Russell Martin

Russell Martin


I joined Leeds University Business School as a PhD researcher in 2020, having completed an MA in Human Resource Management here in 2019. I also work as a People Analytics Lead at Defra.

My doctoral research aims to understand how and why career trajectories vary for different intersectional groups. Large, bureaucratic organisations, with well-developed equality and diversity policies offer a particularly interesting context and I have chosen to study the NHS workforce. I will investigate factors that contribute to access to prestigious roles, rate of progression to higher grades, and likelihood of exit.

The kinds of questions that my research will answer include, “What effect do homophily and social capital have on career trajectories?”; “How do pay gaps emerge and develop?”; “What are the trajectories for those who join the workforce at middle grades, rather than entry level?”; and “Where are the barriers or ‘ceilings’ for particular intersectional groups, such as ethnic minority men who trained outside the UK?” As well as testing social theory relating to labour queues, the knowledge gained from this study will inform policies and interventions intended to improve attraction and retention.

My research uses quantitative methods, including machine learning algorithms, alongside sequence analysis of career trajectories. 

Research interests

My primary research interests are in people analytics, equity and inclusion. The use of people data to make business and policy decisions is changing as data sources expand and analytics technologies develop. Organisations are also increasingly able to do advanced analytics but face challenges in turning analysis into action. I am interested in these evolving topics, particularly regarding the ways they overlap with equity and inclusion issues.


  • MA Human Resource Management, University of Leeds
  • BA Physics, University of Oxford

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change