Kellie McElhaney

Adjunct Associate Professor, Institute for Business & Social Impact


Kellie McElhaney

Dr. Kellie McElhaney is a professor and Distinguished Teaching Fellow at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She founded the Center for Responsible Business, solidifying corporate responsibility as a core competency and competitive advantage of the school. Haas was rated #1 in the world for corporate responsibility by The Financial Times. She is now the Founding Director of the new Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership, which is agitating, activating, and fiercely turning up the volume and velocity on diversity and inclusion in the business leadership world. Professor McElhaney helped to develop the school's gender equity strategy, leading to the increase of Haas female MBA matriculates from 24% to 43%, and to a significant increase in female satisfaction and engagement. She received the Founder and Visionary Award at Haas.

Kellie's research interests focus on the following areas: (1) The business value of investing in gender and equity globally, in business, and in individual leadership strategies; (2) Analyzing and developing companies' corporate responsibility strategy and its alignment with business objectives, competencies, and value creation; (3) Global macro trends and business solutions. She has developed and teaches a variety of courses in strategic corporate sustainability and the business case for investing in women. She teaches in the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA programs at Berkeley Haas School of Business, as well as execution education inside and outside the U.S. In 2013, Kellie received the Teaching Excellence Award at Haas.

Kellie wrote a book entitled Just Good Business The Strategic Guide to Aligning Corporate Responsibility and Brand. She writes case studies of companies who are investing in women (Wal-Mart, E&Y, Gap, Inc.), and does research in the area of equal, pay, unconscious bias, and value-creation linkages between financial & sustainability returns when women are in leadership.

Kellie keynotes, consults and develops executive education for Global 1000 companies all over the word, developing integrated sustainability and women's investment strategies. She has also delivered a TED talk on these topics. Her client list includes: Ernst & Young, NVIDIA, Paul Hastings, Gap, Inc., Orrick, Levi, Vimplecom (Dubai/ the Netherlands), KAUST (Saudi Arabia) Nokia (Finland), Navigant, Driscolls Berries, GE Oil & Gas, Accenture, Chevron, ING, Pandora Internet Radio, Aboitiz (Philippines), Outotec (Finland), Orrick, NetGear, WellCare and Pillsbury Winthrop. She serves on the Board of Directors for Sierra Europe Offshore, LTD. and the Closed Loop Fund, the Women’s Leadership Team for Orrick, and the Advisory Boards for Sedgwick's Women's Forum and Pacific Community Ventures.

Kellie lives in the Oakland Hills in California and has two teen-aged daughters. She enjoys spin classes, travel to anywhere, good wine, college football, running, and is working very hard on more mindful living. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina, her MA from Ohio University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Prior to moving in to academia, Kellie worked in retail banking.

Business Strategies for Investing in Equity & Inclusion

The business case for investing in diversity and inclusion (D&I) has never been stronger. Globally, gender equity is linked to higher per capita income and faster growth. Companies with diverse leadership demonstrate a stronger financial performance, high levels of innovation, and gains in productivity. Despite this strong case, progress has stalled, if not regressed. We will look at data supporting improving D&I, and learn best strategies from leading companies and individual leaders.

Twitter @thekmack / @Berkeleyequity