Dr Cheryl Hurst

Dr Cheryl Hurst


My work responds (broadly) to the question: how can we use behavioural science and inclusive design to create more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organisations?

In my primary research area, I investigate how people understand and interpret organisational inequalities. My research in this area exposes the common sense claims and cognitive biases we depend on to understand what’s happening around us, and how these become part of institutional reality despite lacking empirical evidence. When leaders, EDI champions, and scholars want to improve the culture in their organisation, they rely on an array of information 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.‚Äč

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 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