To engage students in advancing the agenda on gender equality, GATE offers a competition each year for student fellowships.

Students interested in being a student fellow can apply through the MBA in-program awards in May of each year.

Each selected MBA Fellow receives a bursary of $10,000 and commits to work on a project related to the mandate of GATE. Projects include a short video series on women’s experiences in companies, a whitepaper on women in STEM, guidelines for adapting MBA courses to be more inclusive and a strategy for attracting more women to MBA programs. Consulting firm Bain & Company is partnering with GATE to provide consultants who can guide and support the Fellows as they complete their projects.

2022-23 Student Fellows

Yinzi is a JD/MBA candidate at the University of Toronto. She also holds a master’s degree in Media and Gender Studies. Prior to Rotman, Yinzi has been a veteran journalist, gender studies scholar, and tech entrepreneur. She loves to listen to and share the stories of women from all backgrounds. Yinzi spent the summer of 2022 working as a Research Assistant for the famous gender and law scholar Professor Brenda Cossman at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, as well as a caseworker for the IAVGO Community Legal Clinic promoting workplace justice for precarious workers. Yinzi’s relentless pursuit of justice and equity for women in the workplace led her to pursue a JD/MBA joint degree to understand how the power of business and law can make the workplace fairer and kinder to women.

Headshot of Christopher Hand

Christopher set out to own and operate luxury hotels, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration from a world-leading Swiss hospitality institution, before pivoting to medical services for the elderly. After perusing a second bachelor’s degree in the USA, Christopher began to work in the senior living industry and quickly became one of the youngest Dementia Care Directors in North America. Christopher has made it a priority to mentor queer and trans talent throughout their career and even founded one of the USA’s first LGBTQ+ focused support groups for Alzheimer’s disease. Now a Rotman MBA, their dream is to turn their passion for service excellence into human-centered business models that incorporate necessary operational components while giving greater attention to individual identities, design, culture, and the quality of life of the most disadvantaged.

Dotun has been a lawyer for over 10 years, with 7 of those years spent structuring deals and providing legal advice in the oil & gas industry. She is currently transitioning to a career in Consulting, interning at McKinsey & Co for the summer. Having witnessed the debilitating effects of gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, Dotun is passionate about turning the tide. Inspired by the amazing life her mother lived, Dotun demonstrates her dedication to women and economic empowerment by volunteering with feminist and poverty alleviation causes, mentoring young women interested in pursuing MBAs or transitioning to Consulting, and establishing a company which provides legal solutions to underserved Nigerians.

Pritika holds a CFA charter and a Master’s degree in Commerce. Prior to enrolling for her MBA at Rotman, she had worked in diverse areas of finance such as Wealth Management, Credit Rating, and Trade Finance. Having first lived in a family with patriarchal values and then worked in various male-dominated profiles, she is a passionate advocate for bridging gender gaps in the Finance Industry and strongly believes that women’s emancipation lies in women’s economic empowerment. She further wants to leverage her professional and personal experiences to create value and build an egalitarian society.

Born in Mexico City, Mauricio holds an Honours Bachelor of Design and Visual Communication. He has volunteered in various organizations in Mexico, China and Canada, where he has had the opportunity to develop a genuine interest in diversity and inclusion themes. Before Rotman, Mauricio reflected this passion by creating various marketing campaigns for international singers and brands on radio, television, and online platforms. Through such initiatives, he sought to promote messages and characters aligned with gender equality and diversity in all its forms. As a passionate advocate for inclusive leadership in the media and entertainment, Mauricio is looking to lean on GATE to help improve projects in this industry and remedy the persistent gaps.

2021-22 Student Fellows

Aleksandra created The Scale-Up Toolkit for Women Entrepreneurs which provides resources for women entrepreneurs in Canada to grow their business through talent. Using insights from various stakeholders, including business owners and ecosystem partners, the toolkit explores three challenges: labour shortage, skills gap, and talent productivity. Based on the key findings, it offers tools and solutions to address these concerns. 

Click here to view Aleksandra's final project.

Fintech innovation, through all its forms – technological, business and digital, has often been described as a democratizing influence in the field of financial services and products. By lowering the costs and barriers to participation, fintech innovation can conceivably reach demographics that have often been underrepresented or even left out. One such large demographic is women. In this series of articles, originally published on Medium, Zolzaya seeks to understand how fintech innovation has or has not affected women consumers, and what fintech leaders need to know in order to appeal to and acquire the rapidly growing demographic of women customers. In particular, she focused in-depth on the idea of gender-intelligent design for customer acquisition, the rise of the more targeted inclusive fintech model, and the role and precautions needed for AI and ML technologies within financial services.

Click here to view Zolzaya's final report.

