Women, Work & Leadership Research Group Research highlights: Flexibility, employment and gender equality

The Women, Work & Leadership Research Group (WW&LRG) at the University of Sydney Business School provides a focal point for collaboration between leading scholars, business practitioners and policy makers with an interest in women and work, in building more equitable workplaces and more sustainable careers for women. The WW&LRG engages closely with debates about the megatrends impacting the workforce, including the feminisation of the workforce, population ageing, flexibility and technological change and emerging issues which lead to changing expectations of employers, employees and of the organisation of work.

The Co-Directors of the WW&LRG Professor Marian Baird and Associate Professor Rae Cooper have considerable expertise in undertaking engaged research, and in public speaking and media presentations.

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Featured Research 2017-2018

Women and the Future of Work:
Report 1 of the Australian Women's Working Futures Project

Marian Baird, Rae Cooper, Elizabeth Hill, Elspeth Probyn and Ariadne Vromen
Commissioned Research by: Ipsos (Jessica Elgood and Kathrina Phan)
Read the report PDF

The Australian Women’s Work Futures Survey (AWWF)

The WWLRG co-directors Associate Professor Rae Cooper and Professor Marian Baird are members of a multidisciplinary team from the University of Sydney conducting a study of Australian women’s work futures. Working with Dr Elizabeth Hill (Political Economy), Professor Elspeth Probyn (Gender Studies) and Professor Ariadne Vromen (Government and International Relations) the study is the first of its kind to investigate the challenges faced by Australian women as they negotiate their working lives and plan for future employment.

The AWWF study, funded by a University of Sydney Research Innovation Grant 2017, surveys 2000 women aged 16-40, supplemented by focus groups with specific categories of women across key theme. A sample of 500 men is also included in the study. The aim of the study is to understand women’s experiences and expectations in employment. It covers topics such as current and recent employment experience, training and future careers, experiences of gender equality at work and preparedness for the future of work. The study is funded by The University of Sydney Strategic Initiatives Grant Scheme 2017.

Early findings were released on 6 December 2017 and a full report of findings was released 6 March 2018 to coincide with International Women’s Day 2018.

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Upcoming Event

It’s a Boy’s Thing Really Isn’t It? A gender analysis of the career choices of male and female engineers and an initiative to ‘plug’ the ‘leaky pipeline’

Friday 22 June 2018, 12.30 - 2.00pm, Room 5070, Level 5, The Abercrombie Building (H70), The University of Sydney Business School

This presentation examines a profession where gender segregation begins at school, continues through to the workplace and is underpinned by gender stereotypical views of what constitutes, ‘men’s work and women’s work’. Read more »

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Recent research grants

Australian Women’s Work Futures (2017-2018)

Investigator/s: Marian Baird; Rae Cooper

This project will develop a unique University of Sydney-branded online survey and National Report on Australian women’s work futures. The development of new empirical data and academic analysis of women’s career aspirations and the future of women’s work in Australia will establish the University of Sydney as the premier location for research on gender equality in work.

Investigating Cultural Diversity and the non-executive directors of the ASX100 (2017)

Investigator/s: Dimitria Groutsis; Rae Cooper; Gregory Whitwell

This research builds on an emerging body of work investigating cultural diversity in senior leadership roles in large private sector organisations. In particular it seeks to analyse how culturally diverse the non-executive director cohort of the ASX100 is, as well as to understand the enablers and inhibitors to broader cultural diversity. This scope of research has been prompted by an invitation from the AHRC and the AICD to design a methodology for a pilot project to understand these processes and outcomes.

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Highlighted publications

Gender Lens on the Budget 2018 - 2019 National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW)

Cooper R, Foley M and Baird M 2016 'Women at work: Australia and the United States', United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney

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Recent policy submissions

Analysis Of The Impact Of The Government’s Proposed Changes To Paid Parental Leave On Key Workers In South Australia  Fair Agenda

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In the Media

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