Kayla Parker

Insights Brainiac

Los Angeles, CA

When Kayla joined the Smarty Pants team as a Research Whiz in 2021, she brought academic pedigree, a wealth of applied research experience and a passion for understanding consumer mindsets.​ Her writing and thinking quickly impressed Smarty Pants clients and colleagues. (If we were a teenager, we’d say, “She’s her.”)

After a promotion to Insights Brainiac, Kayla now flexes her talents as an ambidextrous reseracher crafting moderator discussion guides, leading focus groups and analyzing data. She is particularly gifted at developing insights-rich reports, ensuring companies better understand their consumers and market position.​

Further, Kayla vowed at the commencement of her research career to push for greater diversity among research participants and to amplify the voices of multicultural consumers. Her Smarty Pants work consistently reflects this commitment – from sample representation to end deliverables. And her internal leadership on critical topics ranging from microaggressions to the pitfalls of demographic segmentation have lead to greater workplace and consumer empathy.

Kayla is also a member of Smarty Pants’ Culture & Wellbeing committee. She is a passionate culture creator who often serves as a voice for the next generation.


Kayla developed her market research skills while conducting drug trials at a major pharmaceutical company. Her involvement spanned data collection, analysis and project management.

She then became a founding member of the market research and design team at LA-based Pioneer Industries. In addition to conducting primary consumer research to understand brand awareness and product needs, Kayla played a key role as a market analyst and trendspotter.​


Kayla began her academic journey at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in International Business Marketing. She then completed her Master of Science in Applied Psychology at the University of Southern California.

Committed to lifelong learning, Kayla is currently earning her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior at Claremont Graduate University.​

Kayla’s academic life has been filled with countless research projects on topics ranging from leader identity to mentorship dyads to equality. For example, her master’s thesis was entitled: The Black Female Leader Experience: The Impact of Microaggressions on Leader Identity, a study analyzing the effects of gendered racial microaggressions on Black women leaders. ​


Born and raised in southern California, Kayla resides just outside of Los Angeles with her family and furry friends. In her free time, she can be found curling up with a good book or writing fictional stories and poems.​

Fun Facts

  • LOVES “The Office” and never gets tired of rewatching episodes
  • The pickiest eater you will ever meet (finds hamburgers, ketchup, salads and bananas to be gross)
  • The first person (and hopefully not the last!) in her family to obtain graduate degrees
  • Putting it into the universe that she WILL be a New York Times bestselling author one day
  • Served as a ball girl for her tennis role model, Serena Williams!