School of Business and Management

Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED)


The Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) at Queen Mary, University of London, was established in 2005 and is a prominent international research centre at the leading edge of equality and diversity research.

CRED is committed to critical scholarship in researching equality and diversity and seeks to be guided by principles of social justice and inclusivity. In the contemporary political and economic context, research on equality, inequalities and diversity is vital to advance theoretical understanding and to appraise the impact of contemporary public policies internationally and nationally, and both at the level of the organization and the individual.

CRED’s research is interdisciplinary and draws on sociological, economic, industrial relations, psychological and subaltern studies to explore key debates and conceptual developments such as intersectionality, the value of capitals (social, cultural and economic),  (global) diversity management, the contested nature of career concepts, the role of legislation and social movements in challenging inequalities. Specific research topics include inequalities and discrimination on the basis of gender, sexuality, gender identity, social class, disability and ethnicity; employment relations policies and practices; labour market and sectoral studies; subaltern knowledge; migration; career studies and organisational aspects of equality and diversity.

CRED’s research is international and comparative with completed projects on both developed and developing countries/regions: e.g. China, Germany, France, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Romania, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Taiwan, Turkey, UK, US, Latin America, Middle East, and South Asia. CRED researchers have built strong links with international universities and institutions.

For further information, please contact Professor Ahu Tatli, Director of CRED (

Professor Ahu Tatli

Director of CRED and Professor of International Human Resource Management

Ahu Tatli conducts research on intersectionality of disadvantage and privilege at work; inequality and discrimination in recruitment and employment; diversity management, agency and change in organizations. Ahu’s research contributed to the advancement of knowledge on EDI at work culminating in over 100 journal and conference papers. She has widely published in edited collections, practitioner and policy outlets and international peer-reviewed journals such as Academy of Management Review, British Journal of Management, European Journal of Industrial Relations, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, International Business Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, and International Journal of Management Reviews.  Her recent books include Global Diversity Management: an evidence-based approach (2015, Palgrave) and Pierre Bourdieu, Organisation and Management (2015, Routledge).

Dr Doyin Atewologun

Lecturer in Organisational Leadership and Learning

Doyin Atewologun’s research interests lie at the intersection of leadership, identity and diversity.  She is particularly interested in the identity work involved in making sense of complex, oppositional identities and leader identity development.  Doyin has published in practitioner and academic journals including the British Journal of Management, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Equality Diversity & Inclusion: An International Journal (EDI), and The Psychologist magazine; she has also contributed chapters to several edited collections.  Doyin is Professional Insights Editor of EDI. Doyin is also a Chartered and Registered Occupational Psychologist, and Deputy Chair of the British Psychology Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) Diversity & Inclusion Working Group. Her practical experience includes designing and managing assessment centres, leadership development, coaching and team building.

Dr Andromachi Athanasopoulou

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour

Andromachi Athanasopoulou is a Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour and QMUL and Associate Fellow, Executive Education at the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Her areas of expertise are leadership (including gender and leadership and CEO studies), corporate social responsibility and ethics. Andromachi has published peer-reviewed academic papers in these fields and a book on executive coaching for the Oxford University Press. She is an editorial board member at the Journal of Change Management. Andromachi previously held appointments as a research fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University and at the University of Oxford. She has an MBA, MSc and DPhil in Management from the Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

Dr Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay

Senior Lecturer in Economics

Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay specialises in the economics of growth and development, measurement of inequality, poverty and mobility and applied econometrics, with a specific focus on Asia and Africa. Her theoretical work has dealt with measurement issues in income convergence and mobility, and applied work deals with institutional barriers to economic development. She has held previous academic appointments at the University of Oxford, University of Birmingham and the London School of Economics and was Visiting Professor/Fellow at the Toulouse School of Economics and Cornell University. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and is currently the guest editor for Research on Economic Inequality.

Dr Ishani Chandrasekara

Lecturer in Accounting

Ishani Chandrasekara's research interests are in the field of Critical Accounting and Finance with a particular focus on the presence of a feminine narrative in response to the phallocentric culture that has defined women's subjectivity in the Western philosophy of management. Her doctoral research investigates subaltern knowledge of finance and accounting. In particular, she is interested in the way women in Sri Lanka, in local organisations, develop alternative understandings of finance and accounting, and how both international finance, and large NGOs' seek to convert these women into globalised financial subjects by disregarding this subaltern knowledge. At present Ishani works with the Centre for Women’s Research on the impact of austerity measures on locally based women organisations in Sri Lanka.

Professor Nelarine Cornelius

Professor of Organisation Studies

Nelarine Cornelius holds research interests in equality, diversity and inclusion in the UK and emerging, fragile economies, and international comparisons of policy and practices. Much of her work employs Sen’s capabilities approach in organisations and for community development. Current projects include the emergence of EDI practices in Pakistan and Nigeria; diversity practices and senior management progression in FTSE 250 companies, the role of social organisations in addressing EDI and theoretical critique of diversity practices and EDI policy and practice in public sector organisations. Her work in this area has been funded by HEIF, CIPD, British Academy, British Academy of Management and ESRC. She is also a member of the diversity impact working group for the Chartered Association of Business Schools, and has advised on EDI policy and practice to many public, private and social sector organisations.

Dr Sadhvi Dar

Lecturer in Corporate Social Responsibility/Business Ethics

Sadhvi Dar holds a Diploma in Art and Design, a BSc in Psychology and a PhD in Management Studies. Her research investigates the juncture between measurement and culture, and contributes to current understandings in organization studies about accountability, reporting and processes of knowledge production. Theoretically, Sadhvi finds inspiration in postcolonial studies, social philosophy and psychoanalytic approaches, however, she also has an interest in post-structural theory more broadly. Her empirical work is diverse, ranging from critiques of NGO management, international development, mental health organizations and arts organizations. Sadhvi has expertise in ethnography, archival research, discourse / narrative approaches, cross-cultural analysis and interviewing.

