Professor Jennifer Tomlinson - BA (Hons) (Leeds Met), MA (Leeds), PhD

Co-Director of CERIC
Professor of Gender and Employment Relations 

Jennifer Tomlinson

I joined the Faculty in Sept 2005, having previously held a Lectureship in Sociology at the University of Manchester (2004-2005). Prior to this, I completed an ESRC Post-doctoral Research fellowship in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds (2003-2004). I was promoted to personal Chair in 2012.

My overarching research scholarship focuses on understanding patterns of gender and (in)equalities in work, economies and societies.  My work and publications focus on the following interrelated areas: a) gender and inequalities in work, management and occupations; b) occupational gender segregation and part-time work; c) gender relations, employment systems and welfare regimes. These issues have been examined separately and in relation to each other, and have included primary and secondary research at organizational, occupational and sector levels, either via qualitative methods or secondary analyses of surveys and official data sets, as well as more conceptual and cross-national investigation. My disciplinary background is sociology and my work contributes to key debates located in a range of related fields, including employment relations, management, human resources, social policy and gender relations.

Two overarching research questions draw together my central interests into a coherent programme of research:

  • How can sociological theory contribute to a better understanding of gender and inequalities in the labour market and wider society?
  • How can relationships between institutions, structures and human agency help us understand the dynamics of (in)equalities in contemporary societies? 

My work has been funded by the Department for Trade and Industry and the Trade Union Congress. I was the lead author of a major report on women returners and occupational gender segregation for the DTI that fed into the Women and Work Commission report Shaping a Fairer Future. I jointly organised a session on gender and the knowledge economy at the ISA FirstWorld Forum of Sociology in Barcelona in September 2008 and co-organised the International Labour Process Conference in Leeds in 2010. More recently I have been working on diversity in the legal profession, co-authoring a major report on “Diversity in the Legal Profession in England and Wales” funded by the Legal Services Board and co-editing a Special Issue of Gender, Work and Organization on Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Professions and Professional Organizations.

I am a member of the Gender, Globalization and Work Transformation Network, a group of feminist scholars from Germany, Japan, the UK and USA. I was appointed to the Rosabeth Moss Kanter award committee for “Excellence in Work-Family Research” coordinated by Boston College’s Center for Work and Family Research and Purdue University, USA. See here

I am currently an Editor of Work, Employment and Society and an Associate editor of Gender, Work and Organization.

PhD supervision

To date I have overseen to completion five PhD students on topics including women, work and work-life balance in Cyprus (Ierodiakonou), graduates experiences of entry to the accountancy profession (Jephson) and work-life balance among single managers and professionals living alone (Wilkinson) and gender and egalitarianism in households following redundancy (Garcia). I currently supervise six PhD students on topics spanning: disability inclusion (O’Keef); gender and talent management (Handly); diversity and career progression in SME law firms (Kele); discourse analysis of attitudes towards gender quotas (Hurst); and gender in the armed forces (Hensby); occupational gender segregation and vocational training (Burgess) and women’s early careers in STEM (Grey).

My research interests include gender and (in)equalities in work, economies and societies, flexible working patterns, particularly the use and structuring of part-time work in different economies, and equality and diversity policy and practice.

I would be very happy to supervise students in the following areas:

  • Gender and (in)equality at work
  • Women returners
  • Part-time work
  • Occupational gender segregation
  • Gender and career progression in occupations and professions
  • Equality and diversity 

If you would like to contact me about a proposal or application, please do so via email: 


Refereed contributions to journals

Tomlinson, J., Baird, M., Berg, P. and Cooper, R. eds (forthcoming 2017) Flexible careers: advancing scholarship and practice, Human Relations: Online first Nov 2017

Tomlinson, J., Baird, M., Berg, P. and Cooper, R. eds (forthcoming 2018) Flexible careers across the lifecourse, Human Relations

Wilkinson, K, Tomlinson, J. and Gardiner, J (2017) Exploring the work-life challenges and dilemmas faced by managers and professionals who live alone, Work Employment and Society

Bessa I. and Tomlinson J. (2017) Established, accelerated and emergent themes in flexible work research. Journal of Industrial Relations, 59 (2), 153-169

Durbin and Tomlinson (2014) Female part-time managers: career prospects, role models and mentors. Gender, Work and Organization. 21(4): 308-320

Oliver, L., Stuart, M. and Tomlinson, J. (2014) Equal pay bargaining in the UK local government sector, Special Issue: ‘Rethinking Equality Bargaining: Building New Bargaining Agendas for the Modern Workplace’. Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(1): 228-245

Stuart, M., Martinez Lucio, M, and Tomlinson, J. (2013) ‘Women and the modernisation of British trade unions:  Meanings and dimensions of modernisation and the challenge of change’, Journal of Industrial Relations. 

Tomlinson, J., Muzio, D., Sommerlad, H., Webley, L. and Duff, L. (2013) Structure, agency and the career strategies of white women and BME individuals in the legal profession. Human Relations. 66(2) 245–269

Grugulis, I. Stuart, M., Forde, C., Kirkpatrick, I. Mackenzie, R. and Tomlison, J. (2012) ‘Writing articles for Work, Employment and Society: different voices, same language’, Work, Employment and Society. 26(1): 5-9. 2012

Muzio, D. and Tomlinson, J. (2012) ‘Researching Gender, Inclusion and Diversity in Contemporary Professions and Professional Organizations’, Gender, Work and Organization. 19, 5, 455-465. (ABS 3)

Tomlinson, J. (2011) ‘Gender Equality and the State: A review of recent EU developments’, Special Issue: Bringing the State Back in? The State and Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management. 22, 8, 3755-3744.

