Raina Brands diversity speaker
Raina Brands diversity speaker

Raina Brands

Expert on gender bias & organisational behaviour

Speaker Themes

  • Women in leadership
  • Unconscious bias in the workplace
  • Leadership in 21st century organisations
  • Social networks

Travels from

London, UK


Raina Brands is a leading researcher on social networks, gender bias and leadership in the workplace.

An Associate Professor at UCL School Of Management, Raina’s work integrates the study of social networks and the study of gender stereotypes in order to provide novel insight into a range of gender inequalities that pervade organisational life: gender differences in performance, reputation, and leadership; in women’s persistence in, and pursuit of, careers in domains where they are underrepresented; and in women’s reactions to, and inoculation from, the stereotyping and bias that they routinely encounter in organisational life.

Raina explores these inequalities in two major streams of empirical research. The first major stream of work shows that gender stereotypes affect how individuals interpret, experience, and respond to social networks, with consequences for women’s performance and reputations. The second major stream of work explores how social networks affect women’s responses to gender stereotyping that is enacted in relational settings in organisations.

Raina Brands’ work has been presented at leading international conferences and published in the top international journals in the field of management. Raina’s work has also garnered international press coverage in the New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Harvard Business School, The Huffington Post, and Glamour Magazine.

An , her ground-breaking work examines how social networks help or hinder women’s careers and reputations.

Her work has been published in leading academic journals such as The Journal Of Organizational Behavior, Organization Science, and the Best Paper Proceedings of the Academy of Management. 

She has also been featured in mainstream media such as the Financial Times and New York Times.

Prior to her role at UCL, Raina was Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the London Business School, and before that was on the faculty of the Judge Business School at the University Of Cambridge.

For more information on Raina Brands, her speaking topics, availability and speaking fees, contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at leo@vbqspeakers.com.


Drawing on her pioneering research, Raina shows how unconscious biases and behavioural habits impact on women in leadership roles.

For example, her works shows that unconscious gender bias plays a huge role in whether we think a leader is charismatic and transformational. In organisations with hierarchical “star” structures, men are perceived as being more successful; whereas in flatter “cohesive” networks, women are seen as more successful – regardless of their actual abilities.

Another example of her research, recently reported in the Harvard Business Review, shows that women are less likely to apply for executive roles if they’ve been rejected before.

She doesn’t just draw attention to these biases and behaviours; she also provides practical steps for moving beyond them so as to improve diversity and productivity.

Media links

Women Are Less Likely To Apply For Executive Roles If They’ve Been Rejected Before – Harvard Business Review (2017)

In The Workplace, Leaders Who Aren’t Always Followed – New York Times (2014)

Men Hold The Upper Hand In Social Networking – Financial Times (2014)

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