School of Business and Management

Emily Pfefer

Project Title

"The Cloak of Silence: A Critical Analysis of the Relationship between the Culture of Pay Secrecy and the Gender Pay Gap in UK Higher Education"

A bit about the PhD programme:

I have most enjoyed that my programme supports me in creating a project that I am passionate about and believe will be of broad interest within the UK and beyond. Being able to have joint supervision in the School of Politics and International Relations and also getting the chance to work around others in the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) has especially made this possible.

PhD studies in London

I love being a student in London. London presents so much diversity, in terms of students around me, but also cultural events to experience in my free time. The supply of interesting talks, sometimes related to my work and sometimes on other topics, is endless and they are usually free. I love taking advantage of visiting many of the gorgeous places near London as well that are just 1-2 hours by train away. QMUL is also easy to access if you live elsewhere in London since it is only a few minutes’ walk to two different Underground stations.

Facilities and training for PhD students

As a PhD student in the School of Business and Management specifically, I really appreciate having plenty of space to work within the department. The two PhD rooms are well designed to suit different work styles. The one I choose is more relaxed and open plan. The other is a central room that has much more of a library or office feel about it.

The Thinking Writing workshops made available by QMUL are really helpful. I've only been to the one for first-timers so far, but it has already provided me with some useful tips and practices for improving my writing productivity. I definitely plan to attend more as I progress. They help you break ties with the daily distractions and really get to grips with putting your voice into your work. As a bonus, the venue mine took place in was gorgeous!


I currently hope to proceed to do employment rights research within the trade union or policy arena, such as at the TUC or within a think tank. I believe that both the signal of my PhD and the research qualification attached to it and the close connection between many CRED academics and those in the profession I'd like to enter, will help me make the connections and impressions necessary to secure this kind of employment when I graduate.


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