University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Berkeley-Haas

Diversity at Haas

First-Person

Laura Kray

Laura Kray

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.”

“One of the less obvious, but important, aspects of diversity that I appreciate at Berkeley-Haas is the inter-disciplinary approach that the faculty takes with respect to the research questions we are exploring.”

“The diversity of our students—along visible social categories such as race and gender and also in terms of less obvious distinctions such as culture, class, nationality, and professional experience—enriches classroom discussions and small group work.”

“As professors, one of our jobs is to encourage counterfactual thinking, to teach students to consider the opposite of what personal experience has taught them. ‘What if’ you were of another gender or race, how would that change your perspective?”

“Berkeley-Haas attracts the cream of the crop; everyone is highly qualified and selected in part because they exhibit Confidence Without Attitude. Yet you can still see differences—often along gender lines—in how confident students are in their knowledge and opinions, how they approach a negotiation or a classroom discussion.”

“UC Berkeley has a deep-seated commitment to being on the frontier of social issues. We are now at a tipping point when it comes to creating workplaces and jobs that support our personal lives.”

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