Robin Ely is the Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She conducts research on race and gender relations in organizations with a focus on leadership, identity, and organizational culture change. Examples of her past research include studies of men and masculinity on offshore oil platforms; the impact of racial diversity on retail bank performance; and how organizational narratives about gender, work, and family limit both men’s and women’s ability to thrive personally and professionally. Her work is published in academic journals, such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, and Academy of Management Review, and, for practitioners, in Harvard Business Review. Professor Ely is presently conducting research on organizational culture change aimed at reducing workplace inequality, strategies for women leaders to navigate gender stereotypes, and HBS alumni career and life decisions. She is founder and faculty chair of the HBS Gender Initiative whose mission is to catalyze and translate cutting-edge research to transform practice; enable leaders to drive change; and eradicate, gender, race, and other forms of inequality in business and society. She teaches MBA courses in leadership, diversity, and teams as well as doctoral courses in field research methods and executive education courses designed specifically for women leaders. She served for six years as senior associate dean for culture and community.
Prior to joining the HBS faculty, Professor Ely taught at Columbia University and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Yale University and her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She is a member of the Academy of Management, has served on numerous editorial boards of academic journals, and is a past associate editor of Administrative Science Quarterly.