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 is an online survey of 2000 women aged 16-40, supplemented by focus groups with specific categories of women. 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 career and family planning. The study is funded by The University of Sydney Strategic Initiatives Grant Scheme 2017.

Early findings will be released on 6 December 2017 and a full report of findings will be released in early March to coincide with International Women’s Day 2018. All reports will be accessible from this webpage.

Investigating Gender-Based Occupational Segregation

The WWLRG, supported by the University of Sydney Business School, is undertaking a research project examining the work and career experience of Australian women employed in traditionally male-dominated occupations, professions or industry sectors.

This three-year project, running from 2017 to 2020, will focus on three occupations or professions.

The research questions guiding the project are:

  1. What is the lived experience of women working in male-dominated occupations and sectors?
  2. How do women’s experiences coalesce, or vary, across occupations and sectors?
  3. What can be done to improve gender representation - and working conditions for women employed in - male-dominated occupations and sectors?

The project team are Associate Professor Rae Cooper, Professor Marian Baird, and Dr Sarah Oxenbridge. The project will adopt a multi-method approach, employing qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Outputs from the project will include a research report, academic and mainstream media articles, and seminar and conference presentations. These will be accessible from this webpage.

For any queries about the research, please contact Dr Sarah Oxenbridge at