Allison Elias

Allison Elias

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research Interests/Areas of Expertise

Gender and Diversity in organizations, Social Mobility, Career Ladders



As a Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Allison's primary research interests are historical and contemporary issues of gender and diversity in organizations, social mobility, and occupational boundaries.  She is currently finishing a book (under contract with Columbia University Press) about women’s workplace activism in U.S. corporations from the 1960s-1990s, revealing contested meanings of feminism and divergent understandings of meritocracy.  Allison works closely with Vice Provost Melissa Thomas-Hunt regarding the advancement of inclusive excellence on campus.

Before coming to Vanderbilt, Allison taught undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University in the ILR School and the SC Johnson College of Business, where she won awards for excellence in teaching and mentorship and served as an advisor to several student organizations.  Also at Cornell, she designed and delivered online leadership development programs for practitioners.  Allison received her B.A. and Ph.D from the University of Virginia, where she worked during graduate school as a research associate at the Darden School of Business.  Before graduate school Allison worked briefly as a court-certified mediator in Virginia.


Allison's research into occupational boundaries, sex segregation, and U.S. employment policy has been published in the Journal of Policy History.  She has chapters in various edited collections about feminim in the workplace.  Her first book is forthcoming book with the History of U.S. Capitalism series at Columbia University Press.


Before coming to Owen, Allison received the MacIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching in 2016 at the Cornell ILR School.  At Cornell, she served as a faculty advisor for several student organizations.  Twice Allison was honored as a nominee for the campus-wide International Women’s Day Leadership Award for engagement and service to the Cornell community.

Research Interests

Historical and contemporary issues of gender and diversity in organizations; social mobility; occupational boundaries


B.A., Studies in Women and Gender, University of Virginia, 2002

Ph.D, History, University of Virginia, 2013