Dr Elena Doldor

Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour

Elena Doldor’s research interests are in the field of diversity and leadership, with an emphasis on the processes shaping the career progression of women and ethnic minorities in organizations. Her research tackled diversity on UK corporate boards and the role of headhunters in increasing board diversity; the role of power and organizational politics in the experiences of male and female managers; the experiences and identities of highly skilled Romanian professionals in the UK; and the career trajectories of ethnic minority professionals in professional services firms. She published papers in the British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Journal, Gender in Management, and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal. Elena is a Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management and was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Northwestern University USA.

Professor Geraldine Healy

Professor of Employment Relations

Geraldine Healy has extensive experience of researching equality and inequalities in organisational and international settings. She is currently researching the gender pay gap (GPG) in the financial services sector and in universities.  Her work in 2016-17 includes The Challenges of Organising Women Casualised Workers TUC) ‘Close the Deal, Fill the Gap’ (for EU) a comparative study of the GPG in Italy, Poland and the UK, member of CMI/BAM research advisory group on BAME leadership.  She had published widely in leading journals and her recent books include: Gender and Union Leadership, Routledge 2013 (with Gill Kirton), Diversity, Ethnicity, Migration and Work: International Perspectives, 2011, Palgrave Macmillan (with Franklin Oikelome). Forthcoming edited books are Gender and the Professions and The Gender Pay Gap and Social Partnership (both Routledge).


Professor Gill Kirton

Professor of Employment Relations

Gill Kirton has been conducting research on equality, diversity and inclusion at work for around 20 years. Her research has investigated different stakeholder perspectives on the development and implementation of diversity management in UK organizations. Another strand of her research explores women's participation in unions and unions’ gender and race equality strategies.  One recent project explored the gender and union effects of restructuring/outsourcing of a public service within the context of a professional occupation. Gill Kirton’s work is published in journals such as British Journal of Industrial Relations, Gender, Work and Organization, Human Resource Management Journal, Human Relations, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Work, Employment and Society. Gill is an Associate Editor of Human Resource Management Journal and of Gender, Work and Organization.

Dr Maria Koumenta

Lecturer in Human Resource Management

Maria Koumenta’s research activities are in the fields of labour economics, labour market policy and employment relations. Her work explores the characteristics and prevalence of various forms of occupational regulation, analyses their impact on labour market outcomes such as wages, skills and employment, and compares it to other labour market institutions such as unionism. She has recently been involved in a research project funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills investigating occupational regulation in the UK (with John Forth-NIESR, Amy Humphries-LSE, Alex Bryson-NIESR and Morris Kleiner- University of Minnesota). Additionally, Maria is interested in public sector labour market policy and the management of employees in the public services.


Professor Pedro Martins

Professor of Applied Economics

Pedro Martins is Professor of Applied Economics at SBM since 2009, having joined in 2004. Secretary of State for Employment in the Government of Portugal (2011-2013). Member of Group of Experts advising the Government of Greece and the European Commission on labour market reforms (2016). Research fellow of IZA, Bonn, and NovaSBE, Lisbon. PhD in Economics, University of Warwick. Author of over 20 academic articles (published in Journal of Labor Economics, American Economic Journal, Labour Economics, British Journal of Industrial Relations, etc). Consultant to international organisations, national agencies, multinationals and NGOs. Current main research and policy interests are employment services, including ALMPs, and employment law, in particular collective bargaining.

Professor Mike Noon

Professor of Human Resource Management  

Mike Noon's main research focuses on workplace equality and diversity, including employee experiences, management initiatives, and local and national policy. His publications critically question what might be considered ‘mainstream’ approaches to the challenges of equality, such as the business case, managing diversity and positive action initiatives, and he advocates taking a more progressive stance. He has been invited to present his ideas to various equality forums including the Government Equality Office, the Higher Education Leadership Foundation, the Equality Challenge Unit, the Metropolitan Police Service and the College of Policing. He has published in leading academic journals, has co-edited two research books, and co-authored two successful textbooks.

Dr Mustafa Bilgehan Ozturk

Lecturer in Management

Mustafa Bilgehan Ozturk is Lecturer in Management in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London. Mustafa’s research focuses on workplace equality and inclusion, with particular reference to gender, sexual orientation and gender identity minorities. His empirical work has often an international focus, and he has been involved in research projects addressing diversity challenges emanating from the Chinese, Turkish, US and UK contexts. His academic work has appeared in a range of leading management journals, such as British Journal of Management, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, and International Journal of Human Resource Management. He has also contributed to key edited volumes in his field, published by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Routledge among others.    


Dr Cathrine Seierstad

Lecturer in International Human Resource Management

Cathrine Seierstad is a Lecturer in International Human Resource Management. Prior to joining QMUL in 2015, she was a Lecturer in IHRM at the University of Sussex and Brunel University. Cathrine’s main research focuses on workplace equality, diversity and inclusion, women on boards, gender and leadership, and diversity management. Her recent research has investigated the wider effects of corporate board legislations, including gender quotas, in a variety of countries. Her work is published in journals such as Work, Employment and Society, Corporate Governance: An International Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Gender, Work and Organization and Scandinavian Journal of Management. Cathrine has also co-edited two books, “Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: European Perspectives on Increasing Female Representation” (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming) and “Corporate social responsibility and diversity management. Theoretical approaches and best practices” (Springer, forthcoming).


