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School of Business and Management

Dr Mayra Ruiz-Castro


Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Leadership





Dr Mayra Ruiz-Castro is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Leadership at Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management. Before joining Queen Mary in September 2023, she worked at the University of Roehampton and Kingston University. Dr. Ruiz-Castro has an extensive international profile having worked in academia and the private sector in the UK, US, Germany, India and Mexico. In the US, she was a researcher at the Harvard Business School, a lecturer at Babson College and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for Gender in Organizations (Simmons College) and Women’s Studies Research Center (Brandeis University). She holds a Ph.D. degree in Gender and Organizations from University College London.

Dr Ruiz-Castro’s research focuses on gender and intersectional inequality in work, organizations and households. She is interested in all aspects of the work-life experience. She examines how organizational practices, household dynamics, and identity influence people’s working and personal lives, career choices, and own sense of work-life balance and well-being.

Her research has been published in internationally leading journals, including Organization Studies, Work, Employment and Society, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Harvard Business Review, and Gender, Work and Organization.


Dr. Ruiz-Castro is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Research Interests:

Dr Mayra Ruiz-Castro specializes in gender and intersectional inequality in organizations and within households. Drawing on an interdisciplinary framework - including gender, organization, sociology, careers, and critical management studies - she has examined long working hours, work-life balance and career advancement in professional service firms; the effects of maternal employment on adult children’s career/life outcomes; career transitions into sustainable careers, and the experience of dual-earner families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her empirical work has covered a wide range of professionals across cultural contexts, including accountants and lawyers, data scientists, academics, Latin American professionals in the UK, dual-earner couples, and working mothers.

International collaborations are at the core of Dr Ruiz-Castro’s research projects, working closely with academics based in the UK, US, Canada, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, Mexico, and Chile.


Lupu, I., Ruiz-Castro, M|. and Lecca, B. (forthcoming), Long working hours and pressure from professional expectations: Is it time to change the habit?, in A. Zicari and T. Gamble (eds.), The Employee and the Post-Pandemic Workplace: Towards a New, Enlightened Working Environment, Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge. (International collaboration)

Ruiz-Castro, M. (forthcoming), Virtual work, in S. Johnston, J. K. Rodriguez, and A. Wilkinson (eds), Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Lupu, I., Ruiz-Castro, M. and Bernard Lecca. (2022) Role distancing, emotion, and the persistence of long working hours in professional service firms. Organization Studies, 43(1): 7-33. (International collaboration)

Lupu, I. and Ruiz-Castro, M. (2022). The way to changing an overwork culture: Unions or individual action? CoBS Insights. (International collaboration)

Lupu, I. and Ruiz-Castro, M. (2021). Work-life balance is a cycle, not an achievement. Harvard Business Review. (International collaboration)

Lupu, I. and Ruiz-Castro, M. (2021). Equilibre entre vie professionnelle et privée : un cycle à alimenter, et pas une fin en soi! Harvard Business Review France. (International collaboration)

Ruiz-Castro, M. (2021), Intersectional Reflexivity: Using intersectional reflexivity as a means to strengthen critical autoethnography, in V. Stead, C. Elliott and S. Mavin (eds), Handbook of Research Methods on Gender and Management, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Ruiz-Castro, M. (2021). Scholars departing for industry must not feel alone. Times Higher Education.

Ruiz-Castro, M., van der Heijden, B. and Henderson, E. (2020) Catalysts in career transitions: Academic researchers transitioning into sustainable careers in data science. Journal of Vocational Behaviour, 122. (International collaboration)

McGinn, K., Ruiz-Castro, M. and Lingo E. (2019) Cross-cultural effects of maternal employment on adult children’s employment and domestic outcomes. Work, Employment and Society, 33(3): 374-400.

Ruiz-Castro, M. and Holvino, E. (2016) Applying intersectionality in organizations: Inequality markers, cultural scripts and advancement practices in a professional service firm. Gender, Work and Organization, 23(3): 328–347. (International collaboration)

McGinn, K., Ruiz-Castro, M. and Lingo E. (2015) Mums the Word! Cross-National Effects of Maternal Employment on Gender Inequalities at Work and at Home. Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-094, June 2015.

Ruiz-Castro, M. (2013). Work-life in Mexico: Policy, practice and culture. Executive Briefing Series. Boston College Center for Work and Family.

Ruiz-Castro, M. (2012). Time demands and gender roles: The case of a Big Four firm in Mexico. Gender, Work and Organization, 19(5): 532–554.


Dr Ruiz-Castro is interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of:

  • Gender and intersectionality in organizations and households
  • Work-life and well-being
  • Career trajectories (including academic careers)

She is particularly interested in supervising empirical research in the Global South.

Dr Ruiz-Castro has supervised PhD students in the areas of female entrepreneurship; migrant women; and HR analytics and employee engagement.

Public Engagement

Dr Mayra Ruiz-Castro engages with practitioners to create socially responsible and inclusive workplaces. She has adopted creative approaches to communicating research findings (e.g. emotive videos), organized practitioner-oriented workshops and webinars (UK and Mexico), participated in podcasts and events hosted by various organizations (UK, US, and Mexico), and published recommendations to practitioners and decision-makers in Harvard Business Review and Times Higher Education.

Dr Ruiz-Castro’s research on maternal employment and work-life balance has been widely commented on by the public and disseminated by the international media, including BBC, CNN, The Guardian, The NewStatesman, ARD (Germany), Le Monde (France), among others.

Selected media coverage of research:               

2023  Sharing research insights creatively: experiences of the pandemic; University of Bath

2021   Why it's wrong to look at work-life balance as an achievement; BBC/Worklife

2021   5 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance Even Though Your Business Never Stops; CO (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)          

2021   Inside Covid-19’s “lost year” for women at work; The NewStatesman

2019   How working and being a mom can make you better at both; Forbes

2018   No more guilt: new research shows common assumptions about working mothers are all wrong; HRZone

2015   Want your daughter to earn more? Be a working mother, The Guardian

2015   Kids Benefit From Having A Working Mom; HBS, Working Knowledge

2015   Le travail des mères fait le succès des enfants; Le Monde

2015   A new study gives us another reason to celebrate working mothers; Vox


Membership of Professional Bodies:

Member, British Academy of Management (BAM)

Member, British Sociological Association (BSA)

Fellow,  The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)

Academic Member, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)

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