Bilal created a video project in which he explores the role of masculine identities on the well-being of men. After recalling his earliest experiences with patriarchy and the need to empower women, Bilal dives into the harmful consequences of gender norms on men. In exploring this topic, he interviews various distinguished scholars who go into detail about gender norms and their rigidity, socialization, labour force, mental health, and many more.

Click here to view Bilal's final project.

Positively Exhausted - Stories of Toxic Positivity in the Workplace is a limited podcast series with three episodes. Simone investigates the idea that the best way to cope with a challenging situation at work is to put a positive spin on it and not dwell on its negative or structural aspects, a trend that is often promoted by companies and leaders and can leave employees feeling burned out and gaslit. Through expert interviews and personal accounts, Simone investigated the effects of toxic positivity on employees and company culture and makes a case as to why women experience disproportionate effects when working in toxic positive work environments.

Click here to view Simone's final project.

In her GATE research project, Ann discusses the power that fashion has to reflect and shape culture, and examines the role the industry plays in challenging gender norms.  With insights gathered from personal experience, desk research and interviews with designers from different parts of the globe working in various types of establishments, this project analyzes the progress made in the industry as it relates to gender equity and, the barriers that hinder this progress further and offers a set of recommendations on how these may be overcome.

Click here to view Ann's final project.

Click here to learn more about our 2021-22 GATE MBA Fellows

2020-21 Student Fellows

Stephen Akinwale

Stephen’s project explores the implications of applying a gender lens to infrastructure development. His report outlines lessons from the field, drawing insights from three distinct case studies including; the Reina Condo development project, Zaatari Waterwaste Network in Jordan, and the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT).  Stephen uncovers the opportunities for innovation that can be identified when planning is intentionally inclusive.

Click here to read Stephen's final report.
Hashir Beg

Hashir explores COVID-19, working families, and the distribution of household and familial responsibilities during the pandemic. Through quotes and insights from multiple interviews, Hashir’s report, Exploring Equity at Home provides a poignant study of couples negotiating the challenges of the pandemic and nurturing equity in their relationships. 

Click here to read Hashir's final report.
Chantal Chizea

Chantal’s project looks at the impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Chantal explored the challenges and barriers that existed before the pandemic, new hurdles women entrepreneurs face during the pandemic and how these women are adapting to endure the economic damage. Chantal illustrates the trade-offs that her interviewees are having to make and suggests interventions that will help entrepreneurs recover and thrive in a post-pandemic Nigeria.

Click here to read Chantal's final report.
Aishwarya Nikam

In her report, Acting as Allies: Understanding student allyship and its barriers, Aishwarya details the experiences of performative allyship and its implications in university students. Aishwarya explores how students cope with feeling like outsiders, empathy, and social discomfort. She provides a road map for how academic institutions can deepen equity, diversity and inclusion work to inform students on participatory allyship and facilitate social inclusion.

Click here to read Aishwarya's final report.
Laura Chavira Razo

In her report Disrupting Silence, Laura investigates how we can disrupt silence in response to discrimination. Through interviews with students and faculty, she details how bystanders decide to speak up, or not, and the impacts of silence on victims of discrimination. Laura provides supporting infographics to illustrate that the disruption of silence is a collective effort. 

Click here to read Laura's final report.

Fall Interns

Ana Baseio

Ana Baseio is an MBA Candidate of the Rotman School of Management. Born and raised in an emerging country, Ana has a never-ending curiosity about different cultures and how she can contribute to tackling the systemic issues she encounters. Having already lived in 4 different countries and making friends from different parts of the world, she observed that gender inequality is a common issue. Ana decided to work with GATE to expand her knowledge in gender equality to be able to address this issue more efficiently and help eliminate the existing gender gap in large corporations.

Click here to read Ana's full bio.
Victoria Sahagian

Victoria Sahagian is an Intern at the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is a full-time MBA student in Rotman’s class of 2021. As a passionate advocate for gender equality in the workplace, Victoria is eager to take on the role of Intern and work with GATE engaging in research which promotes an understanding of gender inequalities and how they may be remedied.

Click here to read Victoria's full bio.

Summer Interns

Bashir Chalabi

Bashir Chalabi is a Summer Intern at the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) and an MBA student at the Rotman School of Management. Bashir sees elimination of gender inequality in economy as an integral component of global sustainability agenda. He took assignment with GATE to help improving business community’s awareness about the existing gaps in this field, and to be instrumental in development of tools for their elimination on practice.

Click here to read Bashir's full bio.
Sonal Gupta

Sonal is a research assistant with GATE for the summer of 2020. She is also pursuing her Masters in Business from the Rotman School of Management and will graduate in 2021.  Through her experience of working with gender related issues she developed a deep interest towards the cause since a very young age. She believes that gender equality involves men as equally as women and both struggle to fit into their respective stereotypical roles created by society. During her tenure at GATE, she co-authored six case studies exploring the various initiatives by businesses to create an unbiased working culture. She aims to continue working on her passion and contribute towards eliminating conscious and unconscious biases in organizations..