Dr Tess Wright

Reader in Human Resource Management

Tessa Wright is Reader in Human Resource Management in the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London. Tessa's research focuses on equality and discrimination at work, covering gender, sexuality and intersectionality, with a particular interest in male-dominated occupations. Before entering academia, Tessa worked for many years as a researcher and writer for the trade union movement, which shaped her interests in strategies for advancing equality at work, including in trade unions and through public procurement. She is joint editor of the Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work (2011) and author of Gender and sexuality in male-dominated occupations: women workers in construction and transport (2016), published by Palgrave Macmillan. 

PhD students make up an important constituency of CRED. You can see a list of all current CRED PhD students under the 'PhD Study' tab on this page.


CRED academics publish widely in leading journals, books and other media and adopt a critical and multi-disciplinary approach.  Since 2008, scholarly outputs by CRED members include 107 peer reviewed journal articles, 19 books, 46 book chapters.

We undertake research in the following broad areas:

Trade unions, community organising and activism for change
Equality, diversity, inclusion policies and practices
Gender equality
Sexuality and gender identity
Race, ethnicity and migration
Income inequalities, mobility, labour force and occupations
Intersectionality, inequalities and privilege
Accountability, CSR and Governance
Leadership and entrepreneurship
Time, work and careers


CRED researchers have secured grants from a range of funding bodies including: ESRC, Leverhulme Foundation, Nuffield, British Academy as well as organisations such as Equal Opportunities Commission (now EHRC), Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), BBC, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), IPEA, Accounting Association, Feminist Review, South Africa’s National Research Foundation, TUC and other labour unions and various government departments.

Examples of recent and ongoing funded research projects by CRED researchers since 2014 include:

  • “Developing an Academic Professional identity: Practice and policy options for attracting, retaining and advancing African, Coloured and Indian academics in South African Universities in the context of transformation” by Doyin Atewologun and Stella Nkomo (National Research Foundation)
  • “Women on Boards” by Elena Doldor (KPMG)
  • “Close the Deal, Fill the Gap: Three country study of Gender Pay Gap” by Geraldine Healy, Pedro Martins, Hazel Conley with Universities of Verona and Silesia (European Union)
  • “Challenge of organising women casualised workers” by Geraldine Healy (TUC)
  • “Careers, strategies and practices of diversity consultants” by Gill Kirton with Anne-marie Greene, DeMontfort University (British Academy)
  • “Design and Analysis of the EU Survey of Occupational Regulation” by Maria Koumenta (European Commission)
  • “Labour Market Effects of Occupational Regulation: Skills, Wages, Income Equality” by Maria Koumenta (Department of Business Innovation and Skills)
  • “Developing vocational training in the Mozambique labour market” by Pedro Martins (International Growth Centre)
  • “ActiValuate: Counterfactual impact evaluation of a large activation programme” by Pedro Martins (European Commission)
  • “Women on boards - a  compulsory versus a voluntary approach – the case of Norway and UK” by Cathrine Seierstad (British Academy)
  • “Gender equality in distribution of economic power: Understanding and overcoming obstacles to gender equality in economic decision- making, EQPOWEREC”  by Cathrine Seierstad (EEA, Norwegian Financial Mechanism)
  • “The business case for diversity management” by Ahu Tatli with Mustafa Ozbilgin, Brunel University (ESRC with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
  • “Developing a Framework for Equality Bargaining in the Rail Sector” by Tessa Wright with  Hazel Conley and Sian Moore (British Academy)

Research Impact and engagement is an important aspect of CRED’s work.  CRED members are involved in a wide range of public and research engagement activities including media contributions by Dar, Doldor, Kirton, Martins, Ozturk, Seierstad,  Wright (Guardian, BBC Radio 4, LBC Radio, BBC World Service; CNN, The FT, HR Magazine, The Conversation, THES).




We stress the importance of meaningful and impactful research in the area of equality, diversity and inclusion. This is reflected in our collaborations with NGOs, public bodies, corporations and practitioner’s organisations, e.g. British Psychology Society (Atewologun); Center for Social Concerns in Sri Lanka and Women’s Development Centre (Chandrasekara); Butler Trust, Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Association of Business Schools, British Academy of Management,  Kent Police, South Birmingham Primary Care Trust,Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales (Cornelius); Shenley Hospital, Local authority child services (Dar); Professional Women’s Network Romania, KPMG, Barclays (Doldor), TUC, UCU, UNITE, ETUC, Horizon 2020 Advisory Groups (Healy); Royal College of Nursing (Kirton); European Commission (Koumenta, Martins, Seierstad); Department for Business Innovation and Skills (Cornelius, Koumenta); Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (Tatli); Fire Brigades Union, TSSA and Network Rail (Wright).

Some recent examples of impactful research by CRED members are in the areas of:

Also see:

Read our recent research and policy reports:

Healy, G. & Bergfeld, M.  (2016) . Report for TUC, TUC/CRED: London.

Kirton, G. & Guillaume, C. (2015) . London: Napo.

Koumenta, M., & Williams, M. (2016) , CIPD, London

Koumenta, M. & Humphris, A. (2015) , European Commission, Brussels

Koumenta, M., Humphris, A., Kleiner, M. & Pagliero, M. (2014) , Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, London

Koumenta, M. & Sevilla, A. (2014) , London: The High Pay Centre.

Martins, P. et al. (2016) .

Özbilgin, M. Tatli, A., Ipek, G. & Sameer, M. (2014) .

Wright, T. (2014) The Women into Construction Project: an assessment of a model for increasing women?s participation in construction [PDF 2,831KB], Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, Queen Mary University of London.

Please contact us for a full list of research and policy reports by CRED members.

