William Bielby, past president of the American Sociological Association; Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Distinguished Research Scholar in the University of Arizona’s School of Sociology. He teaches courses on organizational behavior, research methods for the social sciences, quantitative methods, social inequality, and discrimination. His current research is on racial diversity at the top of corporate hierarchies, on how informal social networks facilitate career advancement, and on the factors that shape Americans’ support for or opposition to workplace policies designed to promote diversity and nondiscrimination.
Recent publications include: “Race at the Top: How Companies Shape the Inclusion of African Americans on Their Boards in Response to Institutional Pressures,” Social Science Research, 2011 (with Clayton Rose); and “Minority Vulnerability in Privileged Occupations: Why Do African American Financial Advisors Earn Less Than Whites in a Large Financial Services Firm?”, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, 2012.
Bielby has been an expert witness in dozens of employee discrimination cases, including Dukes vs Walmart (the largest civil rights class-action suit in history) and McReynolds vs. Merrill Lynch where Merrill Lynch recently announced that it was paying $160 million to settle a racial bias lawsuit filed on behalf of 700 black brokers who worked for the company. This is the largest sum ever distributed to plaintiffs in a racial discrimination suit against an American employer.
Cosponsored by the Sociology Department and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Henkels Lectures Fund.