Current Research Projects

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 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.

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

Women working in male-dominated occupations

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 women working in three sectors/occupations: investment management, automotive trades, and pilots.

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 the gender representation and working conditions of women working in male-dominated occupations and sectors?

The project team are Professor Rae Cooper, Dr Sarah Oxenbridge and Professor Marian Baird. The project includes an online survey of, and interviews with, women working in each of the three occupations, as well as qualitative interviews with key informants from each of the three sectors.

Data is currently being gathered via research fieldwork in each of sectors/occupations of interest.

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 information about the research, please contact Dr Sarah Oxenbridge at