PhD study in CRED

CRED is keen to welcome new PhD students to the Centre. If you are interested in doing a PhD in aspects of equality, inequalities, diversity and inclusion with us, are highly qualified and motivated, please get in touch.

Some of the areas  that CRED academics are keen to supervise PhDs are:

  • Inequalities across age, disability, ethnicity and race, gender, gender identity, religion and belief, sexual orientation, social class and other identities
  • Trade unions, community organising and activism for change
  • Equality, diversity, inclusion policies and practices
  • Migration, equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Income inequalities, mobility, labour force and occupations
  • Intersectionality, inequalities and privilege
  • Accountability, CSR and governance from equality and diversity perspectives
  • Leadership and entrepreneurship from equality and diversity perspectives
  • Time, work and careers

Please check the profiles of CRED members and email a CRED academic whose interests fit with yours and also consult our PhD pages.

Current MRes and PhD students

  •  – “Is the ivory tower wheelchair accessible?"
  • Esther Arrenas-Arroyo   – “The effect of tougher enforcement immigration laws on mixed citizen families"
  •   – "An investigation into the difficulties facing black soldiers in the British army with emphasis on racism and discrimination"
  •   – “Berlin, London & New York: How immigrant workers organize for change"
  • - "An Empirical Study of the Return to Education in the Case of China"
  • Natalie Gordon – “Advancing gender equality through public procurement”
  • – “Gender, Race and the Social Construction of leadership in organisations: A South African Case Study”
  •  – “South Africa vs. UK: the role of situational and organisational factors in the facilitation or conflict of leader identities and their race/gender”
  •  –  “A strategic analysis of the use of business practices for the purpose of developing sustainability in the nonprofit sector”
  •   – “Social media and the entrepreneurial female identity"
  • – “The Cloak of Silence: A Critical Analysis of the Relationship between the Culture of Pay Secrecy and the Gender Pay Gap within the University of London Federation"
  • – “Migration and Labour Market integration if highly skilled Colombians in Britain”
  •  – "Financing Entrepreneurs and Firms: from stand-alone to business groups. The case of Colombia"
  • Pedro Trespaderne-Fernandez – “An exploration of ethnicity and gender among the immigrant entrepreneurs in Bilbao, Spain”
  • – “An exploration of identity work among Information Technology consultants – the role of gender”
  • Emily Yarrow   – “National Research Evaluation and its effects on female academics’ careers in the UK-A Case Study”
  • Duanjinyu Yin – “The effects of management diversity on firm behaviours”

CRED PhD graduates since 2005 include

  • Nicole Avdelidou Fischer, with a thesis titled “What is the value of women’s independent business and professional networks? A comparative study of four settings in the United Kingdom and Germany” (currently freelance researcher)
  • Cynthia Forson, with a thesis titled “Social Embeddedness, ‘Choices’ and Constraints in Small Business Start-up: Black Women in Business” (currently Associate Professor and Deputy Provost, Lancaster University Ghana Campus)
  • Gozde Inal, with a thesis titled “A comparative study of the reasons for and means of setting-up a small business: the case of Turkish Cypriot restaurateurs and lawyers in North Cyprus and Britain” (currently Associate Professor, European University of Lefke)
  • Gulce Ipek, with a thesis titled “Privilege, careers and the Civil Service in Britain”
  • Simon Roberts, with a thesis titled “Exploring how gay men manage their identity in the workplace” (currently Senior Lecturer in HRM/Organisational Studies, Bournemouth University)
  • Barbara Samaluk, with a thesis titled “Racialised ‘price tag’: Intersectional commodification of Central and Eastern European workers in the UK labour market” (currently Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Greenwich)
  • Cathrine Seierstad, with a thesis titled “Exploring the Norwegian paradox of vertical sex segregation: strategies and experiences in politics, academia and company boards” (currently Lecturer in International Human Resource Management, Queen Mary University of London)
  • Ahu Tatli, with a thesis titled “Understanding the Agency of Diversity Managers: A Relational and Multilevel Investigation” (currently Professor of International Human Resource Management, Queen Mary University of London)
  • Tessa Wright, with a thesis titled “Gender and sexuality in non-traditionally female work: an intersectional analysis of the experience of women in different occupational groups in the UK construction and transport industries” (currently Reader in Human Resource Management, Queen Mary University of London)


'Close the Deal, Fill the Gap', tackling the gender pay gap

Members from the UK team of the EU funded Close the Deal, Fill the Gap project, are meeting at QMUL to discuss the results of their research on the gender pay gap (GPG). The project examines the legal, industrial relations and economic aspects the gender pay gap in the UK, Italy and Poland. During the meeting, Professor Hazel Conley (UWE), Professor Geraldine Healy (QMUL) and Professor Pedro Martins (QMUL), the members of the UK team, will focus on three case studies in Local Government, the Rail sector and Financial Services sector at the conference.

'Intensive motherhood' can lead to lower levels of happiness

A recent study by Professor Almudena Sevilla from the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London, and Jose Ignacio Gimenez from the University of Zaragoza, has found that better educated US mothers who engage in interactive child-rearing report a lower level of happiness than less well educated mothers when they are engaged in parenting activities. .

Report launch: ‘Women on boards’ report by Dr Elena Doldor

Dr Elena Doldor from the School of Business and Management has co-authored the Female FTSE Board report, launched today at KPMG London.  This year’s report shows that the percentage of women has increased to 26% on FTSE 100 boards and to 20.4% on the FTSE 250 boards. However, the rate of progress has slowed since the Davies closing report in October 2015 and only one in four new board appointments have gone to women. In order to meet the 33% target for FTSE 350 Boards by 2020, a constant turnover is required and an appointment rate of one in three board positions going to women. .