Click here to read Sonal's full bio.
Stephanie Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is a JD/MBA student at the Faculty of Law and is passionate about advocating for gender equality. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, where she graduated in the top 1.5% of her class. As a solo traveler to over 45 countries, Stephanie has witnessed the various barriers that women and minorities may face within their communities and she has become deeply invested in advancing conversations about these issues. While at Rotman, Stephanie has served as Vice-President of Women’s Affairs for the JD/MBA Students’ Association, acted as a Rotman Scholar for various Economics courses, and was Clinic Director for Artists’ Legal Advice Services, a pro bono legal clinic for Ontario’s artistic community. She has experience working in corporate law and will be joining a New York law firm upon graduation.

Click here to read Stephanie's full bio.

2019-20 Student Fellows

Robert’s project explored experiences of white male privilege in Toronto’s corporate law market. Inspired by Hadiya Roderique’s “Black on Bay Street”, Robert wanted to know how issues surrounding diversity, inclusion, and privilege were viewed from the perspectives of those who experience that privilege. Through exploratory interviews with eight white male law students at the University of Toronto, this project aimed to encourage corporate law firms (as well as the legal industry more broadly) to continue finding creative and meaningful ways of engaging with and addressing racial inequities in corporate law.

Click here to read Robert's final report.
Pablo Naze

In his project, Pablo investigated the latest research regarding gender bias in Machine Learning. Drawing insights from technical papers, conferences, and interviews with practitioners, Pablo's report question what companies need to do to take advantage of the many resources available in the growing field of Machine Learning Fairness. Pablo's key insight is that bias in Machine Learning is more than a technical challenge, requiring leadership and organizational change from companies. The result of his investigation is a framework (Understand Fairness, Engage Stakeholders, Build Fairness Skills) to help companies navigate the complex landscape of mitigating gender bias in Machine Learning.

Click here to read Pablo's final report.
Chinedum Nwaogwugwu

Chinedum’s paper examines the sexist portrayal of career women in Nigerian films. She has chosen these films as the focus of her analysis because of the power that films have in influencing beliefs about how Nigerian women should behave and what we should be permitted to do. In her analysis, Chinedum uncovers and calls out the common sexist ways in which the career woman is represented, depicted, and treated in Nollywood, highlighting recurring tropes and including specific examples from 10 popular films. In addition to the film analysis, she conducted informal interviews with 6 Nigerian women to explore the impact of Nollywood’s depiction of the career woman on these women’s perceptions of themselves

Click here to read Chinedum's final report.

Kristina's research delves into the question of whether lived experiences as an LGBTQ+ person (e.g. feeling like an outsider, coming out) contribute to building leadership qualities and skills that lead to success in the business world. To help answer this question, she made use of Patricia Hill Collins' outsider-within framework, among others, and explored the lived realities of eight outstanding LGBTQ+ business leaders in Toronto. She uncovered themes and insights institutionalized into a leadership toolkit by both LGBTQ+ and non LGBTQ+ people alike, to be leaders in their fields while celebrating the freedom to be different in the context of greater inclusion.

Click here to read Kristina's final report.
Asli Zayim

Through her research, Asli aimed to understand why women remain notably underrepresented at leadership levels in the technology industry. Despite concerted efforts on diversity, progress toward gender parity has been slow suggesting that women lack equal opportunities and encounter barriers that impede their career growth and progression into leadership roles. In interviews with 7 Human Resources professionals, her report provides insights into why women’s share of leadership is far from parity and what makes current diversity efforts less effective. Starting with talent decisions and how unintended bias impacts decision-making, this report highlights the importance of diversity at the decision-making tables, and how the paucity of women role models in the upper echelons of management perpetuates the status quo, amplifying the impact of leadership attributes premised on pernicious gender stereotypes.

Click here to read Asli's final report.

2018-19 Student Fellows

Lechin launched the ROTMOM Project in September 2018. Through this project, she sought to better understand the experiences of mothers in MBA programs. Using design thinking, she documented and designed ways aspiring leaders, who are also mothers of young children, can advance through Rotman’s MBA programs. The end goal is gender parity not only in business schools, but in leadership roles across Canada. For this project, she interviewed 11 “ROTMOMs” from full-time, Morning/Evening and Executive MBA programs. They came from different industry backgrounds and have children aged from a few weeks old to early grade school.

Click here to read Lechin's final report.