Durbin, S. and Tomlinson, J. (2010) ‘Female Part-time Managers: networks and career mobility. Work, Employment and Society’, 24, 4, 621-640.

Tomlinson, J. and Durbin, S. (2010) ‘Female part-time managers: work-life balance, aspirations and career mobility’, Special Issue: Gendered Employment, Equal Opportunities International. 29, 3, 255-270.Gardiner, J. and Tomlinson, J. (2009) ‘Organizational approaches to flexible working: perspectives of equality and diversity managers in the UK’, Equal Opportunities International, 28, 8.

Tomlinson, J., Olsen, W. and Purdam, K. (2009) ‘Women Returners and Potential Returners: Employment Profiles and Labour Market Opportunities – A Case Study of the UK’, European Sociological Review, 24, 2, 1-15.

Tomlinson, J. (2008) ‘Causes and consequences of the divergent working-time patterns of employed mothers in the UK and the US: developing a comparative analysis’, Gender Issues, 25, 4.

Tomlinson, J. (2007) ‘Female Part-time Workers' Experiences of Occupational Mobility in the UK Service Industry’, Women in Management Review, 2, 4, 305-318.

Tomlinson, J. (2007) 'Employment Regulation, Welfare and Gender Regimes: a comparative analysis of women’s working-time patterns and work-life balance in the UK and the US', International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18, 3, 401-415 (ABS 3)

Tomlinson, J. (2006) 'Routes to part-time management in service sector organizations: implications for women's skills, flexibility and progression', Gender, Work and Organization, 13, 6, 585-605. (ABS 3)

Tomlinson, J. (2006) 'Women's work-life balance trajectories: reformulating choice and constraint in transitions through part-time work across the life-course', Symposium: Critical perspectives on careers and family friendly policies. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 34, 3, 365-382.

Tomlinson, J. (2006) 'Part-time occupational mobility in the service industries: regulation, work commitment and occupational closure', The Sociological Review, 54, 1, 66-86. (ABS 3)

Tomlinson, J. (2005) 'Women returners' attitudes towards trade unions in the UK: a consideration of the distinction between full- and part-timers', Industrial Relations Journal, 36, 5, 402-418.

Tomlinson, J. (2004) 'Perceptions and negotiations of the 'business case' for flexible careers and the integration of part-time work', Women in Management Review,19, 8, 413-420.

Guest Editor of Special Issues in peer reviewed journals

Muzio, D. and Tomlinson, J. (2012) ‘Gender, Diversity and Inclusion in Professions and Professional Organizations’, Gender, Work and Organization,19, 5, 455-554. (ABS 3)

Research Monographs

Sommerlad, H. Webley, L, Duff, L. Muzio, D. and Tomlinson, J. (2010) Diversity in the Legal Profession in England and Wales: A qualitative study of barriers and individual choices. London: Legal Services Board. pp 1-83.

Stuart, M., Martinez Lucio, M., Tomlinson, J. and Perrett, R. (2010) The Union Modernisation Fund – Round Two: Final Evaluation Report. Department for Business Innovation and Skills Employment Relations Research Series, No. 111. pp 1-98, Dept. for Business, Innovation and Skills: London, URN 10/1084.

Tomlinson, J., Olsen, W., Neff, D. and Purdam, K. (2005) Examining the Potential for Women Returners to Work in Areas of High Occupational Gender Segregation. Department for Trade and Industry Publications, Nov 2005, pp 1-106.

Other research outputs (commissioned reports/research monographs)

Forde, C, Tomlinson, J, Holgate, J. and Stuart, M. (2012) Women in Transport and the Economic Crisis. London: International Transport Federation.Stuart, M. and Tomlinson, J. (2009) NUT organizing and Casework. Report to the National Union of Teachers. Tomlinson, J. (2004) Reconciling work and Family Life: Central Issues for Women Returners in the 21st Century. Women Returners’ Network.

Conference papers

Gardiner, J. and Tomlinson, J. (2007) ‘Flexible working through a diversity lens: individual rights and collective arrangements’ International Industrial Relations Association European Congress, Manchester.

Tomlinson, J. (2007) ‘Causes and consequences of divergent working-time patterns of employed mothers in the UK and the US’, Gender and Work, Regular Session, Work and Family Integration in an International Comparative Context, American Sociological Association Conference, New York City, USA.

Tomlinson. J. (2006) ‘Employment regulation, welfare-states and gender regimes: a comparative analysis of part-time work’ Gender and Work Regular Session: Gender and Work in International Perspective, American Sociological Association Conference, Montreal, Canada.

Tomlinson, J. (2006) ‘Female part-time workers’ experiences of occupational mobility in the UK service industry’ European Academy of Management Conference, Oslo, Norway.

Tomlinson, J., Olsen, W., Neff, D. and Purdam, K. (2005) ‘Examining the Potential for Women Returners to Work in areas of High Occupational Gender Segregation’ CTEE Conference on Training, Employability and Employment, Prato, Italy.

Tomlinson, J. (2005) ‘Women’s attitudes towards trade unions in the UK: a consideration of the distinction between full- and part-time workers in five service sector firms.’ Gender, Work and Organization 4th International Interdisciplinary Conference, Keele.


Curriculum Vitae