Professor Elisabeth Kelan

EBS - Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management
Professor Elisabeth Kelan



Elisabeth Kelan, PhD, is a Professor of Leadership and Organisation at Essex Business School, University of Essex. She holds a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship [MRF-2019-069] to explore the future of work, digitalisation, and gender. Her research focuses on women in leadership, men as change agents for gender equality, generations at work, technology in organisations, and diversity, inclusion and belonging. She has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in leading academic journals such as the British Journal of Management (ABS 4), Human Relations (FT Top 50, ABS 4), the Academy of Management Learning and Education (ABS 4), the Journal of Business Ethics (FT Top 50), and Management Learning (ABS 3). She is also the author of four books. Elisabeth Kelan held a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship and was the Dahlem International Network Professor for Gender Studies at Freie Universität Berlin. Her research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council and various private sector institutions. She is on the editorial boards of the British Journal of Management, Management Learning, and Gender in Management and edits the Routledge Studies in Gender and Organizations book series. Her research is regularly featured in the media such as the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph and HR Magazine. The Times featured her as one of the management thinkers to watch. She has won various practitioner and academic awards for her research such as the Academy of Management Gender and Diversity in Organizations Faculty Transnational Research Award 2016 and the award for the Most Influential Leadership Research by the Leadership Awards (2016). She is regularly providing thought-leadership and consulting to businesses and international organisations. Elisabeth Kelan has worked with businesses such as Accenture, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Google, KPMG, Linklaters, Johnson & Johnson, Ooredoo and PwC and international organisations such as the Council of Europe, CERN, the European Central Bank, the European Parliament and the United Nations Systems Staff College, United Nations Women, the United Nations Global Compact, and the International Labour Organization. Prior to joining the University of Essex, Elisabeth Kelan held appointments at London Business School, the London School of Economics and Political Science, King's College London, Cranfield School of Management and Zurich University. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


  • PhD London School of Economics and Political Science,

  • MSc London School of Economics and Political Science,

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice King's College School,


University of Essex

  • Professor of Leadership and Organisation, Essex Business School, University of Essex (1/8/2018 - present)

  • Head of Group, Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management, Essex Business School, University of Essex (1/1/2020 - 31/7/2020)

  • Deputy Head of Group, Organisation Studies and Human Resource Management, Essex Business School, University of Essex (1/9/2019 - 31/12/2019)

Research and professional activities

Current research

Shaping the future of work: Artificial intelligence and gender

More information about this project


Journal articles (39)

Carr, M. and Kelan, E., (2024). Competing Against Oneself and Others? Competition as Gendered Technologies of the Self. Gender, Work and Organization

Carr, M. and Kelan, EK., (2023). Between Consumption, Accumulation, and Precarity: The Psychic and Affective Practices of the Female Neoliberal Spiritual Subject. Human Relations. 76 (2), 258-285

Kelan, E., (2023). Algorithmic inclusion: Shaping the predictive algorithms of artificial intelligence in hiring. Human Resource Management Journal

Adamson, M. and Kelan, E., (2023). Reading In-Between: How Women Engage with Messages of ‘Superstar’ Business Role Models. British Journal of Management

Kelan, E., (2022). Men as Middle Managers Doing and Undoing Gender In Organizations. European Management Review. 19 (2), 236-247

Kelan, E., (2022). Automation Anxiety and Augmentation Aspiration – Subtexts of the Future of Work. British Journal of Management. 34 (4), 2057-2074

Jonsen, K., Point, S., Kelan, EK. and Grieble, A., (2021). Diversity and inclusion branding: a five-country comparison of corporate websites. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 32 (3), 616-649

Adamson, M., Kelan, E., Lewis, P., Śliwa, M. and Rumens, N., (2021). Introduction: Critically interrogating inclusion in organisations. Organization. 28 (2), 135050842097330-135050842097330

Kelan, E. and Wratil, P., (2021). CEOs as Agents of Change and Continuity. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. 40 (5), 493-509

Kelan, E., (2020). The Inclusive Leader, The Smart Strategist and The Forced Altruist: Subject Positions for Men as Gender Equality Partner. European Management Review. 17 (3), 603-613

Baker, DT. and Kelan, EK., (2019). Splitting and blaming: The psychic life of neoliberal executive women. Human Relations. 72 (1), 69-97

Adamson, M. and Kelan, EK., (2019). ‘Female Heroes’: Celebrity Executives as Postfeminist Role Models. British Journal of Management. 30 (4), 981-996

Humbert, AL., Kelan, E. and van den Brink, M., (2019). The Perils of Gender Beliefs for Men Leaders as Change Agents for Gender Equality. European Management Review. 16 (4), 1143-1157

Humbert, AL., Kelan, E. and Clayton-Hathway, K., (2019). A Rights-Based Approach to Board Quotas and How Hard Sanctions Work for Gender Equality. European Journal of Women's Studies. 26 (4), 447-468

Lewis, P., Adamson, M., Biese, I. and Kelan, E., (2019). Introduction to special issue: Exploring the emergence of moderate feminism(s) in contemporary organizations. Gender, Work & Organization. 26 (8), 1063-1072

Kelan, EK., (2018). Men Doing and Undoing Gender at Work: A Review and Research Agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews. 20 (2), 544-558

Kelan, EK. and Wratil, P., (2018). Post-Heroic Leadership, Tempered Radicalism and Senior Leaders as Change Agents for Gender Equality. European Management Review. 15 (1), 5-18

Gill, R., Kelan, EK. and M. Scharff, C., (2017). A Postfeminist Sensibility at Work. Gender, Work and Organization. 24 (3), 226-244

Adamson, M., Kelan, E., Lewis, P., Rumens, N. and Sliwa, M., (2016). The quality of equality: thinking differently about gender inclusion in organizations. Human Resource Management International Digest. 24 (7), 8-11

Kelan, EK., (2016). The Language of Female LeadershipThe Language of Female Leadership Baxter Judith Palgrave Basingstoke 2010. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. 35 (5/6), 383-385

Jonsen, K., Point, S. and Kelan, EK., (2016). Diversity Branding: A Five-Country Comparison Of Corporate Websites. Academy of Management Proceedings. 2016 (1), 11605-11605

Kelan, EK. and Wratil, P., (2015). Skirting Merit - Senior Leaders on Merit and Gender Equality (WITHDRAWN). Academy of Management Proceedings. 2015 (1), 13464-13464

Quental, C. and Kelan, EK., (2015). The Gendered Construction of Skills in the Promotion to Partner. Academy of Management Proceedings. 2015 (1), 15689-15689

Kelan, EK., (2014). From Biological Clocks to Unspeakable Inequalities: The Intersectional Positioning of Young Professionals. British Journal of Management. 25 (4), 790-804

Kelan, EK., (2014). Organising Generations – What Can Sociology Offer to the Understanding of Generations at Work?. Sociology Compass. 8 (1), 20-30

Nentwich, JC. and Kelan, EK., (2014). Towards a Topology of ‘Doing Gender’: An Analysis of Empirical Research and Its Challenges. Gender, Work & Organization. 21 (2), 121-134

Kelan, EK. and Mah, A., (2014). Gendered Identification: Between Idealization and Admiration. British Journal of Management. 25 (1), 91-101

Kelan, EK., (2013). The becoming of business bodies: Gender, appearance, and leadership development. Management Learning. 44 (1), 45-61

Wang, M. and Kelan, E., (2013). The Gender Quota and Female Leadership: Effects of the Norwegian Gender Quota on Board Chairs and CEOs. Journal of Business Ethics. 117 (3), 449-466

Kelan, EK., (2010). Gender Logic and (Un)doing Gender at Work. Gender, Work & Organization. 17 (2), 174-194

KELAN, EK. and JONES, RD., (2010). Gender and the MBA.. Academy of Management Learning & Education. 9 (1), 26-43

Kelan, EK., (2009). Gender fatigue: The ideological dilemma of gender neutrality and discrimination in organizations. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences / Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l'Administration. 26 (3), 197-210

Kelan, E. and Dunkley Jones, R., (2009). Reinventing the MBA as a rite of passage for a boundaryless era. Career Development International. 14 (6), 547-569