Narjis proposed developing a podcast examining the phenomenon of "covering" in the workplace. Covering is a term that refers to how an individual restricts themselves from expressing their authentic selves in a variety of contexts. In the context of a work environment, covering can not only harm the individual but also hinder an organization’s ability to create a true culture of inclusion.In this podcast, Narjis interviews individuals who have covered or uncovered certain aspects of their identity in the workplace, such as their religion, ethnicity, marital status, disabilities, and sexual orientation.

Click here to listen to Narjis' podcast.

Through this research, Alicia aimed to understand why the capital markets industry has failed to attract and retain diverse talent. Despite being an incredibly lucrative career path, low recruitment and retention rates suggest that women are opting out of careers in capital markets, if they are choosing to enter the industry at all. In interviews with 18 men and women, currently or formerly employed in capital markets, her report provides five insights into why women are not choosing careers in this industry. Starting with gender stereotypes and industry-wide culture, this report highlights structural interventions that can improve an organization’s ability to attract and retain a more gender-diverse workforce.

Click here to read Alicia's final report.

Adil's project looked to assess the inherent bias that exists around corporate sponsorship in women’s sports, what its root causes are, and how it can be overcome so that decisions around sponsorship are taken with an unbiased gender lens. By utilizing case studies and interviews, as well as researching global best practices, he outlines five recommendations for increasing the coverage of women's sports globally that will ultimately help close the gender gap in sponsorship.

Click here to read Adil's final report.

Through the testimonies of twenty male Rotman MBA students, Verónica aimed to understand what it means to be a man in today's society, the challenges, and how these students understand and relate to the gender equality policies and actions underway. Further, she used these insights to propose three action plans in order to start the conversation and seize the opportunity to effectively include men by creating psychologically safe spaces for male students to raise questions, feel supported and be engaged while working towards achieving gender equality at Rotman.

Click here to read Verónica's final report.

Through her project, Alison sought to understand the current decision-making process of men with regards to parental leave. She wanted to learn what inhibited them or allowed them to access leave, and what that leave looked like, including use of vacation time and informal and unpaid leave. In gaining an understanding of their current behaviour, she identified ways that employers and policymakers can solve for the needs and obstacles of fathers.

Click here to read Alison's final report.

2017-18 Student Fellows

Ria Dutta
Ria sought to understand the lack of representation of women at the management level in Canada. Using video as her medium, she engaged current MBA students, alumni, and high-profile executives to address this issue through interviews, and found that “sponsorship” was a significant tool in solving the gender gap in business. Her final video series will not only answer what sponsorship is, but will also explore what it looks like in practice.
Click here to watch Ria's video series.
Vanessa Ko
Vanessa proposed developing a podcast series exploring the “business case” for diversity and inclusion. Her podcast offers a discussion of why talking about the business case is not enough – we have to change the structures and systems that lead to inequality and inequity. The podcast series highlights companies and individuals, in a variety of sectors, that are working to move beyond the business case.
Click here to listen to Vanessa's podcast series.
Hilary Partner
Hilary began her project by exploring how to get more women into business school. In understanding the admission process, she realized that admissions collect 3-5 words that candidates and their referees use to describe each applicant. She predicted that there would be differences between the types of words used (feminine vs. masculine) to describe female and male applicants. She also hypothesized that an applicant’s use of masculine language would be predictive of admission to the MBA program. After reviewing a sample of over 2,700 applications, she came to a few key conclusions. 
Click here to view Hilary's findings.
Fatima Saya
Fatima sought to analyze how discussions about gender equality were presented in the core MBA curriculum at Rotman. She discovered, however, that this was an issue the Rotman administration had recently begun working to address, so she turned her attention instead to student perceptions. Using an online survey, she collected data on how students gauged the importance of including discussions of gender equality in the curriculum and found some surprising insights. 
Click here to view Fatima's findings.
Mark Vaz
Mark wanted to identify if there is a “leaky pipe” in terms of raw numbers of students starting and finishing STEM-focused undergraduate programs, and subsequently, if there are specific motivations and support required or received by students in order to solve the “leaky pipe” problem. This project was predominately occupied with exploring why the rates of women in STEM remain low relative to men in certain STEM-fields, such as engineering and computer science.

2016-17 Student Fellows

Celeste Jalbert
Celeste is deeply committed to improving people's lives through sustainable, market-based solutions and spent nearly six years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working in service of this mission – most recently with Co-chair Melinda Gates as her Associate Program Officer focused on how gender intersects with the foundation’s 27 different strategic program areas across global health, global development, and US education. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Toronto as a Forté Fellow, building her business acumen and exploring opportunities to bring her multidisciplinary and consumer-centered approach to the private sector. Celeste graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. where she earned a degree in Women’s Studies with a minor in Communication and was a Dean’s Scholar in Globalization. She also holds a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington.

