Professor Susan Durbin's Inaugural Lecture
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Professor Susan Durbin's Inaugural Lecture

Professor Susan Durbin's Inaugural Lecture

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University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus

Coldharbour Lane

Bristol, United Kingdom

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The Faculty of Business and Law at UWE, Bristol would like you invite you to Professor Susan Durbin's Inaugural Lecture taking place on Wednesday 2nd November 2016 from 5pm-8:30pm Frenchay Campus - room tbc.


Women's Careers: getting in/getting on?


Abstract

In 1977, Rosabeth Kanter remarked that women populate organisations but that they practically never run them. These words still resonate today, forty years later. Despite women now making up half of the UK paid workforce, the introduction of a raft of equal opportunities legislation since the 1970s, more women than men graduating with Degrees/higher education qualifications and the concerted efforts of bodies set up to support women, little has changed for women in some key areas of the labour market. One of the most enduring aspects of gender inequality is the vertical and horizontal segregated nature of labour markets. Breaking down the barriers and in particular, making it easier for women to enter and remain in skilled occupations and senior management positions in higher paying male dominated occupations, is widely considered to be one of the ways forward for improving gender equality. Reducing occupational segregation, abolishing the gender pay gap and making the combination of employment/unpaid care/domestic work acceptable to employers remain key issues.

Women who work in historically male dominated occupations face challenges that differ from those who work in female dominated or gender balanced occupations (Martin and Barnard, 2013). Women continue to struggle to access the most male dominated jobs and hierarchies but some women 'break through'. What is life like for those women who gain entry into senior management and male dominated professions, such as engineering and science, and what can we do to assist more women to enter and remain in male dominated jobs? The problem of the 'leaky pipeline' persists with the loss of women and their key skills at different points in their careers.

These on-going challenges will be explored through Professor Durbin's research with women managers and professionals over a number of years. She will also explore what more can be done by women themselves, employers/organisations and the law, to tackle these on-going issues.


Profile

Susan Durbin is Professor in Human Resource Management and a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Since being awarded a PhD at the University of Leeds she has researched and written on gender and employment, specialising in women who work in male dominated industries, including front-line service work, senior management, science and engineering. She is also interested in the impact of the recession on women, having organized symposiums and conference streams and more recently, co-editing a special issue on, Gender and Austerity in relation to vulnerabilities, resistance and change. She is an Associate Editor of the journal, Gender, Work and Organisation, has published in a number of academic journals, including, Work, Employment and Society, Gender, Work and Organisation, Human Resource Management Journal, International Journal of Human Resource Management and New Technology, Work and Employment. She has recently published a book with Palgrave Macmillan (2015) entitled, Women Who Succeed: strangers in paradise? which explores the careers of senior women in the UK public and private sectors. She is a founding member of alta, a bespoke mentoring scheme 'for women/by women' in the aviation and aerospace industry, which was launched in 2015 and is based upon a knowledge exchange partnership between UWE, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Airbus and the Royal Air Force and co-funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Susan has developed national and international networks with academics and public, private and not-for-profit organisations. She is a member of a number of networks, including Globalisation, Gender and Work Transformation Network (GLOW) an international group, which includes academics from the UK, USA, Japan and Germany; Gender in Management Special Interest Group and the British, European and International Sociological Associations. She is a Board Trustee of Fair Play South West, the voluntary gender equality network representing the interests of women in the South West of England and a member of the Women in Business Task Group, Bristol Women's Commission and Bristol Women in Business.


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University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus

Coldharbour Lane

Bristol, United Kingdom

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