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School of Business and Management

Professor Tessa Wright


Professor of Employment Relations

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7472
Room Number: Room 4.25f, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus




Tessa is a Professor of Employment Relations and Co-director of the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity. She began conducting research in the area of equality and discrimination at work for the labour movement, while working as a researcher and editor at the Labour Research Department for several years. 

She continued her research career at the Working Lives Research Institute, London Metropolitan University, working on several EU-funded and commissioned research projects. She then completed a PhD at Queen Mary (2011) before joining the staff of the School of Business and Management. Given this background, Tessa is keen to ensure that her research has an impact outside of academia too.



  • BUS349: Gender at Work


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. She is particularly interested in the intersection of multiple identities, and 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 Organizations. This focus resulted in a monograph, Gender and sexuality in male-dominated occupations: women working in construction and transport, published in 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.

Additionally 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, published as a book in 2018 Fighting Fire: One hundred years of the Fire Brigades Union by New Internationalist.

Tessa’s research on the construction sector led her to identify public procurement as a potentially powerful tool for promoting employment equality, which is a focus of Tessa’s ongoing publications and research. She is the joint editor, with Hazel Conley, of the Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work (2011).

Due to her knowledge of gendered employment in the transport sector, she was recently invited to act as research consultant on a project commissioned by the European Commission DG MOVE on ‘Educational toolkits for fighting gender stereotypes, based on the example of the transport sector’.

Centre and Group Membership:



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. (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. (2018) ‘In the steps of Joan Acker:  A journey in researching inequality regimes and intersectional inequalities’, Gender, Work and Organization. Published online 22 May 2018
  • Wright, T. and Conley, H. (2018) ‘Advancing gender equality in the construction sector through public procurement: making effective use of responsive regulation’ Economic and Industrial Democracy, Published Online March 21, 2018.
  • Hudson, L., Moore, S., Tainsh, K., Taylor, P. and Wright, T. (2017), "‘The only way is Essex’: Gender, union and mobilisation among fire service control room staff", Work, Employment and Society, Online. First Publication October 9, 2017.
  • 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, published online 11 March DOI: 10.1177/0950017013512713
  • 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.
  • Colgan, F. and Wright T. (2011) ‘Lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in a modernising public sector: opportunities and threats’, Gender, Work and Organization.18: 5: 548-570.
  • 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.
  • Wright, T., Moore, S. 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., Wright, T., Creegan, C. and McKearney, A. (2009) ‘Equality and diversity in the public services: moving forward on lesbian, gay and bisexual equality?’ Human Resource Management Journal, 19: 3: 280-301.
  • Wright, T. (2008) ‘Lesbian firefighters: shifting the boundaries between “masculinity” and “femininity”’, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 12: 1: 103-114.
  • Colgan, F., Creegan, C., McKearney, A. and Wright, T. (2008) ‘Lesbian workers: Personal strategies amid changing organisational responses to “sexual minorities” in UK workplaces’, Journal of Lesbian Studies, 12: 1:  31-45.
  • McKay, S. and Wright, T. (2008) ‘Tightening immigration policies and labour market impacts’, Transfer, 14: 4: 653-664.
  • Wright, T. (2007) ‘The problems and experiences of ethnic minority and migrant workers in hotels and restaurants in England’, Just Labour: A Canadian Journal of Work and Society, Volume 10, Spring 2007.
  • Colgan, F., Creegan, C., McKearney, A. and Wright, T. (2007) ‘Equality and diversity policies and practices at work: lesbian, gay and bisexual workers’, Equal Opportunities International, 26: 3: 590-609.
  • Colgan, F., Wright, T., Creegan, C. and McKearney, A. ( 2006) ‘Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Workers, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace’, Equal Opportunities International, Professional Insights, 25: 6: 465-470.
  • Wright, T. (2005) ‘Inside the Workplace: First Findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey’, Research and Reports, Industrial Relations Journal, 34: 4: 349-352.


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. (2018) ‘How to increase women’s representation in the construction sector: Evidence from a UK project’ in A. Bosch (Ed.), South African Board for People Practices Women’s Report 2018 (pp. 12-18). Rosebank, South Africa: SABPP.
  • Wright, T. (2016) Gender and sexuality in male-dominated occupations: women workers in construction and transport, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Conley, H. and Wright, T. (2015) ‘Making reflexive legislation work: stakeholder engagement and public procurement in the Public Sector Equality Duty’, Beyond 2015: Shaping the future of equality, human rights and social justice, London: Equality and Diversity Forum
  • Wright, T. and Conley, H. (eds.) (2011) Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work, Farnham: Gower Publishing.
  • Wright, T. (2011) ‘Tackling gender segregation in the UK transport and construction sectors: recent initiatives and procurement strategies’,
    Gower Handbook of Discrimination at Work, Wright, T. and Conley, H. (eds), Farnham: Gower Publishing.
  • Wright, T. (2011) ‘Exploring the intersections of gender, sexuality and class in the transport and construction industries’ in Healy, G., Kirton, G. and Noon, M. (eds) Equality, inequalities and diversity – contemporary challenges and strategies, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Wright, T. and McKay, S. (2008) ‘Legal Frameworks Regulating the Employment of Refugees and Recent Migrants’, in McKay, S. (ed) Refugees, Recent Migrants and Employment: Challenging Barriers and Exploring Pathways, Abingdon: Routledge.


Other publications

Grants, Contracts and Awards:

  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.



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:


  • 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