Sarah Kaplan

Distinguished Professor; Founding Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy
Rotman School of Management

Sarah Kaplan is Founding Director of the Institute for Gender and the Economy (GATE), 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 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. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Professor Kaplan has dedicated her work to supporting women and people who belong to all marginalized groups.

She collaborated with Peter Dey on the 2021 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. In 2020, she was strategic lead on the GATE/YWCA “Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Canada.” She has received the Peter Dey Governance Achievement Award from the Governance Professionals of Canada and 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.

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