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To engage students in advancing the agenda on gender equality, GATE offers a competition each year for student fellowships.

Each selected MBA Fellow receives a bursary of $10,000 and commits to work on a project related to the mandate of GATE. Projects include a short video series on women’s experiences in companies, a whitepaper on women in STEM, guidelines for adapting MBA courses to be more inclusive and a strategy for attracting more women to MBA programs. Consulting firm Bain & Company is partnering with GATE to provide consultants who can guide and support the Fellows as they complete their projects.

2022-23 Student Fellows

Yinzi is a JD/MBA candidate at the University of Toronto. She also holds a master’s degree in Media and Gender Studies. Prior to Rotman, Yinzi has been a veteran journalist, gender studies scholar, and tech entrepreneur. She loves to listen to and share the stories of women from all backgrounds. Yinzi spent the summer of 2022 working as a Research Assistant for the famous gender and law scholar Professor Brenda Cossman at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, as well as a caseworker for the IAVGO Community Legal Clinic promoting workplace justice for precarious workers. Yinzi’s relentless pursuit of justice and equity for women in the workplace led her to pursue a JD/MBA joint degree to understand how the power of business and law can make the workplace fairer and kinder to women.

Headshot of Christopher Hand

Christopher set out to own and operate luxury hotels, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business administration from a world-leading Swiss hospitality institution, before pivoting to medical services for the elderly. After perusing a second bachelor’s degree in the USA, Christopher began to work in the senior living industry and quickly became one of the youngest Dementia Care Directors in North America. Christopher has made it a priority to mentor queer and trans talent throughout their career and even founded one of the USA’s first LGBTQ+ focused support groups for Alzheimer’s disease. Now a Rotman MBA, their dream is to turn their passion for service excellence into human-centered business models that incorporate necessary operational components while giving greater attention to individual identities, design, culture, and the quality of life of the most disadvantaged.

Dotun has been a lawyer for over 10 years, with 7 of those years spent structuring deals and providing legal advice in the oil & gas industry. She is currently transitioning to a career in Consulting, interning at McKinsey & Co for the summer. Having witnessed the debilitating effects of gender inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Nigeria, Dotun is passionate about turning the tide. Inspired by the amazing life her mother lived, Dotun demonstrates her dedication to women and economic empowerment by volunteering with feminist and poverty alleviation causes, mentoring young women interested in pursuing MBAs or transitioning to Consulting, and establishing a company which provides legal solutions to underserved Nigerians.

Pritika holds a CFA charter and a Master’s degree in Commerce. Prior to enrolling for her MBA at Rotman, she had worked in diverse areas of finance such as Wealth Management, Credit Rating, and Trade Finance. Having first lived in a family with patriarchal values and then worked in various male-dominated profiles, she is a passionate advocate for bridging gender gaps in the Finance Industry and strongly believes that women’s emancipation lies in women’s economic empowerment. She further wants to leverage her professional and personal experiences to create value and build an egalitarian society.

Born in Mexico City, Mauricio holds an Honours Bachelor of Design and Visual Communication. He has volunteered in various organizations in Mexico, China and Canada, where he has had the opportunity to develop a genuine interest in diversity and inclusion themes. Before Rotman, Mauricio reflected this passion by creating various marketing campaigns for international singers and brands on radio, television, and online platforms. Through such initiatives, he sought to promote messages and characters aligned with gender equality and diversity in all its forms. As a passionate advocate for inclusive leadership in the media and entertainment, Mauricio is looking to lean on GATE to help improve projects in this industry and remedy the persistent gaps.

2021-22 Student Fellows

Aleksandra created The Scale-Up Toolkit for Women Entrepreneurs which provides resources for women entrepreneurs in Canada to grow their business through talent. Using insights from various stakeholders, including business owners and ecosystem partners, the toolkit explores three challenges: labour shortage, skills gap, and talent productivity. Based on the key findings, it offers tools and solutions to address these concerns. 

Click here to view Aleksandra's final project.

Fintech innovation, through all its forms – technological, business and digital, has often been described as a democratizing influence in the field of financial services and products. By lowering the costs and barriers to participation, fintech innovation can conceivably reach demographics that have often been underrepresented or even left out. One such large demographic is women. In this series of articles, originally published on Medium, Zolzaya seeks to understand how fintech innovation has or has not affected women consumers, and what fintech leaders need to know in order to appeal to and acquire the rapidly growing demographic of women customers. In particular, she focused in-depth on the idea of gender-intelligent design for customer acquisition, the rise of the more targeted inclusive fintech model, and the role and precautions needed for AI and ML technologies within financial services.

Click here to view Zolzaya's final report.

Bilal created a video project in which he explores the role of masculine identities on the well-being of men. After recalling his earliest experiences with patriarchy and the need to empower women, Bilal dives into the harmful consequences of gender norms on men. In exploring this topic, he interviews various distinguished scholars who go into detail about gender norms and their rigidity, socialization, labour force, mental health, and many more.

Click here to view Bilal's final project.

Positively Exhausted - Stories of Toxic Positivity in the Workplace is a limited podcast series with three episodes. Simone investigates the idea that the best way to cope with a challenging situation at work is to put a positive spin on it and not dwell on its negative or structural aspects, a trend that is often promoted by companies and leaders and can leave employees feeling burned out and gaslit. Through expert interviews and personal accounts, Simone investigated the effects of toxic positivity on employees and company culture and makes a case as to why women experience disproportionate effects when working in toxic positive work environments.

Click here to view Simone's final project.

In her GATE research project, Ann discusses the power that fashion has to reflect and shape culture, and examines the role the industry plays in challenging gender norms.  With insights gathered from personal experience, desk research and interviews with designers from different parts of the globe working in various types of establishments, this project analyzes the progress made in the industry as it relates to gender equity and, the barriers that hinder this progress further and offers a set of recommendations on how these may be overcome.

Click here to view Ann's final project.

2020-21 Student Fellows

Stephen Akinwale

Stephen’s project explores the implications of applying a gender lens to infrastructure development. His report outlines lessons from the field, drawing insights from three distinct case studies including; the Reina Condo development project, Zaatari Waterwaste Network in Jordan, and the Eglinton East Light Rail Transit (EELRT).  Stephen uncovers the opportunities for innovation that can be identified when planning is intentionally inclusive.

Click here to read Stephen's final report.
Hashir Beg

Hashir explores COVID-19, working families, and the distribution of household and familial responsibilities during the pandemic. Through quotes and insights from multiple interviews, Hashir’s report, Exploring Equity at Home provides a poignant study of couples negotiating the challenges of the pandemic and nurturing equity in their relationships. 

Click here to read Hashir's final report.
Chantal Chizea

Chantal’s project looks at the impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Chantal explored the challenges and barriers that existed before the pandemic, new hurdles women entrepreneurs face during the pandemic and how these women are adapting to endure the economic damage. Chantal illustrates the trade-offs that her interviewees are having to make and suggests interventions that will help entrepreneurs recover and thrive in a post-pandemic Nigeria.

Click here to read Chantal's final report.
Aishwarya Nikam

In her report, Acting as Allies: Understanding student allyship and its barriers, Aishwarya details the experiences of performative allyship and its implications in university students. Aishwarya explores how students cope with feeling like outsiders, empathy, and social discomfort. She provides a road map for how academic institutions can deepen equity, diversity and inclusion work to inform students on participatory allyship and facilitate social inclusion.

Click here to read Aishwarya's final report.
Laura Chavira Razo

In her report Disrupting Silence, Laura investigates how we can disrupt silence in response to discrimination. Through interviews with students and faculty, she details how bystanders decide to speak up, or not, and the impacts of silence on victims of discrimination. Laura provides supporting infographics to illustrate that the disruption of silence is a collective effort. 

Click here to read Laura's final report.

Fall Interns

Ana Baseio

Ana Baseio is an MBA Candidate of the Rotman School of Management. Born and raised in an emerging country, Ana has a never-ending curiosity about different cultures and how she can contribute to tackling the systemic issues she encounters. Having already lived in 4 different countries and making friends from different parts of the world, she observed that gender inequality is a common issue. Ana decided to work with GATE to expand her knowledge in gender equality to be able to address this issue more efficiently and help eliminate the existing gender gap in large corporations.

Click here to read Ana's full bio.
Victoria Sahagian

Victoria Sahagian is an Intern at the Institute for Gender and the Economy at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is a full-time MBA student in Rotman’s class of 2021. As a passionate advocate for gender equality in the workplace, Victoria is eager to take on the role of Intern and work with GATE engaging in research which promotes an understanding of gender inequalities and how they may be remedied.

Click here to read Victoria's full bio.

Summer Interns

Bashir Chalabi

Bashir Chalabi is a Summer Intern at the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) and an MBA student at the Rotman School of Management. Bashir sees elimination of gender inequality in economy as an integral component of global sustainability agenda. He took assignment with GATE to help improving business community’s awareness about the existing gaps in this field, and to be instrumental in development of tools for their elimination on practice.

Click here to read Bashir's full bio.
Sonal Gupta

Sonal is a research assistant with GATE for the summer of 2020. She is also pursuing her Masters in Business from the Rotman School of Management and will graduate in 2021.  Through her experience of working with gender related issues she developed a deep interest towards the cause since a very young age. She believes that gender equality involves men as equally as women and both struggle to fit into their respective stereotypical roles created by society. During her tenure at GATE, she co-authored six case studies exploring the various initiatives by businesses to create an unbiased working culture. She aims to continue working on her passion and contribute towards eliminating conscious and unconscious biases in organizations..

