Elisabeth Kelan

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Elisabeth Kelan
EK @ Deauville (10-08) - Women's Forum.jpg
Born West Germany
Residence London, United Kingdom
Citizenship Federal Republic of Germany
Fields Management
Gender Studies
Institutions King's College London
London Business School
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Alma mater London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (MSc) (PhD)

Elisabeth Kelan is a Professor of Leadership at Cranfield School of Management and the new director of the Cranfield International Centre for Women Leaders. Prior to that she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at King's College London and Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Women in Business at London Business School, founded by Laura D’Andrea Tyson. She also worked at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she received her PhD.

Elisabeth Kelan is a leading scholar on gender, generations and leadership in organizations.[1] The Times described her as an up-and-coming management thinker.[2] She is known for having coined the term Gender Fatigue[3][4] to denote that whilst gender discrimination continues to exist in organizations, people struggle to deny its existence to construct their workplaces as gender neutral.[5] She is an associate editor of the journal Gender, Work and Organization and is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Management.


Kelan has conducted research on gender in high-tech professions and on gender in MBA education. She also led a project that explored what Generation Y/Millennials want from work.[6] Her interests lie in the area of identity in organizations and organizational cultures. She is particularly interested in the subtle effects of stereotypes and inequality. Her current work looks at gender and generational diversity, corporate responsibility and leadership development.[7]


Kelan has presented her research at various prestigious institutions and occasions such as at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis 2005, the Women as Global Leaders conference in Abu Dhabi 2006, the United Nations in New York 2007, the Women's Forum for the Economy and Society in Deauville 2007 and 2008, and the United Nations Global Compact’s Women’s Day Commemoration in New York in 2009 and 2010. During the 2009 event held to adopt and implement the UN Global Compact Calvert Women’s Principles, she spoke on why gender is a crucial part of corporate social responsibility.[8]

She gave further keynote addresses to the Mayor of London & Greater London Authority's Women in London’s Economy programme held at the Merchant Taylors' Hall, and to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt.[9]

In June 2008, she organised the “Humanising Work” symposium with Judy Wajcman, then Visiting Professor at the Lehman Brothers Centre for Women in Business at London Business School. The groundbreaking seminar attempted to expose business academics and practitioners to current research and knowledge in the social sciences and saw two talks by (Lord) Anthony Giddens and Richard Sennett. Stefan Stern from the Financial Times likened this event to an academic version of the Rumble in the Jungle and referred to it as the "Dialectic in the Park" – a reference to London Business School's Regent's Park campus. He authored several articles on the topic of "What sociologists can teach managers" discussing his impression that sociologists could help you run your company better than management gurus.[10]

Select bibliography[edit]

  • Kelan, E.K. (2012) 'Rising Stars: Developing Millennial Women as Leaders', Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kelan, E.K. and Dunkley Jones, R. (2010) 'Gender and the MBA', In: Academy of Management Learning and Education, 9:1, 26-43.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2010) 'Gender Logic and (Un)Doing Gender at Work', In: Gender, Work and Organization, 17:2, 174-194.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2009) Performing Gender at Work, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2009) 'Gender Fatigue - The Ideological Dilemma of Gender Neutrality and Discrimination in Organisations', In: Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, 26:3, 197-210.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2008) 'Gender, Risk and Employment Insecurity: The Masculine Breadwinner Subtext', In: Human Relations, 61:9, 1171-1202.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2008) 'The Discursive Construction of Gender in Contemporary Management Literature', In: Journal of Business Ethics, 18:2, 427 – 445.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2008) 'Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT work', In: Gender, Work and Organization, 15:1, 49-71.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2008) 'Bound by Stereotypes?', In: Business Strategy Review, 19:1, 4-7.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2008) 'Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT Work', In: Gender, Work and Organization, 15:1, 49-71.
  • Kelan, E.K. (2006) 'Zur (De)Konstruktion von Geschlecht in neuer Managementliteratur' ((De)Constructing Gender in Newer Management Literature). In: Bendl, R. (ed.) Betriebswirtschaftslehre und Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung, Teil 1: Verortung geschlechterkonstituierender (Re-)Produktionsprozesse, Frankfurt/Main: Peter Lang.


  1. ^ Clarke, Charlotte (2011-06-14). "Financial Times Profile: Elisabeth Kelan". Financial Times. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  2. ^ Crainer, Stuart (2008-01-23). "Business benefits from a more disciplined approach". TimesOnline. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  3. ^ Merriman, Jane (2010-03-09). "Younger Women Face "Gender Fatigue," Subtle Bias". ABC News. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  4. ^ Bourke, Juliet (2011-12-01). "Gender fatigue: The ideological dilemma of gender neutrality and discrimination in organisation". Deloitte Global Research. Archived from the original on 2014-05-03. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  5. ^ Merriman, Jane (2009-11-02). "After gender bias, women face gender fatigue". Reuters. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  6. ^ Maitland, Alison (2010-12-03). "Just trying to be one of the boys". Financial Times. Retrieved 2011-10-01. 
  7. ^ Blevins, Peta (2010-04-23). "KCL Research Profiles". King's College London. Retrieved 2011-07-01. 
  8. ^ Wynhoven, Ursula (2009-03-05). "Advancing Women in the Global Marketplace". United Nations Global Compact. UN Headquarters. Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2009-03-22. 
  9. ^ Williams, Marie Clair (2008-11-12). "From 50:30:10 to 50:50:50". EuropeanPWN. Retrieved 2008-11-14. 
  10. ^ Stern, Stefan (2008-06-20). "What sociologists can teach managers". Management Blog. FT.com. Retrieved 2008-10-11.