Dr Cheryl Hurst

Dr Cheryl Hurst


My research responds (broadly) to two key questions: how can we make organisations more inclusive, and what is the role of leaders in developing effective programs to support this inclusion?​

In my primary research area, I investigate how people understand and interpret organisational inequalities. My research in this area exposes the common sense claims we depend on to understand what’s happening around us, and how these claims become part of institutional reality despite lacking empirical evidence. When leaders, EDI champions, and scholars want to improve EDI in their institutions, they rely on these claims to guide the types of initiatives they implement. Unfortunately, the initiatives they support and the change they desire are decoupled; our solutions are not connected to our problems.​

In my other research area, I am interested in how we can better express empirical evidence and research studies to ‘re’couple them to our larger EDI goals. The first step in this line of inquiry is to better understand our goals. The ‘wicked problems’ that face management and organizational scholarship are often ambiguous, and the ‘best case scenario’ for practice-based outcomes is often poorly defined. My research thus aims to connect practitioner goals (for example, retention of diverse employees, strong teams, more representation overall) with actual empirically-based EDI interventions.


  • PhD Work and Employment Relations, University of Leeds
  • MSc Organisational Psychology, University of Leeds
  • BASc Honours Psychology, University of Guelph