Press Briefing: COVID-19: Are Workers Really All in This Together? 

Tuesday May 5, 2020 • 11:00 AM

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: MacKenzie Babb
Kenan Institute External Affairs Director
919.632.6641
MacKenzie_Babb@kenan-flagler.unc.edu

Chapel Hill, N.C. (May 4, 2020) — A panel of experts convened by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and its affiliated Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise will be offering a press briefing via webinar on the vastly uneven impact of COVID-19 on different types of workers and organizations. Join tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5, at 11 a.m. EDT to hear from the following experts:

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Matthew Pearsall will provide an overview of the current work climate, walking through the creative ways in which companies and their employees are adapting to continue operations virtually and to maintain a sense of normalcy through the crisis.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Shimul Melwani will speak on the effects of emotional contagion, or how one worker’s pandemic-driven feelings of anxiety and frustration may spread to other colleagues, and will discuss emerging research on the impact of the crisis on employees’ work-life balance across different types of home environments.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Doctoral Candidate Angelica Leigh will share how the lived experience of COVID-19 varies significantly by race and gender, touching on topics such as the hostility and violence faced by Asian Americans based upon the virus’s association with China. Additionally, she’ll speak to the resulting downstream consequences for engagement and belonging of diverse groups in the workplace through and beyond the pandemic.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Alison Fragale will discuss how the crisis is affecting negotiations for individual workers, such as those with limited leverage including the newly hired and those who’ve recently been let go. She’ll also cover business negotiations, including how companies facing issues such as consumer demands for refunds may balance their limited funds with long-term goals of survival and customer loyalty.

Each speaker will provide a brief overview from his or her respective area of expertise, citing applicable emerging research and data, before the floor is opened for questions from the press. For a link to participate, email MacKenzie Babb.

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About the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
The Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise develops and promotes innovative, market-based solutions to vital economic issues. With the belief that private enterprise is the cornerstone of a prosperous and free society, the institute fosters the entrepreneurial spirit to stimulate economic prosperity and improve the lives of people in North Carolina, across the country and around the world. Learn more at kenaninstitute.unc.edu.


For more information, contact:

MacKenzie Babb, External Affairs Director
MacKenzie_Babb@kenan-flagler.unc.edu