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School of Business and Management

Dr Elena Doldor


Reader in Organisational Behaviour; Programme Director for MSc International Human Resource Management

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8985
Room Number: Room 4.21a, Francis Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus


Student drop-in and feedback hours
Tuesday 1pm-3pm


Director International Human Resource Management MSc Programme
Co-Director Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity

I am a Reader in Organisational Behaviour at Queen Mary University of London, School of Business and Management. Before joining Queen Mary, I worked as a Senior Research Fellow at Cranfield School of Management, where I obtained her PhD. I have an MSc in Organizational Psychology from Pierre Mendes University, France, and I was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Northwestern University, USA.

My research examines the careers and leadership experiences of women and ethnic minorities in organizations. My empirical work generally draws on naturalistic organisational data to investigate and theorize the psycho-social and organisational processes accounting for the lack of diversity in leadership. Across different projects I have examined head-hunters’ board selection practices and their impact on gender balance on corporate boards; promotion processes to partnership level for women and ethnic minority professionals in professional services firms; the nature of gender bias in 360 narrative feedback provided to leaders; and gendered experiences of organisational politics for leaders. I have published in journals of recognized international excellence such as The Leadership Quarterly, Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal, and British Journal of Management.

I am keen to advance diversity and inclusion in contemporary workplaces by collaborating with practitioners, organizations and policy-makers to generate impact from my research. I worked with national and transnational policy-makers (e.g. Government Equalities Office, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the European Parliament, the Davies Review on Women on Boards, the Hampton-Alexander Review on Women FTSE Leaders), corporations and professional services firms (e.g. Aviva, KPMG, EY and Barclays) and practitioners in the equality and diversity space through commissioned research, policy reports, and advisory roles.

Twitter: @DrElenaDoldor



BUS317: Organisational Change and Development


BUSM182: Managing Yourself and Building Positive Relationships at Work


Research Interests:

As a qualitative researcher in the field of equality and diversity, I focus on the careers and leadership journeys of women and ethnic minorities in contemporary organizations. My work investigates causes for the underrepresentation of women and ethnic minorities in senior leadership (e.g. corporate boards, professional services firms) and strategies for change; gender exclusion in board recruitment processes and in the work of head-hunters; power, organizational politics, and the gendered and racialised experiences employees have when learning how to navigate workplace politics; and factors influencing the career progression of women and ethnic minorities in organizations, such as identity construction among Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority consultants in professional services firms, and stigma management among highly skilled Romanian professionals in the UK.

Public engagement and impact

Through commissioned research, advisory roles, and media presence, I engage regularly with policy-makers and organizations seeking to diversify their leadership ranks and create more inclusive workplaces. Over the last decade, I have advised prominent UK businesses and policy-makers on diversity in leadership pipelines and on boards, generating knowledge creation and transfer. I have co-authored annual reports for women on boards (The Female FTSE Board Report) which served as evidence in national policy initiatives (e.g. Davies review on Women on Boards, Hampton-Alexander review on Women Leaders) that have led to an increased representation of women on boards. This research was sponsored and endorsed by leading FTSE 100 organizations (Aviva, Barclays, KPMG) and key policy-makers (Government’s Equalities Office; Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; Equality and Human Rights Commission). I am a member of the Government’s Equalities Office Work and Gender Equality (WAGE) Network, where I was invited to speak at policy events and provide webinars for employers. I also carried out research on the career and leadership experiences of minority ethnic professionals in a Big 4 professional services firm, which has informed more inclusive talent management practices across the firm. My research has been regularly featured in the media. As a business psychology consultant, I was involved in designing and delivering diversity management initiatives and leadership development training in countries including France, Romania, Nigeria and the UK.

Academic leadership and service

  • Editorial Board Member – British Journal of Management
  • Representative-at-Large for the Academy of Management, Gender and Diversity in Organizations Division
  • Regular reviewer for journals such as Human Relations, Human Resource Management Journal and Gender, Work and Organization
  • Regular convener / chair for conference tracks, workshops and symposia in prestigious international conferences such as the Academy of Management, and Gender, Work and Organization


Journal articles 

Doldor, E. & Atewologun, D. (2020) “Why work it when you can dodge it? Identity responses to ethnic stigma among professionals”. Human Relations (in press)

Doldor, E., Wyatt, M., & Silvester, J. (2019) “Statesmen or cheerleaders? Using topic modelling to identify gendered messages in leadership developmental feedback”. The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 30, issue 5

Doldor, E. (2017) “From Politically Naïve to Politically Mature: Examining Leaders’ Political Maturation Journey” British Journal of Management, vol. 28, issue 4, p.666-686

Atewologun, D., Kutzer, R., Doldor, E., Anderson, D. & Sealy, R. (2017) “Individual-level foci of identification at work: A systematic review of the literature”, International Journal of Management Reviews, vol. 19, pp. 273-295  

Sealy, R., Doldor, E., Vinnicombe, S., Terjesen, S., Anderson, D. & Atewologun, D. (2016) “Expanding the Notion of Dialogic Trading Zones for Impactful Research: The Case of Women on Boards Research”, British Journal of Management, Special Issue on “Impact and Management Research: Exploring Relationships between Temporality, Dialogue, Reflexivity, and Praxis", vol 28, issue 1, pp. 64-83.