Girls from progressive societies do better at maths, study finds

Research co-authored by Professor Almudena Sevilla has found that the ‘maths gender gap’ – the relative underperformance of girls at maths – is much wider in societies with poor rates of gender equality. Published in the journal American Economic Review, the research shows that the performance gap between girls and boys is far less pronounced in societies that hold progressive and egalitarian views about the role of women.

'Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations: Women Working in Construction and Transport' by Dr Tessa Wright

Dr Tessa Wright's new book, Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations: Women Working in Construction and Transport, examines the diverse experiences of women in the male-dominated fields of construction and transport. Using accounts from heterosexual women and lesbians working in professional, manual and operational roles, Gender and Sexuality in Male-Dominated Occupations adopts an intersectional approach to examine advantage and disadvantage on the basis of gender, sexuality and occupational class in these sectors. Drawing on interviews and focus groups, the author examines why women choose to enter male-dominated industries, their experiences of workplace relations, their use of women’s support networks and trade unions, and the interface between home and work lives. The book launch, hosted by the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED), was marked by two distinguished guest speakers: Kath Moore, Managing Director of Women into Construction CIC, and Frances McAndrew, Programme Manager Diversity and Inclusion for Network Rail. Continue.


Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) celebrates ten years at QMUL

Despite the appearance of great strides forward; discrimination, inequality, and exclusion persist in developed societies and workplaces. The nature of that persistence – and the manner in which discrimination has, in many cases, become more insidious – was the subject of the 2015 annual lecture from QMUL’s Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity.

The lecture, entitled Diversity Education for Change, was delivered on 23 May by Myrtle P. Bell, Professor of Management at the University of Texas at Arlington, and renowned diversity scholar in the field of human resource management.

To an audience of academics, HR and diversity managers, consultants and government officials, Professor Bell said:

“If a person is seeking a job at a restaurant, their race might be used to determine whether they get a front-of-house job or a back-of-house job. It may even determine whether they should get a job at all.

“Research from the US has found that if you have a black sounding name, you have to send 50 per cent more resumes to get a positive response than an equally qualified person with a white sounding name. Most troubling of all, the research found that having a white sounding name was – for a black person – equivalent to having an additional eight years of employment experience.”
Professor Bell also spoke about sex as a surface level characteristic that persists as a discriminatory factor in terms of hiring and placement decisions for low-skilled work.

“Imagine a person is looking for a job at a hotel. One might use their sex to determine whether this person gets a house-keeping job, or a valet job. These decisions affect the wage gap. A house-keeper cleans a lot of toilets; gets no tips. A valet – almost in exchange for releasing your luggage – gets a lot of tips. Why does this housekeeper have to be a housekeeper? If she can push a heavy vacuum cleaner, she can easily pull a piece of luggage. It’s not related to strength, but the way we think about men and women – we still think about them very, very differently.”

Professor Bell said that while much valuable work has been done in the United States and Europe, there remains much to do if we are to eradicate racism.

“Get your diversity hats on, look around you at what’s happening, observe, and work for change.”

Professor Geraldine Healy, director of the QMUL Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity, Professor Bell’s lecture was a “timely and inspiring reminder about how much work remains to be done in this area.

View full photo gallery on Flickr.

An international workshop, hosted by Dr Ahu Tatli, continued the programme of CRED anniversary events. Speakers included Professor Bridget Anderson (COMPAS, University of Oxford), Professor Myrtle Bell, Professor Harriet Bradley (Universities of Bristol and UWE), Dr Cecile Guillaume (Universities of Lille and QMUL) and Dr Eddie Ng (Universities of Toulouse and Dalhousie).

The theme was the persistence of inequalities and included a session on ‘what’s to be done’.  


EU three country study on the gender pay gap

Dr Hazel Conley (UK PI) with Professor Geraldine Healy and Professor Pedro Martins have been successful in their bid for EU Progress funds action grant JUST/2013/PROG/AG/GE [Support for Civil society and other stakeholders aiming at promoting equality between men and women] on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG). The project is a three country study led from the University of Verona and involves Italy, the UK and Poland. The bid for the full project was 321,085.50 EUR (although this is currently been reviewed).

The project addresses the need to assess the interaction and interdependencies between two different EU policy targets with respect to the gender pay gap, the involvement of the social partners in the reduction of the GPG, on the one hand, the prompting of higher level of de-centralisation in the bargaining process, on the other hand. The partnership of the project includes: the CGIL (national and regional level) for Italy; the Trade Union of Miners and the Teachers’ Union of the University of Silesia for Poland and in the UK,  the TUC TSSA and the CIPD.

‘Female FTSE Board’ report

The report, co-authored by Dr Elena Doldor, shows that women now account for 20.7% of FTSE 100 and 15.6% of FTSE 250 board positions. The ‘Female FTSE Board’ report, published by Cranfield, is the official UK census for women on boards. The findings of the report were announced this morning at an event hosted by Barclays. The speakers at the event included Rt Hon Vince Cable (Secretary of State for Business), Rt Hon Maria Miller (Secretary of State for Culture, Minister for Women and Equalities), Lord Mervyn Davies (Women on Boards Steering Group) and Antony Jenkins (Group CEO Barlcays).

In 2010 the government commissioned Lord Davies of Abersoch to develop a strategy to increase the number of women on the boards of listed companies. The 2011 Davies Review on Women on Boards required that FTSE 100 companies have 25% women directors by 2015. The report shows that women now account for 20.7% of FTSE 100 board positions, an increase from 12.5% in 2011.

