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 are Professor Marian Baird and Associate Professor Rae Cooper. Professors Baird and Cooper have considerable expertise in undertaking engaged research, and in public speaking and media presentations. To date the WW&LRG has made significant contributions to both government and company policies about parental leave, women and leadership, flexible and gender equitable work arrangements and domestic and family violence leave. Recent studies and reports have included a focus on women and leadership in the NSW public sector, the work and leadership of women in male dominated industries and occupations, work and care chains in the Asia-Pacific, the operationalisation of flexible working arrangements and analysis of the financial impact of changes to Australia's paid parental leave system.

One of the most significant economic and social changes to affect business and family life in both advanced and developing nations in the past twenty years has been the rising participation rates of women in the paid workforce. On the supply side, this phenomenon is fuelled by a number of factors, including: changes in women's education levels, social expectations and family incomes, and on the demand side, by increasing labour market requirements for human capital. The implications of the shift are profound, touching all aspects of work, family and community life and requiring policy response and innovation in a range of contexts, from governments through to businesses, unions, faith and community based organisations, families - and individuals themselves.

There is considerable need to expand our knowledge and research expertise about women and work in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Recent public and political debates in Australia about maternity, family and carers' leave, the implications of the changing industrial relations regulations on women, extended working hours and problems of finding appropriate child care, declining birth rates and low levels of female representation on company boards, have highlighted the need for quality research in the field.

The Women, Work & Leadership Research Group (WW&LRG) provides the scholarly environment to establish a community of inquiry on all aspects of women, work, employment, family and community. It also provides a focal point for collaboration with established and emerging scholars in the field, and with research centres with similar interests in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.


  • To provide a scholarly environment in which a community of enquiry on all aspects of women, work, employment, family and community is created.
  • To provide the bridge between academic work and policy work so as to provide the research for the development of evidence informed policy in matters pertaining to women, work and family.
  • To provide a focal point for collaboration with established and emerging scholars in the field, and with research centres with similar interests in Australia and internationally.
  • To focus on women in leadership in business, the not-for-profit and public sectors.

Annual Reviews