Paige Ouimet

Paige Ouimet is a professor of finance in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Through the lens of societal challenges like income inequality, gender diversity, and the opioid epidemic, she studies how businesses impact society and how society impacts businesses.

Paige Ouimetphoto by Mackenzie Kern
August 18th, 2021

Q: When you were a child, what was your response to this question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

A: I have always felt great peace and joy when in quiet, natural settings. As a young child, I imagined myself growing up to be a forest ranger, helping the plants and animals to flourish, while enjoying the peace and solitude of the wilderness. To this day, I find that hiking on forest trails helps me reconnect to that sense of inner peace.

Q: Share the pivotal moment in your life that helped you choose your field of study.

A: Early in my career I worked on environmental policy. Then, I decided to pursue an MBA, thinking I could have a greater impact if I could also speak the language of business. But all this changed when I took my first finance class. I fell in love with the topic and wanted to learn more. It is such a fascinating area, and given the importance of finance in the world, understanding how finance interplays with other broad societal issues can have a significant impact.

Paige Ouimet and her two daughters

In December 2019, Ouimet and her daughters went skiing in West Virginia.

Q: Tell us about a time you encountered a tricky problem. How did you handle it and what did you learn from it?

A: A chronically difficult problem, in my experience, is how to balance child-rearing with a research career. Something I didn’t realize as a PhD student was that some of the most demanding years professionally (working toward a tenured position) often coincide with some of the most demanding years of parenting (when your children are young). I have mostly learned to let go of the things I can’t do and make the best of the time I have for my kids and the time I have for work. And hopefully, when my kids are older, they will be proud of the accomplishments I have achieved.

Q: Describe your research in 5 words.

A: Where business and society intersect.

Q: What are your passions outside of research?

A: A great outlet for me has been my hobby of collecting Legos. My kids and I regularly have “build-off” competitions in which we each build creations based on a particular theme, which is one of our favorite family activities. But I must admit that walking through my house barefoot is dangerous.

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