There are now just two FTSE 100 companies with all male boards, a considerable turnaround from 2011 when 1 in 5 boards were all male. This year’s Female FTSE Board report forecasts that if the rate of female appointments to FTSE 100 boards continues as it has done over the last six months, Lord Davies’ target of 25% women on boards by the end of 2015 is achievable.

However, this year’s report also found that women are still not being appointed for executive positions, despite there being a wealth of suitable candidates. There are only 6.9% executive directorships held by women on FTSE 100 boards. The report authors recommend a number of strategies for organisations to adopt in order to not only reach the 25% target but to achieve the deep cultural change that is necessary to manage the whole female talent pipeline. This year’s report takes a closer look at the processes and practices that companies use to identify, develop and manage their talent, and how they ensure that women are treated on an equal footing with men.

Dr Elena Doldor, Lecturer at Queen Mary University (Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity) and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management (International Centre for Women Leaders), commented: “Effective talent management will only happen if leaders and managers are held accountable for supporting women’s careers by introducing performance targets related to developing female talent and linking them to remuneration. Organisations should also ensure that women have not only mentors, but also sponsors, who advocate for them and pave the way to career-enhancing opportunities. We want all FTSE companies to ask themselves are talented women within their organisation able to get to the top and around the boardroom table? If not, they must review their talent management processes to enable this.” The report includes a practical checklist of steps organisations can take to make sure they manage their female talent in a sustainable way.

Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller said: "It makes clear economic sense for women to be able to rise to the top. Good progress is being made in Britain through a cultural shift that promotes on merit, not through the mandatory quotas advocated by others.  The workplace was designed by men for men. Women don’t need special treatment they just need a modernised workplace that gives them a level playing field. Supporting women to fulfil their full potential should be a core business issue; for the long term sustainability of our economy.”

Lord Davies commented: “The rate of change that we have seen at the heart of our biggest companies over the last three years has been impressive. The voluntary approach is working and companies have got the message that better balanced boards bring real business benefits. We are finally seeing a culture change take place at the heart of British business.  However, the eyes of the world are on us as we enter the home straight. They are judging us as to whether the voluntary approach, rather than regulation, will work – we need to now prove we can do this on our own.”

European Commission grant success

Congratulations to Professor Pedro Martins following his successful research grant bid to the European Commission.  The project is titled "ActiValuate: Counterfactual impact evaluation of a large activation programme" and the grant awarded is 90,832 Euros.This project will conduct a rigorous counterfactual impact evaluation (CIE) of a large programme that sought to activate the unemployed in Portugal. This programme, “Convocatórias”, was rolled out in Portugal from early 2012, and involved, over that year, approximately 200,000 unemployed.

The programme was based on the call-up by jobcentres of individuals receiving unemployment benefits, with specific characteristics in terms of age and unemployment duration. These individuals were then subsequently directed by caseworkers towards training and other active labour market policies funded by the ESF or job interviews. This programme represented a major shift in terms of the activation efforts of the public employment service that were directed towards the long-term unemployed. Until then, most of the activation work delivered by jobcentres was targeted at the newly registered unemployed, in contrast to other Member States.

The CIE evaluation to be conducted will consider outcomes such as the transition from unemployment to employment or the transition from unemployment to participation in ALMPs. The main CIE methodology is the regression discontinuity design approach, exploring the specific definition of the priority groups targeted in the program (e.g. unemployed for at least six months only). The analysis will be conducted on individual-level, longitudinal data, merging public employment service and social security information, including an individual’s employment situation.

Simultaneously, the project will promote CIEs and foster their application in the context of ESF interventions in Portugal. This will be carried out by building up the internal CIE capacity of the co-applicant, POPH, the public agency responsible for ESF administration in Portugal, drawing on the partnership with the lead applicant, Queen Mary University of London, a leading European higher education institution. This collaboration will draw greatly on the principal investigator’s expertise in causal research in labour market settings and familiarity with ESF-related interventions.


Hazel Conley and Tessa Wright awarded research grant from British Academy

A British Academy Grant has been awarded to Dr Hazel Conley and Dr Tessa Wright (with Prof. Sian Moore of UWE) to work on pilot study on Developing a Framework for Equality Bargaining in the Rail Sector. Equality bargaining is vitally important contemporary issue and the results of the study will have important policy implications in the field of equality and diversity.


Promoting employment equality through public procurement

The Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity hosted a workshop on Promoting employment equality through public procurement on Wednesday 31 October 2012. The workshop considered the current policy and practice of including employment equality and diversity objectives within public sector procurement processes. The workshop aims were to:

  • clarify the current legal and policy context for including equality objectives in procurement processes in the light of the Equality Act 2010 and EU legislation;
  • provide case examples of where equality aims have been built into procurement;
  • discuss the establishment of a research network linking academics and practitioners interested in equality and procurement links.

Diversity, Ethnicity, Migration and Work

The contemporary relevance of Diversity, Ethnicity, Migration and Work is evident in debates on migration, racism and the global market in health care workers. This book is about work and workers in the health care sector across three continents and in particular the UK, the USA and Nigeria. The book engages with the politics of health care and offers important insights into inequalities in employment and health care. It is informed by current thinking on migration, ethnicity and work, including critical engagement with the literature on social diasporas, social networks, social processes, anti-racism and diversity management.

The authors provide an historical and global perspective before engaging deeply with the working experience of highly qualified international migrants and low paid migrant and minority workers. They provide unique cooperative and intersectional insights into the experience of migrant doctors compared to UK and US qualified doctors and deepen this understanding by an exploration of women doctors' experiences. The story of frontline low paid migrant and black minority ethnic workers is told drawing on social processes and the means of challenging inequalities through trade unions and social networks. The book concludes with a critical and comparative appraisal of diversity management strategies

Dr. Cathrine Seierstad who recently completed her PhD on Equality, equality strategies and occupational sex segregation – the Norwegian paradox and paths has been appointed as Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the Brunel Business School, Brunel University. Cathrine will retain her close association with CRED.

