Sarah Kaplan is Director, Institute for Gender and the Economy, Distinguished Professor of Gender & the Economy, Professor of Strategic Management and Fellow of the Lee-Chin Family Institute for Corporate Citizenship at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She is a co-author of the bestselling business book, Creative Destruction as well as Survive and Thrive: Winning Against Strategic Threats to Your Business. Her latest book, The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation was published in September 2019—and is based on her award-winning course at the Rotman School. In it, she shows companies how to avoid simple “greenwashing” or “pinkwashing” in addressing corporate social responsibility and gender equity. She lays out a roadmap for organizational leaders who have hit the limits of the supposed win-win of shared value to explore how companies can cope with real trade-offs, innovating around them or even thriving within them.
Her current work focuses on applying an innovation lens to understanding the challenges for achieving gender equality and other social goods. She regularly advises corporations, governments and agencies on policies related to environmental, social and governance issues such as board diversity, board governance, care work, employment, pay equity, gender-based analysis and other topics.
She recently collaborated with Peter Dey on the report “Governance 360º: Where are the directors in a world in crisis?” which provides guidelines for boards of directors to navigate the challenges of the 21st century. And in 2020, she was strategic lead on the GATE/YWCA “Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada.” In 2021, the Governance Professionals of Canada awarded her the Peter Dey Governance Achievement Award, and in 2022, she was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Women Executive Network.
Formerly a professor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (where she remains a Senior Fellow), and a consultant and innovation specialist for nearly a decade at McKinsey & Company in New York, she completed her doctoral research at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She has a BA with honors in Political Science from UCLA and an MA in International Relations and International Economics with distinction from the School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
See the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) website here.
You can access her online courses on Coursera. These include the 5-course specialization, Gender Analytics: Gender Equity Through Inclusive Design and The 360º Corporation: Tools for Achieving Corporate Purpose.
Research and Teaching Interests
The corporation in society, gender equality, organizational change, strategy formulation, cognitive framing, innovation, technical change