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School of Business and Management

Professor Tessa Wright

Tessa

Professor of Employment Relations

Email: t.wright@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7472
Room Number: Room 4.25f, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus

Profile

Role:

Biography:

Tessa has been conducting research on equality and discrimination at work for many years. Her interest in equality and diversity started while working for the labour movement, as a researcher and editor at the Labour Research Department, and developed while undertaking EU-funded and commissioned research projects at the Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University. She joined the staff of the School of Business and Management in 2011, having completed her PhD at the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity at Queen Mary.

Tessa’s research has focussed on the barriers to and levers for achieving equality and diversity in male-dominated sectors, particularly construction, transport and firefighting. She is currently leading an ESRC-funded project on advancing employment equality through public procurement.

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • BUS349: Gender at Work (not teaching in 2021-22)

Research

Research Interests:

Tessa’s research has covered the experience of women, ethnic minorities, migrant workers and lesbians, gay men and bisexuals in the labour market and workplace, as well as the intersection of multiple identities. She has published on the intersections of gender, sexuality and class in male-dominated work, in journals such as Work, Employment and Society and Gender, Work and Organization, and in a monograph, Gender and sexuality in male-dominated occupations: women working in construction and transport, published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Tessa has undertaken research on trade union action to address inequality at work and has worked with a number of trade unions. She was commissioned by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to write a report on The Impact of the Future of Work in Public Transport for Women examining women’s experiences in five cities in the Global South. With Sian Moore and Phil Taylor she researched and wrote a history to mark the centenary of the Fire Brigades Union, Fighting Fire: One hundred years of the Fire Brigades Union, published in 2018 by New Internationalist.

She has a continuing interest in gender and employment in transport and was invited to produce guidance and training for the Transport Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on incorporating gender into transport project proposal. She is currently editing a book (with Lucy Budd and Stephen Ison) on Gender, Work and Transport to be published in Emerald’s Transport and Sustainability series in 2022.

She is currently leading an ESRC-funded project "Buying social justice" through procurement: An examination of the use of public procurement for advancing employment equality in UK construction, with Hazel Conley and Katharina Sarter. The project runs for two years and examines the use of public procurement for equality objectives by local authorities, housing associations and universities in England, Scotland and Wales.

Centre and Group Membership:

 

Publications

Journal articles

  • Sian, S., Wright, T, Agrizzi, D. and Alsalloom, A. (2020) ‘Negotiating gender constraints in international audit firms in Saudi Arabia: Exploring the interaction of gender and religion’, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 84: 101103.

  • Wright, T. and Conley, H. (2020) ‘Advancing gender equality in the construction sector through public procurement: making effective use of responsive regulation’ Economic and Industrial Democracy, 41(4): 975-996 (Published online March 21, 2018)

  • Wright, T. (2019) ‘The gendered impacts of technological change for public transport workers in the Global South’, Research in Transportation Business & Management. Published online 19 November 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.rtbm.2019.100384

  • Healy, G., Tatli, A., Ipek, G., Ozturk, M., Seierstad, C. and Wright, T. (2019) ‘In the steps of Joan Acker:  A journey in researching inequality regimes and intersectional inequalities’, Gender, Work and Organization, 26: 12: 1749-1762. (First published online 22 May 2018)

  • Hudson, L., Moore, S., Tainsh, K., Taylor, P. and Wright, T. (2019), "‘The only way is Essex’: Gender, union and mobilisation among fire service control room staff", Work, Employment and Society, 33(1): 162-173.

  • Wright, T. (2016) ‘Women’s experience of workplace interactions in male-dominated work: the intersections of gender, sexuality and occupational group’, Gender, Work and Organization, 23: 3: 348-362.

  • Wright, T. (2015) ‘Can ‘social value’ requirements on public authorities be used in procurement to increase women’s participation in the UK construction industry?’ Public Money and Management, 35: 2: 135-40.

  • Wright, T. (2014) ‘Gender, sexuality and male-dominated work: the intersection of long-hours working and domestic life’, Work, Employment and Society, 28: 6: 985-1002

  • Wright, T. (2013) ‘Uncovering sexuality and gender: an intersectional examination of women's experience in UK construction,’ Construction Management and Economics, 31: 8: 832-844.

