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Dr Stefanie Ruel

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Professional biography

Stefanie Ruel, an early career academic in organizational behavior and a former space life scientist, received her Bachelor of Science, Major Mathematics, from McGill University, Canada. She holds the degree of Master of Business Administration and Doctorate in Business Administration from Athabasca University, Canada. Her research efforts and ongoing work on addressing systemic discrimination in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and in entrepreneurship were recently recognized via the Athabasca University’s 2020 Distinguished Alumni award. Her work is also recognized via the Emerald Literati 2020, Outstanding paper award for “An open letter to the Universe: A reflection on conducting ‘good’ research” and the Emerald Literati 2019, Highly Commended paper award for “The ‘silent killers’ of a STEM-professional woman’s career”. She is the recipient of the prestigious Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Division’s 2018 Best Dissertation Award for her thesis focused on “Women’s exclusion from STEM-management in the Canadian space industry”.

Research interests

Dr. Ruel's research focus is on both historical and contemporary gender and diversity concerns in STEM and entrepreneurship contexts. Using various lenses, including intersectionality scholarship, Indigenous-based research methods, and critical realism, she shines a light on day-to-day experiences that are discriminatory and oppressive. Via her research, she suggests resistance and social justice initiatives that can guide complex individuals and society to move away from these systemic discriminatory practices.

Teaching interests

Dr. Ruel's teaching interests extend to a variety of fields including human resource management (HRM), introduction to contemporary business practices and organizations, Executive education, organisational behavior and organisational theory.

Impact and engagement

Dr. Ruel and her internationally-based colleagues focus on community involvement and impact via a variety of initiatives. These include “(No) space for feminism? Gender and postfeminist sensibilities in male-dominated organizations”, an Academy of Finland funded collaboratie research initiative studying women's experiences in the video game industry in Finland and in Canada; and, Equity, diversity, and inclusivity at the intersection of STEM and business management in Canadian higher education”, for the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans.

Dr. Ruel was a Mission Manager in Life Sciences at the Canadian Space Agency, leading more than ten life sciences missions into space aboard various microgravity platforms. Dr. Ruel is now a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Organizational Behavior in the Department for People and Organisations, Faculty of Business and Law, Open University, UK.


Prim'a'geniture: Gender bias and daughter successors of entrepreneurial family businesses (2021)
Hamilton, Lynn Alison; Ruel, Stefanie and Thomas, Janice Lynn
Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics ((In Press))

Gendering multi-voiced histories of the North American space industry: The GMRD white women (2019-11)
Ruel, Stefanie; Mills, Albert J. and Helms MIlls, Jean
Journal of Management History, 25(4) (pp. 464-492)

An open letter to the Universe: A reflection on conducting "good" research (2019)
Ruel, Stefanie
Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, 14(1) (pp. 55-74)

Intersectionality at work: The case of Ruth Bates Harris and NASA (2018)
Ruel, Stefanie; Mills, Albert J. and Thomas, Janice L.
Ephemera: theory & politics in organizations, 18(1) (pp. 17-49)

The "silent killers" of a STEM-professional woman’s career (2018)
Ruel, Stefanie
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 37, Article 2040-7149(7) (pp. 728-748)

STEM-professional women’s exclusion in the Canadian space industry: Anchor points and intersectionality at the margins of space? (2019-01-21)
Ruel, Stefanie
Critical Management Studies
ISBN : 9781787695702 | Publisher : Emerald | Published : Bingley, UK

Barriers to space: “One giant leap” for Canadian early-career STEM women (2021-09)
Ruel, Stefanie
In: Tajmel, Tanja; Starl, Klaus and Spintig, Susanne eds. The Human Rights-Based Approach to STEM Education (pp. 169-192)
ISBN : 978-3-8309-4220-7 | Publisher : Waxmann | Published : Munster, Germany

The Canadian Alouette women: reclaiming their space (2020-11-27)
Ruel, Stefanie; Dyer, Linda and Mills, Albert J.
In: Maclean, Mairi; Clegg, Stewart R.; Suddaby, Roy and Harvey, Charles eds. Historical organization studies: Theory and applications (pp. 107-130)
ISBN : 978-1-003-03359-2 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon