Professor Jennifer Tomlinson

Professor Jennifer Tomlinson


I completed an ESRC post-doctoral research fellowship in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds (2003-2004), and then became a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Manchester (2004-2005). I have worked at Leeds University of Business School since 2005 and was promoted to Professor of Gender and Employment Relations in 2013.


  • Director: Centre for Employment Relations Innovation and Change
  • Faculty Lead: Athena Swan accreditation

Research interests

My research interests focus 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, gender relations and intersectionality theory.

Two overarching research questions draw together my central interests into a coherent programme of research. These are: 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 commissioned by various organisations, trades unions and regulators. I was the lead author of a major report on women returners and occupational gender segregation for the Demartment for Trade and Industry that fed into the Women and Work Commission report Shaping a Fairer Future. 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 commissioned by the Legal Services Board and following this for the Solicitors Regulation Authority in 2017. As a result of the introduction of compulsory monitoring of diversity characteristics, with colleagues at Leeds, I have recently been commissioned to analyse the newly monitored diversity characteristics and employment records of the entire solicitors profession in England and Wales. The SRA research was  published in 2017: Mapping advantage and disadvantage: diversity in the legal profession in England and Wales. Solicitors Regulation Authority.


  • Ph.D Sociology and Social Policy, University of Leeds
  • MA Sociology (pass with distinction) University of Leeds
  • BA (hons) Arts and Social Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University

Professional memberships

  • CIPD academic member

Student education

My current teaching relates to my interests in gender and inequaities and employment relations at both UG and PG levels.

LUBS 5360: Gender and Equality at Work in Comparative Perspective

LUBS 5330: Human Resource Management

LUBS 3001: Gender and Equality at Work in Comparative Perspective

I actively seek new doctoral and post-doctoral research students in areas relating to my expertise and currently supervise students on topics including: gender and talent management (Handley);  attitudes towards gender equality intiatives and gender quotas in HEI  (Hurst); occupational gender segregation and vocational training (Burgess) and hegemonic masculinity and organisational gender pay gaps (Daly).

To date I have overseen to completion six 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) and equality and diversity in the legal profession (Kele)

I am particularly interested in research proposals focusing on gender, management and professional careers, part-time work, women returners, flexible working arrangements and reconciliation of work and private life, in a range of contexts and countries.

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

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change

Current postgraduate researchers