Amber Stark

Member Spotlight: Gena Cox

Position/Employer
Feels Human, Inc. (my practice)

How long have you been a SIOP member?
Longer than seems possible – 25+ years!

What roles have you had within SIOP?
I am currently chair-in-training for the Awards Committee. I am a previous Awards subcommittee member and a previous CEMA mentor.

Interest Area(s)
Executive leadership effectiveness, diversity/inclusion, future of work, employee satisfaction

What sparked your interest in I-O psychology?
As an undergrad, I had a mentor who was a social psychologist who had previously worked at University of Michigan's ISR (Institute for Social Research). When I first heard how data is used to understand workplace issues, I was immediately hooked.

What role do you see I-O psychology playing in the future of work?
Business leaders are talking more about the human experience at work than ever (a result of the pandemic and social change). This is our moment to seize the day! We can help rebuild organizations in which humans have a more central focus.

To which of the Top 10 Work Trends for 2021 do you most strongly relate, and how can I-O psychology practitioners, educators, and students impact this trend?
#4: Inclusive practices. As Derek Avery pointed out in his 2021 APA conference talk, I-O psychologists should focus more, in both research and practice, on issues related to the experience of non-White employees in organizational life. We currently do some great work; we just need to do much more. I often wonder if "race" is more taboo within I-O psychology than it is in the workplace (where it definitely "is" taboo).

What advice would you give to students or early practitioners?
Go all in with I-O but broaden your understanding of the world by regularly reading and interacting with ideas and people from other disciplines. We have a very specific P.O.V. that others need to hear, and we need to allow ideas from other disciplines and world views to be a part of our work.

What is one of your favorite SIOP Annual Conference memories/highlights?
I have been to many SIOP conferences, but my best memory remains my attendance at my very first conference. I had the honor to be Dr. Wally Borman's (my major professor) research assistant for his SIOP presidential speech. That experience was a great introduction to SIOP, and Wally Borman has inspired and supported me ever since. Did I mention that he was the best major professor a girl could have?

Please share one non-I-O-related bit of information about yourself.
I love energetic dogs. German short-haired pointers are my favorites. Australian cattle dog (blue heelers) a close second.

Is there anything you would like to add?
I am focused on helping executives learn new behaviors.

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