Professor Sue Durbin

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About me

I am a Professor in Human Resource Management and a member of the Centre for Employment Studies Research (CESR) in the Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England. Since being awarded a PhD at the University of Leeds (School of Sociology and Social Policy). I have researched and written on gender and employment, specialising in women who work in male dominated industries. I am an Associate Editor of the journal, Gender, Work and Organisation. My book, Women Who Succeed: strangers in paradise? which explores the careers of senior women in the UK public and private sectors, was published in 2015 by Palgrave Macmillan. I am a founding member of alta, a mentoring scheme for women in aviation and aeerospace, which was launched in 2015 and is based upon a knowledge exchange partnership between UWE, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Airbus and the Royal Air Force and co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. I am a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).​​​

Area of expertise

The predominant focus of my research is gender inequalities in employment and gendered organization practices, which has involved the analysis of occupations such as front-line service work, senior management, science and engineering. Research projects have included an analysis of the careers of female managers across the public and private sectors in the UK, including career histories and aspirations, mentors and role models as sources of support and networking; the promotional prospects, career mobility, aspirations and networking experiences of female part-time managers; and a comparative study of the educational backgrounds and careers of male and female engineers and scientists. I am also involved in on-going research examining the theoretical links between equality and diversity and networks; and the methodological challenges and policy limitations of an intersectional approach to the analysis of multiple inequalities. I am also interested in the impact of the recession on women, having recently organized a research symposium on the theme of 'gender and austerity' for the Centre for Employment Studies Research at UWE and guest co-editing a special issue of the journal, Gender, Work and Oranization on the theme of gender and austerity. My research record comprises a book, publications in peer-reviewed journals, edited book chapters, commissioned reports and seminar and conference presentations.


I have developed national and international networks with academics and public, private and not-for-profit organisations. I am a member of a number of networks, including Globalisation, Gender and Work Transformation Network (GLOW) an international group, which includes academics from the UK, USA, Japan and Germany; Gender in Management Special Interest Group and the British, European and International Sociological Associations. I am a Board Trustee of Fair Play South West, the gender equality network representing the interests of women in the South West of England. I present my work at both national and international conferences and have co-chaired a number of conference streams.    ​


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