Kelan, EK., (2008). Emotions in a Rational Profession: The Gendering of Skills in ICT Work. Gender, Work & Organization. 15 (1), 49-71

Kelan, EK., (2008). The Discursive Construction of Gender in Contemporary Management Literature. Journal of Business Ethics. 81 (2), 427-445

Kelan, E., (2008). Gender, risk and employment insecurity: The masculine breadwinner subtext. Human Relations. 61 (9), 1171-1202

Kelan, E., (2008). Bound by stereotypes?. Business Strategy Review. 19 (1), 4-7

Kelan, EK., (2007). ‘I don't know why’ — Accounting for the scarcity of women in ICT work. Women's Studies International Forum. 30 (6), 499-511

Kelan, EK., (2007). TOOLS AND TOYS : Communicating gendered positions towards technology. Information, Communication & Society. 10 (3), 358-383

Books (5)

KELAN, E., (2024). Patterns of Inclusion How Gender Matters for Automation, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work. Routledge. 1032731729. 9781032731728

Kelan, E., (2023). Men Stepping Forward Leading Your Organisation on the Path to Inclusion. 1529230020. 9781529230024

Brown, S. and Kelan, EK., (2020). Gender and Corporate Boards - The Route to a Seat at the Table. Routledge Studies in Gender and Organizations. 113865244X. 9781138652446

Kelan, E., (2012). Rising Stars Developing Millennial Women as Leaders. Palgrave Macmillan. 0230294014. 9780230294011

Kelan, E., (2009). Performing Gender at Work. Palgrave Macmillan UK. 9781349367450

Book chapters (12)

Baker, DT. and Kelan, EK., (2019). HRM practices to diversity management Individualization, precariousness and precarity. In: Human Resource Management - A Critical Approach. Editors: Collings, DG., Wood, GT. and Szamosi, LT., . Routledge. 117- 134

Kelan, E., (2018). Credit Where Credit is Due. In: Teaching Human Resource Management An Experiential Approach. Editors: de Janasz, SC. and Crossman, J., . Edward Elgar Publishing. 38- 39. 1786439794. 9781786439796

Günther, EA., Humbert, AL. and Kelan, EK., (2018). Gender Versus Sex. In: Oxford Encyclopedia of Business and Management

Kelan, EK., (2017). Contested terrain: The power to define, control and benefit from gender equality efforts. In: Postfeminism and Organization. 105- 123

Kelan, E., (2014). Unspeakable masculinities in business schools. In: Gender in Organizations. Edward Elgar Publishing. 234- 246. 9781781955697

Kelan, E., (2012). Gender In Consulting: A Review And Research Agenda. In: The Oxford Handbook of Management Consulting. Oxford University Press

Edwards, MR. and Kelan, EK., (2011). Employer Branding and Diversity: Foes or Friends?. In: Branded Lives. Edward Elgar Publishing. 168- 184. 9781849800921

Humbert, AL., Drew, E. and Kelan, E., (2010). Gender Identity and ICT Entrepreneurship in an Irish Context. In: Handbook of Research on High-Technology Entrepreneurs. Edward Elgar Publishing. 123- 141. 9781847209498

Kelan, EK. and Nentwich, JC., (2009). The Value of Seeing Gender as a ‘Doing’. In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Work. Edward Elgar Publishing. 136- 146. 9781847203359

Kelan, EK., (2009). The Politics of Gender and Technology. In: A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley. 338- 341. 9781405146012

Kelan, EK., (2009). Discursive Theories of Gender. In: Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. Editors: O'Brien, J., . SAGE Publications, Inc.. 9781412909167

Kelan, EK., (2008). Self-Entrepreneurial Careers. In: Management Practices in High-Tech Environments. IGI Global. 282- 297

Grants and funding


Shaping the Future of Work: Digitalisation and Gender (Supplementary Funding)

Leverhulme Trust


Algorithms and Gender: Helping Artificial Intelligence Learn

British Academy


Shaping the Future of Work: Digitalisation and Gender

Leverhulme Trust

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