  • Moore, S. and Wright, T. (2012) ‘Shifting models of equality? Union Equality Reps in the public services,’ Industrial Relations Journal, 43: 5: 433-447.

  • Wright, T. (2011) ‘A “lesbian advantage?” Analysing the intersections of gender, sexuality and class in male-dominated work’, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, 30: 8: 686 – 701.

  • Colgan, F. and Wright, T. (2011) ‘Lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in a modernising public sector 1997-2010: opportunities and threats’, Gender, Work and Organization, 18: 5: 548-570.

  • Moore, S., Wright, T. and Conley, H. (2011) ‘Addressing Discrimination in the Workplace on Multiple Grounds: The Experience of Trade Union Equality Representatives’: Research and Reports, Industrial Law Journal, 40: 4: 460-465.

  • Colgan, F., Creegan, C., McKearney, A. and Wright, T. (2009) ‘Equality and diversity in the public services: moving forward on lesbian, gay and bisexual equality?’ Human Resource Management Journal, 19: 3: 280-301.

 

Books and chapters

  • Moore, S, Wright, T. and Taylor, P. (2018) Fighting Fire: One hundred years of the Fire Brigades Union, Oxford: New Internationalist.

  • Wright, T. (2016) Gender and sexuality in male-dominated occupations: women workers in construction and transport, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Wright, T. and Conley, H. (eds) (2011) Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work, Farnham: Gower Publishing.

Other publications

Grants, Contracts and Awards:

  • PI "Buying social justice" through procurement: An examination of the use of public procurement for advancing employment equality in UK construction, ESRC Standard grant, £453K (with Conley and Sarter) October 2021 – Sept 2023.

  • Consultancy for United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) to provide guidance and training for the Transport Division on incorporating gender into transport project proposals. Jan – April 2021.

  • Consultancy for Educational toolkits for fighting gender stereotypes, based on the example of the transport sector (contract awarded to PPMI Group by European Commission DG MOVE) 2020-2021.

  • The Impact of the Future of Work in Public Transport for Women, report for International Transport Workers Federation, October 2018.

  • Developing a Framework for Equality Bargaining in the Rail Sector, British Academy Small Grant, H. Conley (PI), T. Wright and S. Moore, 2013-14.

  • Discrimination in the workplace on multiple grounds – the experience  of trade union Equality Reps, 2011, S. Moore, T. Wright and H. Conley, funded by Acas and the TUC, £10,000.

 

Supervision

Areas of Supervision Expertise:

Tessa welcomes applications from prospective PhD students with interests in the areas of: equality and diversity in the labour market; gender and sexuality at work; the intersection of multiple identities at work; the experiences of migrant workers; occupational gender segregation and male-dominated work; trade unions and collective bargaining; discrimination and equality law; public procurement and equality. 

Current Doctoral Students:

Co-supervisor

  • Adesola Akomolafe, 'Career progression of women in accounting firms'
  • Matt Cook, 'Leadership in the fire service.'
  • Sreenita Mukherjee, 'Women, migration and architecture: A postcolonial feminist analysis of the experiences of female migrant architects from the Commonwealth, living and working in the UK.'
  • Harvir Sangha 'Hegemonic masculinity in financial services firms'

 

2nd Supervisor

  • Samuel Asante-Nnuro, 'An investigation into the difficulties facing black soldiers in the British army with emphasis on racism and discrimination'

PhD Supervision Completions:

  • Mark Bergfeld, ‘Solidarity, democracy and leadership: A comparative study of migrant worker activism and organising', Awarded 2019

Public Engagement

Tessa’s research on gender and work in transport has led to invitations to conduct research for the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), the European Commission DG MOVE and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) on Introducing a gendered approach to work in the transport sector.

Tessa’s ESRC project “Buying social justice" through procurement: An examination of the use of Public procurement for advancing employment equality in UK construction, partners with around a dozen practitioner and stakeholder groups and will produce a procurement and equality toolkit.

 

Membership of professional bodies

Affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

British Sociological Association

European Sociological Association; Board member Research Network 14 Gender relations in the labour market and the welfare state

British Universities Industrial Relations Association