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School of Business and Management

Mursheda Begum

 Mursheda Begum


Project title

Profiling the professions by ethnicity and sex, and ways to improve their representativeness.

Project description

This study explores gender and ethnic diversity within two healthcare professions in the UK: speech and language therapy and medical radiography. A tripartite framework is used to explore diversity management within the professions:

  1. discourses: how diversity policies and strategies are talked about in these professions (i.e. approaches/motivations for pursuing diversity),
  2. practices and diversity practitioners: how it is practiced and who the main people involved are, and
  3. lived experiences: if or how these policies and one’s sex and ethnicity shape the lived experiences of these healthcare professionals (i.e. impact on workplace experiences and career trajectories).

Thus, the study aims to address the following three research questions:

  • What discourses underlie the sex and ethnicity diversity policies/initiatives of the chosen healthcare professions in the UK?
  • What do sex and ethnic diversity policies/initiatives in the chosen professions look like in practice? Who are the key actors and why are they considered key actors?
  • Do diversity policies & practices shape professional's lived experiences related to sex and ethnicity in the chosen healthcare professions, and if so, how?

Participants are diversity practitioners (individuals driving the diversity agenda within the profession) and practising healthcare professionals (therapists and radiographers), who will be recruited from organisations (e.g. NHS and private firms) that employ the latter group, using purposive and snowballing techniques. If time permits, the perspectives of relevant non-profit organisations such as professional associations may be sought. Two data collection methods will be used in this cross-sectional study: (a) analysis of the organisation’s diversity policy documents and (b) semi-structured interviews with diversity practitioners and practising healthcare professionals. Diversity practitioner interviews will explore how diversity policies/strategies are practiced: why diversity is pursued, contents of policy (e.g. goals), its implementation (i.e. obstacles/opportunities), outcomes and who the main people are throughout the process. Practising healthcare professional interviews will explore career experiences related to diversity (e.g. any obstacles/sources of support, how sex/ethnicity made a difference to accessing/ progressing within careers, if their employer’s diversity policies had any impact on their careers). Interviews will be conducted either virtually or face-to-face, audio or video-recorded, with some notes also taken, and then transcribed. Thematic analysis using NVivo software will be used to analyse the interviews.


1st Supervisor: Dr Elena Doldor, Queen Mary University of London
2nd Supervisor: Dr Grant Lewison, King’s College London
3rd Supervisor: Dr Doyin Atewologun, Oxford University


Mursheda studied BSc (Hons) Psychology and MSc Health Psychology at University College London. Before starting her PhD, she worked as a Research Assistant on the European Commission’s “Mapping_NCD” project (2014-17, which mapped five non-communicable disease research across Europe, and has also conducted bibliometric health research for Evaluametrics Ltd.


Conference presentations

  • Begum, M., Roe, P., Webber, R. & Lewison, G. (2017). UK Ethnic Minority Cancer Researchers: Their Origins, Destinations and Sex. (Presented at ISSI 2017)
  • Begum, M., Roe, P., Webber, R., Lewison, G. & Sullivan, R. (2016). The Virtues (or Otherwise) of Immigrant Scientists. (Presented at COLLNET 2016)
  • Begum, M. & Lewison, G. (2014). European Cancer Research Publications, 2002–13. (Presented at COLLNET 2014)
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