Professor Sonia Kang is currently the Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
Dr. Sonia Kang holds the Canada Research Chair in Identity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the University of Toronto, where she is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the Rotman School of Management’s Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE) and Chief Scientist, Organizations in the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman (BEAR). Sonia is also Special Advisor on Anti-Racism & Equity at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Sonia earned a B.Sc. (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Alberta, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and completed a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Northwestern University.
SCHOLARSHIP & RESEARCH
Sonia’s research explores the challenges and opportunities of identity, diversity, and inclusion. She takes a novel approach by harnessing the power of behavioral insights and organizational design to disrupt systems, processes, and structures that block the path toward diversity and inclusion for individuals, organizations, and society.
Some recent themes investigated in her research include diversity and inclusion in STEM and medicine; using choice architecture to eliminate the gender gap in competition; disclosure of designated group status under the Canadian Employment Equity Act; the effects of high and low power on performance; the interpretation of equality rights under the Canadian Constitution; the effectiveness of pro-diversity statements; and the decision to reveal or conceal race and gender cues when navigating the labour market. Sonia’s research on “resume whitening” won two best paper awards and was recently ranked #3 on Financial Times’ global top 100 list of “business school research with social impact” (!).
Sonia’s research has been published widely in top-tier academic journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, The Lancet, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Annual Review of Psychology, and is frequently featured in media outlets such as The Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, Forbes, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and on CBC Radio. As well, Sonia is the host of the popular podcast, For the Love of Work, in which she explores important organizational issues through the lens of the employee experience. Sonia was recently named as one of 50 “Changemakers” in Canada by Report on Business Magazine.
Selected Publications - Papers
- He, J.C., Kang, S.K., & Lacetera, N. (in press). Opt-out choice framing attenuates gender differences in the decision to compete in the lab and in the field. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- He, J.C., & Kang, S.K. (in press). Covering in Cover Letters: Gender and self-presentation in job applications. Academy of Management Journal.
- He, J.C., Kang, S.K., Tse, K., & Toh, S.M. (2019). Stereotypes at work: Occupational stereotypes predict race and gender segregation in the workforce. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 115, 103318.
Kang, S.K., & Kaplan, S. (2019). Working toward gender diversity and inclusion in medicine: Myths and solutions. The Lancet, 393, 579-586.
Apfelbaum, E.P., Grunberg, R., Halevy, N., & Kang, S.K. (2017). From ignorance to intolerance: Perceived intentionality of racial discrimination shapes preferences for colorblindness versus multiculturalism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 86-101.
Hirsh, J.B., & Kang, S.K. (2016). Mechanisms of identity conflict: Uncertainty, anxiety, and the behavioral inhibition system. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20, 223-244.
Kang, S.K., DeCelles, K.A., Tilcsik, A., & Jun, S. (2016). Whitened resumes: Race and self-presentation in the labor market. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61, 469-502.
Kang, K.K., & Kang, S.K. (2016). Interpreting equality rights under Sections 7 and 15 in new and old ways: An empirical analysis of the concurrent claims approach. National Journal of Constitutional Law, 35, 235-268.
Kang, S.K., Galinsky, A.D., Kray, L.J., & Shirako, A. (2015). Power affects performance when the pressure is on: Evidence for low-power threat and high-power lift. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41, 726-735.
Kang, S.K., Plaks, J.E., & Remedios, J.D. (2015). Folk beliefs about genetic variation predict avoidance of biracial individuals. Frontiers in Psychology: Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 357.
Kang, S.K., & Bodenhausen, G.V. (2015). Multiple identities in social perception and interaction: Challenges and opportunities. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 547-574.
Kang, S.K., Chasteen, A.L., Cadieux, J., Cary, L.A., & Syeda, M. (2014). Comparing young and older adults’ perceptions of conflicting stereotypes and multiply-categorizable individuals. Psychology and Aging, 29, 469-481.
Kang, S.K., & Inzlicht, M. (2014). Stereotype threat spillover: Why stereotype threat is more useful for organizations than it seems. Industrial Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 7, 452-456.
- Stigma Building Blocks: How instruction and experience teach children about rejection by out-groups; Kang, S.K., & Inzlicht, M.; Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin; Issue: 38; 2012; Pages: 357-369.
- Personalized Persuasion: Tailoring Persuasive Appeals to Recipient Personality Traits; Hirsh, J. B., Kang, S. K., & Bodenhausen, G. V.;Psychological Science; Issue: 23; 2012; Pages: 578-581.
- Research-based advice on teaching children not to be racist; Kang, S.K., & Apfelbaum, E.P.; The Atlantic; 2012; Pages: Available at The Atlantic online April 12, 2012.
- Facing social identity change: Interactive effects of current and projected collective identification on expectations regarding future self-esteem and psychological well-being; Packer, D., Chasteen, A.L., & Kang, S.K.; British Journal of Social Psychology; Issue: 50; 2011; Pages: 414-430.
- Lingering effects: Stereotype threat hurts more than you think; Inzlicht, M., Tullet, A.M., Legault, L., & Kang, S.K.; Social Issues and Policy Review; Issue: 5; 2011; Pages: 227-256.
- Stereotype threat spillover: How threats to social identity affect eating, decision-making, and aggression,; Inzlicht, M., & Kang, S.K.; Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; Issue: 99; 2010; Pages: 467-482.
- Social Neuroscience and Public Policy on Intergroup Relations: A Hegelian Analysis; Kang, S.K., Inzlicht, M, & Derks, B.; Journal of Social Issues; Issue: 66; 2010; Pages: 585-601.
- Your mistakes are mine: Self-other overlap predicts neural response to observed errors; Kang, S.K., Hirsh, J.B., & Chasteen, A.L.; Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Issue: 46; 2010; Pages: 229-232.
- Beyond the double-jeopardy hypothesis: Assessing emotion on the faces of multiply categorizable targets of prejudice; Kang, S.K., & Chasteen, A.L.; Journal of Experimental Social Psychology; Issue: 45; 2009; Pages: 1281-1285.
- The moderating role of age-group identification and perceived threat on stereotype threat among older adults; Kang, S.K., & Chasteen, A.L.;International Journal of Aging and Human Development; Issue: 69; 2009; Pages: 201-220.
- The development and validation of the age-based rejection sensitivity questionnaire (RSQ-Age); Kang, S.K., & Chasteen, A.L.; The Gerontologist; Issue: 49; 2009; Pages: 303-316.
- The neuroscience of stigma and stereotype threat; Derks, B., Inzlicht, M., & Kang, S.K.; Group Processes and Intergroup Relations; Issue: 11; 2008; Pages: 163-181.
Selected Publications - Books and Chapters
- Social categorization and perceptions of social groups; Bodenhausen, G.V., Kang, S.K., & Peery, D.; In S.T. Fiske & C.N. Macrae (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Social Cognition.; Issue: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.; 2012; Pages: 318-336.
- Aging and stereotype threat: Development, Process, and Interventions; Chasteen, A.L., Kang, S.K., & Remedios, J.D.; In M. Inzlicht & T. Schmader (Eds.), Stereotype Threat: Theory, Process, and Application. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.; 2011; Pages: 202-216.