Below are profiles of just a handful of our students, faculty, and staff, and alumni and their thoughts on diversity at Berkeley-Haas.
Co-Director, Energy Institute at Haas
While one third of her doctoral classmates at MIT were women, today Professor Catherine Wolfram all too often finds herself the sole woman in the room at professional or academic meetings. That is both a source of pride and a reminder of how much remains to be done to ensure business conference rooms and lecture halls alike reflect the diverse world outside.
Professor, Management of Organizations
Professor Laura Kray studies the role of gender in organizational contexts, where Questioning the Status Quo can mean treading on politically incorrect ground. One example is her recent research on the use of feminine charm in negotiations. Her conclusion? “Flirtation works.”
Author, Black Warriors: The Buffalo Soldiers of WWII
Retired CEO, Golden State Mutual Life Insurance
Before retiring as Chairman for Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in 1990, Ivan Houston led the company to achieve $5 billion in insurance business across 22 states. He joined the company in 1948 as an accountant, held several executive positions, and became President and CEO in 1970.
“What attracted me to Haas was the diversity of the students, faculty, and staff. I knew stepping onto the Haas campus that this place would provide me with the opportunity and skills I would need to be a successful person. Haas provided me with the best education and the advantage of being a part of a community that gives back.
Mike C. Smith
San Francisco, California
Mike Smith didn’t want a group of “status quo” classmates when he applied for MBA programs. At Berkeley-Haas he found himself surrounded, challenged and supported by classmates with a diversity of experiences and career plans.
McKinsey and Company
“I saw Question the Status Quo in a lot of our classroom discussions. When we debated different ideas, people remained respectful of the different cultural and experience differences we all brought to the discussion. It has to do with integrity, with staying true to one’s self.”
One of the best things about the Berkeley MFE curriculum is that, “everyone gets to choose their own journey,” says Sophia Chami. Building on a strong foundation of core courses, electives, research projects and independent study allow students to “try new fields or dig very deep into one specific topic”
US Department of Housing & Urban Development
San Francisco, California
Perhaps by nature, and certainly by training, Pablo Clarke describes his attorney colleagues as "risk averse, often looking for ways to say no." The Berkeley MBA program and his classmates are helping him better understand the value in saying yes, why not, or let's give that a try.
VP Diversity, 2013
Coming from Trinidad, where “half of the population is Indian and half is Black,” Jan Brown never thought much about diversity. Diversity, she says, “was a lifestyle, not a word.” But here in the U.S. she discovered the need to weave cultures together to create a stronger social fabric for everyone.
While Alma Rico enjoyed applying her quant skills as a consultant in the aerospace and defense sectors, she realized that she found more satisfaction working as a tutor and mentor to young residents of a low-income community in Washington, DC. That realization led her to Berkeley-Haas, where she is pursuing MBA studies with a focus on non-profit and entrepreneurship opportunities in the education sector.
PhD Candidate, Operations Management
Operations management decisions used to be made without much consideration for how they would affect consumers. But Kate Ashley is interested in the growing field of research looking at how strategic consumer behavior analyses can be integrated into operations models. “Firms are starting to realize just how smart consumers are, and that their purchase decisions can be quite complex, and actually influence a firm’s operations behavior,” she says.
Director of Diversity Initiatives