Informatics Ph.D. Candidate Phoebe Chua Joins Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

July 27, 2020

The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, which aims to “bring together the sharpest, most thoughtful people from around the globe to tackle the biggest challenges presented by the Internet,” recently announced its incoming cohort. Joining BKC as an affiliate for the 2020-2021 academic year is informatics Ph.D. candidate Phoebe Chua, who was thrilled to get the news.

“In collaboration with the Berkman Klein community, I look forward to exploring the interplay of technology and society in ways that promote justice, equity and inclusion,” she says. “I’m also excited to contribute practical strategies for tech companies to enact inclusive hiring practices.”

Working with Informatics Professor Melissa Mazmanian of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS) and Assistant Professor of Organization and Management Sharon Koppman of the Paul Merage School of Business, Chua has been examining the hiring practices of elite tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook. “Scholars who study hiring and inequality often focus on low-skill, low-wage labor markets,” she explains. “As inequality is driven by both marginalization and privilege, my work with Melissa and Sharon complements prior studies by examining the hiring process of large tech companies [and investigating] how social class biases might shape hiring decision-makers’ evaluations and applicants’ job preparation and self-presentation strategies.”

The first term at BKC will be held remotely because of the global pandemic, so Chua will be participating in a series of virtual meetings, activities and events to welcome the new cohort and help enrich its work.

“Given that many Berkman Klein community members are intimately involved with the hiring process,” says Chua, “engaging with them will enable me to gain and extend new perspectives on the mechanisms that influence hiring outcomes.”

Shani Murray