didn’t know it at the time.“’Food’ was my first word as a baby,” she said. “In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted a restaurant.”

“It is a lot of work, but if you don’t love it, don’t do it.”

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A Life Worth Living

A Life Worth Living

Every corner of Bette Stead’s home tells a story. The framed wildlife photos are from her husband’s trips to Africa. The vintage purses represent her travels to Greenland, Korea and Europe as a member of the Melody Maids, a women’s chorus that performed for the mili-tary overseas during World War II.

“All of our lives go up and down. When I would hit a bump in the road, my aunt would say, ‘Tie another knot in the rope, and hold on.’”

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Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Budapest native Emese Felvegi didn’t need to speak a word of English in her childhood home. Her family spoke Hungarian.But that didn’t stop the curious youngster from learning the language — repeat viewings of Star Wars and a passion for The Beatles, along with her more formal education, expanded her vocabulary and her worldview.

“I’m trying to help students pay attention to the world around them and the technology they can leverage for their benefit.”

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In Bloom

In Bloom

We all have different paths that we must take going through college, and Bauer College has really helped transform me into the person I am today.

“Don't stay stuck - do better.”
— Supply Chain Student Aishah Malik

 

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Dive In

Dive In

For management and marketing junior Taylor Olanski, when faced with an uncertain situation, hanging back isn’t an option — it’s best to dive in. The Canada native has faced her fears plenty of times, even at the young age of 18. She moved to Houston in 2013 from her hometown of London, Ontario, to pursue a business education at Bauer College on a diving scholarship.

“I love to compete, test my abilities and put everything I have into the job that I am doing.”

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Dive In

Engineering Change

Engineering has traditionally been an industry dominated — and led — by men. Bauer MBA candidate Brooke Thomas-Eben is one of many professionals carving out a space in the field for women.

“Be passionate and dedicated about what you seek to pursue, and no obstacle will be too hard for you to overcome.”

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Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap

Bethina Campbell, Lola Soyebo Harris and Maria Fernanda Guerrero share many common-alities — they are all Bauer College students and leaders in organizations at the college (Women’s Energy Network, Bauer Women Society and the National Association of Women MBAs, respectively).

Read the full story in Inside Bauer Magazine >>

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A Fierce Leader

A Fierce Leader

As a Bauer College staff member who has risen through the ranks during her nearly 17-year career, Sara Brown (BS ’99, MBA ’02) has had the opportunity to grow into a leadership role at an organization that feels like home.

Read the full story in Inside Bauer Magazine >>

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(Em)powering the Future

(Em)powering the Future

Celebrating successes and improving the future for women in business was the mission of hundreds of female MBA students and business professionals, including representatives from Bauer College, during this fall’s National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) 2015 Conference and Career Fair.

"NAWMBA creates an avenue for discussions on these challenges while creating opportunities for networking, mentoring and career development.”

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Run the World

Run the World

College alumnus Freddy Cruz may not seem to have much in common with the classmates who graduated with him in 2001. Instead of a suit and tie, he wears Converse and jeans to work. And in place of a desk in a corner office, he does his work behind a sound board and a microphone.

"Meeting artists and celebrities is cool, but it’s not the coolest part of the gig. I really like hanging out with Houstonians. I get so excited to share really cool stuff with my listeners."

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Ties that Bind

Ties that Bind

With her large Italian and Mexican families, Nina Bianchi Skinner (MBA, JD ’01) was never at a loss for playmates or mentors.

"Maintaining relationships, keeping up with people, reconnecting with people: it's important to my job. But it's part of who I am."

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Ties that Bind

Queen of NFL Retail

Natara Holloway (BBA ’98) didn’t move from Houston to New York to work for the National Football League because she was a die-hard football fan. She did it because she had a passion for accounting and auditing — and had for a very long time.

Read the full story in Inside Bauer Magazine >>

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Loss and Triumph

Loss and Triumph

Many years ago, Beth Williams left her North Carolina home for a life of adventure. And boy, did she find it.

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Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue

Bauer alumna and President of NRG Retail and Reliant Elizabeth Killinger (BBA ’91) maintains a busy schedule as a mother of three and an active member of the Bauer College Board.

“Energy is a wide open field, and there is no brighter time for anyone, man or woman, to find where they belong within it.”

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Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Female leaders may be underestimating their supervisors’ perceptions of their work, according to a recent Bauer College study. The study by Bauer professor Leanne Atwater, alumna Rachel Sturm (Ph.D. ’14) and two other colleagues focuses on women in the workplace, examining how they predict their bosses’ ratings of their leadership.

“We need to be doing everything we can to boost people's senses of self.”

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Navigate Your Future

Navigate Your Future

When I graduated from Bauer College in 2012, I felt confused. I was entering a competitive rotational program at a Fortune 500 company that would accelerate my career and expose me to a wide spectrum of opportunities. Still, I felt lost. Although my college years prepared me academically, I was unsure about the direction I wanted to take my career and how to navigate the years ahead of me.

Read the full story in Inside Bauer Magazine >>

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Sweet Song of Success

Sweet Song of Success

For Bauer College accounting senior Meggie Reynoso, life has been a lot like one of the songs she loves to sing in church — the beginning starts in almost a whisper, building through the middle to a triumphant crescendo.

“If you love doing something and it's your passion, keep chasing that dream and work hard because it will pay off.”

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We Ca Do It!

We Can Do It!

For members of Bauer College’s National Association of Women MBAs, the journey to personal and professional success is best navigated with a team. And in the last year, this student organization has grown its team by more than doubling membership from 2013, marking the highest level of growth since 2011, and refining its mentorship program and professional development events. The women leading NAWMBA all have different stories, but what unites them is a shared goal in supporting each other and their classmates with a mantra that is likely familiar to many others striving for success — “We Can Do It!”

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The Marketing Navigator

The Marketing Navigator

What is a four-letter word that means tenacious, knowledgeable and dedicated? G-E-L-B. Marketing professor Betsy Gelb exemplifies that description. From the start of her career at WWL-TV in New Orleans to a four-decade tenure in Bauer College’s Department of Marketing & Entrepreneurship, Gelb has a breadth of experience that makes an impression.

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