Click here to read Sonal's full bio.
Stephanie Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is a JD/MBA student at the Faculty of Law and is passionate about advocating for gender equality. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, where she graduated in the top 1.5% of her class. As a solo traveler to over 45 countries, Stephanie has witnessed the various barriers that women and minorities may face within their communities and she has become deeply invested in advancing conversations about these issues. While at Rotman, Stephanie has served as Vice-President of Women’s Affairs for the JD/MBA Students’ Association, acted as a Rotman Scholar for various Economics courses, and was Clinic Director for Artists’ Legal Advice Services, a pro bono legal clinic for Ontario’s artistic community. She has experience working in corporate law and will be joining a New York law firm upon graduation.

Click here to read Stephanie's full bio.

2019-20 Student Fellows

Robert’s project explored experiences of white male privilege in Toronto’s corporate law market. Inspired by Hadiya Roderique’s “Black on Bay Street”, Robert wanted to know how issues surrounding diversity, inclusion, and privilege were viewed from the perspectives of those who experience that privilege. Through exploratory interviews with eight white male law students at the University of Toronto, this project aimed to encourage corporate law firms (as well as the legal industry more broadly) to continue finding creative and meaningful ways of engaging with and addressing racial inequities in corporate law.

Click here to read Robert's final report.
Pablo Naze

In his project, Pablo investigated the latest research regarding gender bias in Machine Learning. Drawing insights from technical papers, conferences, and interviews with practitioners, Pablo's report question what companies need to do to take advantage of the many resources available in the growing field of Machine Learning Fairness. Pablo's key insight is that bias in Machine Learning is more than a technical challenge, requiring leadership and organizational change from companies. The result of his investigation is a framework (Understand Fairness, Engage Stakeholders, Build Fairness Skills) to help companies navigate the complex landscape of mitigating gender bias in Machine Learning.

Click here to read Pablo's final report.
Chinedum Nwaogwugwu

Chinedum’s paper examines the sexist portrayal of career women in Nigerian films. She has chosen these films as the focus of her analysis because of the power that films have in influencing beliefs about how Nigerian women should behave and what we should be permitted to do. In her analysis, Chinedum uncovers and calls out the common sexist ways in which the career woman is represented, depicted, and treated in Nollywood, highlighting recurring tropes and including specific examples from 10 popular films. In addition to the film analysis, she conducted informal interviews with 6 Nigerian women to explore the impact of Nollywood’s depiction of the career woman on these women’s perceptions of themselves

Click here to read Chinedum's final report.

Kristina's research delves into the question of whether lived experiences as an LGBTQ+ person (e.g. feeling like an outsider, coming out) contribute to building leadership qualities and skills that lead to success in the business world. To help answer this question, she made use of Patricia Hill Collins' outsider-within framework, among others, and explored the lived realities of eight outstanding LGBTQ+ business leaders in Toronto. She uncovered themes and insights institutionalized into a leadership toolkit by both LGBTQ+ and non LGBTQ+ people alike, to be leaders in their fields while celebrating the freedom to be different in the context of greater inclusion.

Click here to read Kristina's final report.
Asli Zayim

Through her research, Asli aimed to understand why women remain notably underrepresented at leadership levels in the technology industry. Despite concerted efforts on diversity, progress toward gender parity has been slow suggesting that women lack equal opportunities and encounter barriers that impede their career growth and progression into leadership roles. In interviews with 7 Human Resources professionals, her report provides insights into why women’s share of leadership is far from parity and what makes current diversity efforts less effective. Starting with talent decisions and how unintended bias impacts decision-making, this report highlights the importance of diversity at the decision-making tables, and how the paucity of women role models in the upper echelons of management perpetuates the status quo, amplifying the impact of leadership attributes premised on pernicious gender stereotypes.

Click here to read Asli's final report.

2018-19 Student Fellows

Lechin launched the ROTMOM Project in September 2018. Through this project, she sought to better understand the experiences of mothers in MBA programs. Using design thinking, she documented and designed ways aspiring leaders, who are also mothers of young children, can advance through Rotman’s MBA programs. The end goal is gender parity not only in business schools, but in leadership roles across Canada. For this project, she interviewed 11 “ROTMOMs” from full-time, Morning/Evening and Executive MBA programs. They came from different industry backgrounds and have children aged from a few weeks old to early grade school.

Click here to read Lechin's final report.

