Q&A with Abhishek Nagaraj, PhD

Abhishek Nagaraj is an Assistant Professor in the Management and Organizations (MORS) group at Berkeley Haas. He earned his PhD in Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management (TIES) group. He also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and a B.Tech in Computer Science from the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP).

Abhishek’s EGAL funded research explores what drives gender inequality in cultural consumption. The proportion of female artists in popular music is estimated to be between 20 to 25% today. His research hopes to shed light on the causes of this gap and propose solutions using descriptive, quasi- and field experimental evidence from Pandora, a popular music streaming platform.

What inspired you to conduct the type of DEI research that you do?

An understanding of the power of research in highlighting previously overlooked disparities between genders and the potential to help reduce the gap between men and women in the social and economic world.

How have findings from your research in the past influenced your own perspectives and leadership approach?

In past work, we have shown that changing technologies of music production have increased rather than decreased the gap between male and female singers in the Hindi film industry. This project is inspired by the quest to intervene in such markets through experimental methods and try to address some of the disparities that past work has documented.

Who is a notable Equity Fluent Leader who inspires you?

I am inspired by Gandhi — the idea that leadership can be humble, bottom-up and lends voice to those who are the most ostracized stands in stark contrast to the notion that leadership needs to necessarily be powerful, top down and forceful. Gandhi’s leadership style validates my style and instructs me that I can be humble, supportive and yet inspire others and drive real change.

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Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL)

Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership (EGAL)

At the heart of UC Berkeley's Business School, the Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership educates equity-fluent leaders to ignite and accelerate change.