Tessa Wright who has recently completed her PhD on The intersection of gender and sexuality in non-traditionally female work The intersection of gender and sexuality in non-traditionally female work has been appointed as Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management at the School of Business and Management, Queen Mary and continues as a member of CRED.

The Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work

Tessa Wright and Hazel Conley, members of SBM and the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) have recently published an important new edited collection,  The Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work.  The book contains 22 chapters which examine both social justice and business case perspectives for equality and diversity. The contributors have considerable depth of understanding of workplace discrimination, both as academics and equality practitioners, their work has contributed to policy formation and all are committed to improving the lives of people at work. They offer insights into existing international developments and make suggestions for the ways in which positive change can be realised. The timing of the book also means that it is one of the first critical commentaries on the Equality Act 2010, the biggest change to UK equality legislation for 40 years.

HR ‘should not be afraid to use positive discrimination’

Professor Mike Noon (School of Business and Management) argues HR professionals should “get over the idea that positive discrimination is wrong” and use parts of the Equality Act to favour disadvantaged groups. He says that businesses need to recognise that in some instances there is a business case for positive discrimination. He says: “Employers can use characteristics protected under the law, for example race, gender and disability, to make the decision between equal candidates - that’s positive discrimination.” Full article.

Professor Pushkala Prasad visits CRED

One of the founding principles of The School of Business and Management has been to support research into equality, diversity and cross-cultural phenomenon. The Centre of Research into Equality and Diversity has been a driving force in pursuing this mission since its inception in 2003.

The Centre recently hosted a visit from one of the leading scholars in equality and diversity studies, Professor Pushkala Prasad. Professor Prasad visited the department from Tuesday 23rd November till Friday 26th November. This visit was celebrated through inviting Professor Prasad to be speaker at the 4th CRED Annual Lecture series and also to have Professor Prasad lead a one-day Doctoral Research Methodology Workshop on Postcolonialism.

Professor Prasad’s research interests are wonderfully diverse – her work encapsulates research on technological change in the workplace, resistance in the workplace and diversity management. To frame these studies she has used a theoretical perspective that has always been driven by her commitment to the humanities. Her Zankel Professorship of  Management for the Liberal Arts at Skidmore University is certainly a fitting one, as she has always been committed to not only illustrating connections between the humanities and business but also contributing to each field, with the belief that each can be enriched through interdisciplinary research and study.

She has played a key role in building bridges between postcolonial and feminist perspectives to the study of management and organizations. Professor Prasad has led critiques on some of the most controversial and sinister areas of research in management studies including work on industries involved in tobacco, gun, beef and prostitution.

The lecture she delivered at SBM, on the Islamic Veil in the Scandinavian Workplace, gave a rich overview of the veil’s presence in popular imagination and related the dramatic changes of the veil’s relation to culture and particularly to the colonial culture of the Scandinavian workplace.

However, as well as being a pioneer in building these theoretical connections, she is equally committed to understanding the very foundations of creating academic knowledge itself and has written extensively on ethnography and other post-positivist qualitative research methodologies.

Perhaps, it is Professor Prasad’s early scholarship in History that motivates her research to use rich, contextualising perspectives to make methodology come alive and something that is inherently contested rather than a dull descriptive add-on to academic work. Her workshop on Postcolonialism for doctoral students covered issues relating to the philosophical foundations of postcolonialism. It was very well attended and students found the session engaging and hugely informative.

SBM hope to build on this extremely successful visit through exploring ways the department and Professor Prasad could work together in the future.


2010 and older

Dr Seierstad's research attracts interest of two main Norwegian newspapers

Cathrine Seierstad has been investigating the effects of the gender representation law on corporate boards since a gender representation law requiring all public limited companies to compose their boards with at least 40% of each gender was introduced in Norway (2006) with a two year implementation period.

An article in the Norwegian national newspaper E24 (19.10.2010) focused on findings from her research (with Tore Opsahl). While the law has successfully challenged the under-representation of women on boards of public limited companies, and made the boards more balanced in terms of gender, findings show that the maximum number of boards that a single director is part of has doubled  from 2002-2009. This has led to the concentration of the benefits associated with prominence to a select few. Moreover, a select group of women have become the most prominent directors. The repeated use of a select few women creates a "Golden Skirts" phenomenon. Since this benefit is only enjoyed by a few directors and associated with a particular gender, the intention of the Norwegian Government in creating a more equal setting can be questioned. On the other hand, this phenomenon can be beneficial in terms of new women role models. Find out more:

PEDEC research network receives highest possible AHRC review score

The PEDEC research network received the highest possible Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) review score of 6, graded as 'an outstanding proposal meeting world class standards of scholarship, originality, quality and significance'.  The interdisciplinary organising team is from Geography (Al James), Laws (Kate Malleson and Lizzie Barmes) and the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED) in the School of Business Management (Hazel Conley and Geraldine Healy).

Women and Trade Union Leadership Development – research project funded by the Leverhulme Trust
Gill Kirton is P-I and Geraldine Healy is Co-I for this Network which will provide a comparative in-depth study of women’s union careers in the UK and USA exploring and theorising women’s union leadership and internal gender equality, trade union governance and democracy in national contexts. The project will create an academic network, which will become a space for creative and critical scholarly interactivity and dialogue within a cross-national context, thus expanding our knowledge base. Our objectives are to: (i) facilitate an international exchange of ideas and experiences on women’s trade union leadership development, with a special focus on the role of women’s separate organizing for advancing internal gender equality and democracy; (ii) contribute to global research on women and trade unions by providing a cross-national comparison theorised by an international research team; (iii) engage women union leaders in the discussion and analysis via the establishment of an international e-network; (iv) disseminate findings to the UK and US trade union movements and academic community via a project report and academic workshops and publications.

