Teaching & Research

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Several of our faculty members explore research topics related to discrimination and the experiences of historically underrepresented communities. This ranges from looking at underrepresentation in specific industries, to how jobs and tasks are assigned and how entrepreneurs and employees from different backgrounds are supported (or not) by colleagues.

This expertise is shared with students through courses that treat equity, diversity and inclusion challenges, and through curated readings, case studies and examples for discussion. Desautels is exploring ways to further increase and enhance inclusive education and teaching practices. This includes reinforcing pedagogy adoption that serves all students, regardless of background or identity, and supporting overall engagement with subject material focused on equity, diversity and inclusion.

A sample of Desautels faculty members have shared how they are touching on these topics in their teaching and research:


Daphne Demetry
Assistant Professor, Strategy & Organization

Course instructor: Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship (MGPO 362)

In my Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship course, I share with students the diversity of experiences of real-life entrepreneurs, countering the media’s often-limited stereotype of who can become an entrepreneur. To do this, I discuss my research on alternative pathways to venture creation, like part-time entrepreneurs. In the classroom, I discuss the challenges that women and underrepresented minorities, such as black entrepreneurs, face in their startups and brainstorms ways to bring more diversity and inclusion to the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Lindsay Holmgren
Associate Professor (Teaching), Strategy & Organization

Course coordinator: Expressive Analysis for Management (BUSA 250)
Course instructor: Global Leadership (MGCR 629) and Social Context for Business (MGCR 360)

Crucial to my instruction is the encouragement of dialogue, including first-person accounts of experience and the capacity to receive those accounts with open minds, suspended judgement, and acknowledgement of one's own biases. With these conditions in mind, I work to cultivate a safe space for students to share their experiences of difference, whether those differences pertain to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, national identity, or degree of privilege. Moreover, I equip students with the vocabularies necessary for clear communications and encourage them to consider how their audiences will receive their language. In my view, this creates a learning environment in which difference can be understood, respected, and celebrated, thus contributing to socially conscious advancements in our myriad global economies.

Paola Perez-Aleman
Associate Professor, Strategy & Organization

Course instructor: Business-Government Relations (MGPO 365); Strategies for Developing Countries (MGPO 475); Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MGPO 438); Strategic Management: Developing Countries (MGPO 651); International Business and Government (MGPO 707)

Understanding the experience of diverse people, groups, and places around the world is crucial for learning, knowledge building, innovation, and problem-solving. Drawing on my field-based research, my six Strategy and Organization courses recognize the benefits of valuing different experiences and diverse knowledge. Gaining an understanding of excluded and marginalized peoples fosters better citizens, worldly managers, and inclusive communities.


John-Paul Ferguson
Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour

My research interests include large-scale studies of employment-segregation patterns and the effectiveness of various diversity programs. My work on large American workplaces has shown for example that racial segregation between workplaces has grown over the last generation, even as segregation between jobs in those workplaces has fallen. I have also published research on the difficulties of inferring diversity-program performance from the results in voluntarily complying firms.

Patricia Faison Hewlin
Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour; Ombudsperson for Students at McGill

The overriding objective of my research is to shed light on factors that facilitate and hinder inclusion in workplaces and society. With the support of a $2.5 million partnership grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, I am collaborating with Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute and a team of scholars, community leaders, and industry partners to examine the barriers that women and diverse groups encounter within Canada’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. The partnership seeks to generate solutions to strengthen this ecosystem.

Elena Obukhova
Associate Professor, Strategy & Organization

I use a network lens to explore how connections, gender, and class shape people's experiences of looking for a job. My current project shows that while searching for a job, women network more than men do, especially with other women, in part because they try to find employers where they will have the best chance of professional success. I have also published numerous papers showing how job seekers benefit from connections.


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