PROFile - Dr. Katherine Breward

Assistant Professor, Department of Business and Economics

Photo by Keeley Braunstein-Black

Dr. Katherine Breward could be working in psychology, but she chose business for the chance to help people directly.

“I’ve always been very aware of the level of injustice and of my own privilege. And I wanted to help address some of that imbalance,” Breward says. 

Her PhD is in industrial organizational psychology, which overlaps between business and psychology.

“When you go through (school) in business, you are provided more day-to-day opportunities to directly impact what happens to people,” Breward says. 

Breward moved to Winnipeg from the Toronto area in 2012 and volunteered with not-for profit boards of organizations that helped immigrants and refugees.

“I’ve always been very interested in social justice issues, even as a small child,” Breward says.

Area of research: I research barriers that prevent some groups of people, such as people with disabilities and newcomers to Canada, from fully participating in the labour market ...(Then) I examine how employers can help remove those barriers.

Number of peer-reviewed articles published: Nine.

Lowest grade in university: In my first semester of my first year, I got overconfident and failed a midterm in philosophy.

Favourite thing about yourself: I am willing to take risks and do things other people insist are impossible.

What’s your superpower: I don’t think I know everything... That might sound like a silly superpower, but it is actually a real source of strength.

Worst teaching moment: A student once said that I must have assigned a particular task “just to make us feel stupid”. I was devastated … (I) changed some aspects of my teaching as a result, since I never wanted to make a student feel that way again!

Favourite part about Winnipeg: There is so much to do – concerts and theatre and restaurants and sports and festivals, the list is endless. As for the university, the inclusive, friendly atmosphere is the reason I came here and something that I still love.

Book recommendation: Culture and Organizations: Software of the Mind by Hofstede, Hofstede and Minkov. The book examines cultural value differences and offers tips to improve mutual respect and understanding. 

With files from Palmer Fritschy

Published in Volume 71, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 29, 2016)

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