Implementation of Gender Equality in Local Government - towards an interpretive framework
Hazel Conley (with Dr. Margaret Page, University West of England) has won a British Academy Small Research Grant Award £6,968. The research objective is to conduct a pilot study in five case study local authorities to provide benchmark data on the implementation of the GED that will enable future comparisons following the introduction of the impending Single Equality Act.

CRED/LAWS Workshop: Crafting Effective Interventions in Pursuit of Equality and Diversity
CRED has recently developed a collaborative research inaitiative with the School of Law. The first event marking this collaboration took place on the 12th of September 2008 and took the form of a workshop with the title of 'Crafting Effective Interventions in Pursuit of Equality and Diversity'. It was organised by Hazel Conley from CRED and Lizzie Barnes from the School of Law. Twelve research papers from members of CRED and Laws were presented and discussed with researchers and practitioners from a range of institutions, including the TUC and the EHRC. A copy of the workshop programme can be found here: CRED Laws Workshop Sept 08 Programme.

Forthcoming events

There are currently no events scheduled.



  • CRED International Workshop 2015 - The persistence of inequalities and discrimination
    The Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity is hosting an international workshop on the persistence of inequalities and discrimination to engage the thinking of those most closely involved with contemporary debates on equalities, inequalities and diversity, whether established academics or PhD students. (April 2015)
  • CRED 2015 Lecture: Diversity Education for Change
    Speaker: Myrtle P Bell, Professor of Management, University of Texas at Arlington (April 2015)


  • The High Price of High Pay: Pay Ratios within UK Firms
    Speakers: Dr. Maria Koumenta and Dr Almudena Sevilla, QMUL, James Corah, Secretary to the Church Investors Group, Abigail Herron, head of responsible investment engagement, Aviva Investors and Mike Clancy, general secretary of Prospect Union. (January 2014)

2013 and older

  • 2013 CRED Annual Lecture: Varieties of the Worker-Mother and the Challenges for Policy
    Speaker: Professor Marian Baird, QMUL Humanities and Social Science Distinguished Visitor 2013, Professor of Employment Relations (Sydney University) (October 2013)

  • Women in British Sociology: Celebrating the work of Harriet Bradley and Anna Pollert
    Speakers: Sheila Rowbotham, University of Manchester; Gus Fagan, Editor of Labour Focus on Eastern Europe 1992-2004; Gail Hebson, Manchester Business School; Geraldine Healy, Queen Mary, University of London; Ranji Devadason, University of Bristol; Sian Moore University of Leeds. Responses by Harriet Bradley and Anna Pollert. (November 2011)

  • International Workshop - 'Contemporary challenges, debates and omissions in equality and diversity thinking'
    Speakers: Professors Stella Nkomo and Mustafa Ozbilgin. (September 2011)

  • BUIRA Public Sector Study Group - 'Back to the Future: Conservatives, Markets and Public Services'
    (May 2011)
  • Research Seminar: The role and impact of trade union equality representatives in Britain
    Speakers: Professor Kim Hoque, Professor of Human Resource Management, Birkbeck, University of London and Professor Nick Bacon, Professor of Human Resource Management, Nottingham University Business School (March 2011)

  • CRED Book Launch - 'Equality, Inequalities and Diversity - Contemporary Strategies and Challenges'
    Edited by Geraldine Healy, Gill Kirton and Mike Noon with contributions from Queen Mary academics/PhDs  in SBM and LAWS or associates. (January 2011)
  • 4th CRED Annual Lecture - The Discourse of the Islamic Veil in the Scandinavian Workplace
    Speaker: Prof. Pushkala Prasad (November 2010)

  • CRED Seminar as part of SBM Seminar Series - Embedding Diversity in the Inland Revenue
    Speaker: Sir Nicholas Montagu, Chair of Queen Mary Council (December 2009)
  • CRED Annual Lecture - What Love has to do with it?: Sexuality, Work and Power in Caribbean Gender Relations
    Speaker: Professor V. Eudine Barriteau, University of the West Indies (June 2009)
  • 2nd CRED Annual Lecture - More Intimate Unions: How the New Emotional Service Class Is Transforming Labour
    Speaker: Professor Dorothy Sue Cobble, Rutgers University, USA (June 2008)
  • The Law and Employment Equality – Are We Going in the Right Direction?
    Speaker: Professor Linda Dickens, University of Warwick (January 2007)
  • Challenging inequalities in the workplace: moving forward or standing still?
    Speaker: Professor Geraldine Healy (Inaugural Lecture) (February 2008)
  • Launch of Equal Opportunities Report Workplace cultures: what does and does not work
    Speakers: Harriet Bradley, Geraldine Healy, Cynthia Forson and Priyasha Kaul University of Bristol and Queen Mary, University of London (July 2007)
  • CRED Annual Lecture and Launch - Organising in search of diversity and equality: Whose ends, what means?
    Speakers: Emerita Professor Joan Acker, Department of Sociology, University of Oregon. (June 2007)
  • Women@QM – CRED Women@Work Seminar Programme
    During the year 2008, CRED took part in the Women@QM project by holding a Women at Work Seminar Programme. Speakers: Professor Linda Dickens (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick. Professor Harriet Bradley (Department of Sociology, University of Bristol)