Narjis proposed developing a podcast examining the phenomenon of "covering" in the workplace. Covering is a term that refers to how an individual restricts themselves from expressing their authentic selves in a variety of contexts. In the context of a work environment, covering can not only harm the individual but also hinder an organization’s ability to create a true culture of inclusion.In this podcast, Narjis interviews individuals who have covered or uncovered certain aspects of their identity in the workplace, such as their religion, ethnicity, marital status, disabilities, and sexual orientation.

Click here to listen to Narjis' podcast.

Through this research, Alicia aimed to understand why the capital markets industry has failed to attract and retain diverse talent. Despite being an incredibly lucrative career path, low recruitment and retention rates suggest that women are opting out of careers in capital markets, if they are choosing to enter the industry at all. In interviews with 18 men and women, currently or formerly employed in capital markets, her report provides five insights into why women are not choosing careers in this industry. Starting with gender stereotypes and industry-wide culture, this report highlights structural interventions that can improve an organization’s ability to attract and retain a more gender-diverse workforce.

Click here to read Alicia's final report.

Adil's project looked to assess the inherent bias that exists around corporate sponsorship in women’s sports, what its root causes are, and how it can be overcome so that decisions around sponsorship are taken with an unbiased gender lens. By utilizing case studies and interviews, as well as researching global best practices, he outlines five recommendations for increasing the coverage of women's sports globally that will ultimately help close the gender gap in sponsorship.

Click here to read Adil's final report.

Through the testimonies of twenty male Rotman MBA students, Verónica aimed to understand what it means to be a man in today's society, the challenges, and how these students understand and relate to the gender equality policies and actions underway. Further, she used these insights to propose three action plans in order to start the conversation and seize the opportunity to effectively include men by creating psychologically safe spaces for male students to raise questions, feel supported and be engaged while working towards achieving gender equality at Rotman.

Click here to read Verónica's final report.

Through her project, Alison sought to understand the current decision-making process of men with regards to parental leave. She wanted to learn what inhibited them or allowed them to access leave, and what that leave looked like, including use of vacation time and informal and unpaid leave. In gaining an understanding of their current behaviour, she identified ways that employers and policymakers can solve for the needs and obstacles of fathers.

Click here to read Alison's final report.

2017-18 Student Fellows

Ria Dutta
Ria sought to understand the lack of representation of women at the management level in Canada. Using video as her medium, she engaged current MBA students, alumni, and high-profile executives to address this issue through interviews, and found that “sponsorship” was a significant tool in solving the gender gap in business. Her final video series will not only answer what sponsorship is, but will also explore what it looks like in practice.
Click here to watch Ria's video series.
Vanessa Ko
Vanessa proposed developing a podcast series exploring the “business case” for diversity and inclusion. Her podcast offers a discussion of why talking about the business case is not enough – we have to change the structures and systems that lead to inequality and inequity. The podcast series highlights companies and individuals, in a variety of sectors, that are working to move beyond the business case.
Click here to listen to Vanessa's podcast series.
Hilary Partner
Hilary began her project by exploring how to get more women into business school. In understanding the admission process, she realized that admissions collect 3-5 words that candidates and their referees use to describe each applicant. She predicted that there would be differences between the types of words used (feminine vs. masculine) to describe female and male applicants. She also hypothesized that an applicant’s use of masculine language would be predictive of admission to the MBA program. After reviewing a sample of over 2,700 applications, she came to a few key conclusions. 
Click here to view Hilary's findings.
Fatima Saya
Fatima sought to analyze how discussions about gender equality were presented in the core MBA curriculum at Rotman. She discovered, however, that this was an issue the Rotman administration had recently begun working to address, so she turned her attention instead to student perceptions. Using an online survey, she collected data on how students gauged the importance of including discussions of gender equality in the curriculum and found some surprising insights. 
Click here to view Fatima's findings.
Mark Vaz
Mark wanted to identify if there is a “leaky pipe” in terms of raw numbers of students starting and finishing STEM-focused undergraduate programs, and subsequently, if there are specific motivations and support required or received by students in order to solve the “leaky pipe” problem. This project was predominately occupied with exploring why the rates of women in STEM remain low relative to men in certain STEM-fields, such as engineering and computer science.

2016-17 Student Fellows

Celeste Jalbert
Celeste is deeply committed to improving people's lives through sustainable, market-based solutions and spent nearly six years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working in service of this mission – most recently with Co-chair Melinda Gates as her Associate Program Officer focused on how gender intersects with the foundation’s 27 different strategic program areas across global health, global development, and US education. She is currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Toronto as a Forté Fellow, building her business acumen and exploring opportunities to bring her multidisciplinary and consumer-centered approach to the private sector. Celeste graduated magna cum laude with departmental honors from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. where she earned a degree in Women’s Studies with a minor in Communication and was a Dean’s Scholar in Globalization. She also holds a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington.

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