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WHAT WORKS: Gender Equality by Design

Additional Info​

Please note that this is a breakfast forum hosted by GIBS Dean, Professor Nicola Kleyn.

07:30-08:00 registration and breakfast

08:00 Forum starts

09:15 Forum ends


Gender equality is a moral and a business imperative. But unconscious bias holds us back, and de-biasing people's minds has proven to be difficult and expensive. Diversity training programmes have had limited success, and individual effort alone often invites backlash. Behavioral design offers a new solution. By de-biasing organisations instead of individuals, we can make smart changes that have big impacts. Presenting research-based solutions, Iris Bohnet hands us the tools we need to move the needle in classrooms and boardrooms, in hiring and promotion, benefiting businesses, governments, and the lives of millions.

What Works is built on new insights into the human mind. It draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments in Australia, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and other countries, often in randomised controlled trials. It points out dozens of evidence-based interventions that could be adopted right now and demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance. What Works shows what more can be done—often at shockingly low cost and surprisingly high speed.


Iris Bohnet is Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the director of its Women and Public Policy Program. She is also the co-chair of the Behavioral Insights Group at the Center for Public Leadership at HKS, an associate director of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, and the faculty chair of the executive program "Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century" for the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the Kennedy School's Academic Dean. Currently, she serves on the boards of directors of Credit Suisse Group and University of Lucerne, as well as the Advisory Board of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, EDGE, BeApplied, and numerous academic journals. She is co-chair of the Global Agenda Council on Behavior of the World Economic Forum. A behavioral economist combining insights from economics and psychology, her most recent work examines how behavioral design can help organizations overcome gender bias and improve performance. Her academic work has been published in the best journals of her profession and has been profiled by leading media outlets around the world. She is the author of WHAT WORKS: Gender Equality by Design (2016).

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  • Professor Nicola Kleyn is the Dean: Executive Education at Erasmus University’s Rotterdam School of Management and a full professor of Corporate Marketing.

    Until June 2020 Prof Kleyn was Dean of the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), a position she held for five years. In addition to her executive management responsibilities at GIBS, Prof Kleyn is a researcher and teacher in the areas of Corporate Branding and Reputation Management. She is also an active strategic facilitator and enjoys moderating public events.

    Prof Kleyn a former President of the Board of the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA), Chair of the Accreditation Committee of the Association of African Business Schools (AABS), the African representative on the CEEMAN board and a member of the global EYQ Fellows Program and a member of the Advisory Boards of the Gordon Institute of Business Science and MIB Trieste School of Management.


    • DBA (UP)
    • MBA (Wits)
    • B Com (Hons) (Wits)
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