The Work and Equalities Institute brings together graduate students to study a range of issues concerned with the changing nature of work and employment.

These include:

  • new forms of worker voice and conflict in the gig economy;
  • migrant networks and the emergence of independent worker networks;
  • regulation and HRM in SMEs;
  • union revitalisation in South America;
  • CSR and labour standards in West Africa;
  • precarious work and women’s employment;
  • technostress and well-being;
  • the impact of automation on women’s work in the retail sector;
  • the experience and/or the regulation of precarious employment;
  • UK pension reforms;
  • bystander behaviour in workplace bullying;
  • women stepping away from high-level careers.

The group of students actively present at conferences and organise a range of seminars and research networks within the institute.  There are a number of AMBS scholarships available each year to support new PhD students, as well as studentships from the ESRC’s North West Doctoral College.

Kashfia Ameen attended three conferences to present her work. At the CIPD Applied Research Conference 2022 in January she showed a poster ‘Do codes of conduct improve the health and safety of workers in the Bangladeshi garment industry?’. The following month she presented her paper ‘Social Upgrading of Labour during the Pandemic: Evidence from the Bangladeshi Garment Industry’ at AIRAANZ 2022 Conference ‘Work Not As Usual' and in May she presented ‘The effect of Covid-19 on female workers in the Bangladeshi garment industry’ at the 2022 CERIC Doctoral conference ‘Work in a Changing World.

Fernanda Teixeira was one of a team of students who took part in a University Collaboration Labs project with the NGO ‘She leads for Legacy’ to learn more about barriers to senior leadership and career progression of Black Professional Women in the North West of England. Their findings were published in a research report The safe place: Building a safe space for active and effective listening as part of the ESRC Festival of Science in November 2021. If you would like to find out more about the creation and strengthening of safe spaces at work, take a look at the workshop toolkit.

Caitlin Schmid, together with colleagues at the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London (and in partnership with the Fawcett Society), ran a UN Foundation funded project investigating the effectiveness of the gender pay gap reporting regimes in six countries (including the UK). The report, Bridging the gap, was published in October 2021.

Eva Herman took part in CRIMT at the Global Forum on #Democratizing Work in October 2021; in April 2021 Eva Herman, Lee Stringer and Abbie Winton presented papers at the 39th International Labour Process Conference.

In 2018-19 the WEI PGR Network was successful in attaining two rounds of funding, from the British Sociological Association and the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence.

With the first round of funding, they held the BSA “Researching (In)equalities at Work’ PGR symposium event in April (co-funded by Methods@Manchester), whichwas attended by 40 people from a range of different institutions in the UK as well as abroad. The themes of the day covered issues which were felt to be missing in the standard PGR training curriculum such as accessing and utilising existing data, accessing organisations and participants, undertaking research on sensitive topics, and included voices from the field.

The JMCE funding was used for a PGR seminar series covering more practically-driven topics appealing to PGRs at different stages of their research, including sessions on publishing an academic article, careers in a Post-Brexit scenario, writing funding applications and how to use social media in academic research.

The network successfully won the same funding in 2019-20 but due to COVID-19, the events were cancelled.

For the 2020-21 events please visit the Institute events page.


The Work and Equalities Institute student network runs a series of seminars and workshops.

Postgraduate researchers’ seminar series 2020-21

The Work and Equalities Institute is pleased to announce a new online seminar series open to all Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs). The series will discuss the current Covid-19 context and the challenges faced conducting research within this. This series will aim to address the different challenges that PGRs who research work and inequalities are experiencing, and will aim to provide them with some of the tools needed to address and overcome these issues. Our speakers will provide their top tips on a variety of topics and will reflect on the different methodological tools they employed throughout their careers.

For further information please visit the Institute events page.