Doldor, E., Sealy, R., & Vinnicombe, S. (2016) “Accidental activists: Headhunters as marginal diversity actors in institutional change towards more women on boards”, Human Resource Management Journal, vol. 26, issue 3, pp. 285-303

Doldor, E.Vinnicombe, S. (2015) "Women’s pathways to the boardroom", Gender in Management: An International Journal, Vol. 30 Iss: 7.

Doldor, E., Anderson, D. and Vinnicombe, S. (2013), “Refining the Concept of Political Will: A Gender Perspective”. British Journal of Management, vol 24, pp. 414–427

Atewologun, D. & Doldor, E. (2013) "Women at the top: Where now, what next? Reflections on the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology 2012 conference", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 32, issue 2, pp.223 - 229

Book chapters

Atewologun, D., Kutzer, R., Doldor, E. (2018) “Applying an Intersectional Perspective to Identity Foci at Work”, in The [Oxford] Handbook of Identities in Organizations by Brown, A. (Ed), Oxford University Press, pp. 117-133

Doldor, E. (2017) “Gender diversity on boards in the UK: The merits and shortcomings of a voluntary approach”, in Gender Diversity in the Boardroom: European Perspectives on Increasing Female Representation, by Seierstad, C., Gabaldon, P., & Mensi-Klarbach (eds), Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 13-44

Doldor, E, Silvester, J., & Atewologun (2016) “Qualitative research methods in organizational psychology”, The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology, Sage Publications, pp. 520-539

Doldor, E. (2013). “Organizational Politics: The Missing Link to Women’s Progression into Managerial Roles”, in Burke, R., Vinnicombe, S., and Moore, L. (Eds) Handbook of Research on Promoting Women’s Careers, Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 196-211

Doldor, E. (2012). “Gender diversity on UK Boards: Exploring Resistance to Quotas”, in Groschl, S. And Tagaki, J. (Eds) Diversity Quotas, Diverse Perspectives: The Case of Gender, Ashgate Publishing, pp. 135-148

Research / policy reports

Vinnicombe, S. Doldor, E., & Sealy, R., (2018). The Female FTSE Board Report: Busy Going Nowhere with the Executive Pipeline

Sealy, R., Doldor, E., & Vinnicombe, S. (2016). The Female FTSE Board Report: Taking Stock of Where we are.

Vinnicombe, S., Doldor, E., &. Sealy, R., (2015). The Female FTSE Board Report: Putting UK progress into a global perspective.

Vinnicombe, S., Doldor, E., Turner, C. (2014). The Female FTSE Board Report 2010: Crossing the Finish Line.

Doldor, E. (2013).  Gender diversity on boards in the UK: state of play and prospects for change, European Parliament, Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs

Doldor, E., Vinnicombe, S., Gaughan, M., & Sealy, R. (2012). Gender Diversity on Boards: The Appointment Process and the Role of Executive Search Firms, Equality and Human Rights Commission, UK 

Sealy, R., Doldor, E., Singh, V. & Vinnicombe, S. (2011). Women on Boards: 6 months Davies Monitoring Report.

Vinnicombe, S., Sealy, R., & Graham, J. & Doldor, E. (2010). The Female FTSE Board Report 2010: Opening up the Appointment Process

Sealy, R., Vinnicombe, S. & Doldor, E. (2009). The Female FTSE Board Report 2009

Sealy, R., Doldor, E. & Vinnicombe, S. (2009). Increasing diversity on public and private sector boards, Government Equalities Office, UK


Current Doctoral Students

  • Jurate Cingiene – 3rd year part-time PhD student (co-supervisor with Professor Rob Briner). PhD topic: “An event-based approach to understanding the dynamics of work-nonwork conflict”
  • Deborah Osei – 3rd year part-time PhD (second supervisor with Professor Gill Kirton). PhD topic: “Diversity, inclusion and work-life balance in the UK civil service”
  • Mursheda Begum – 2nd year full-time PhD student (co-supervisor with Dr Doyin Atewologun & Dr Grant Lewison, King’s College). PhD topic: “Improving gender and ethnic diversity in UK professions”
  • Omolola Olaleye – 1st year full-time PhD student (second supervisor with Professor Gill Kirton). PhD topic: “Apprenticeships in the Contemporary Era: Gender, Race and Class Implications”
  • Vick Bain – 1st year part-time PhD (co-supervisor with Professor Ahu Tatli). PhD topic: “Why women leave the music industry”