Cheryl M Hurst, PhD

Organisational Behaviour

Leadership & Organisations

Work and Employment Relations

Gender and (in)equality

Discourse & Power

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My Research

My research responds (broadly) to the following key questions: How and why does organizational gender inequality persist? and What is the role of leaders in developing effective programs to shift the status quo? ​

In my primary research area, I investigate how people understand and interpret organisational gender inequalities. My research in this area exposes the common sense claims we depend on to make sense of 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, which leads to a paradox. 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. A first step in this line of inquiry is to determine what exactly are 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.

Academic Roles

2021- Present

Lecturer, Organisational Behaviour and Research Methods

Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour (LOB)

Henley Business School, University of Reading


Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation and Change
University of Leeds


PhD Work and Employment Relations

University of Leeds

MSc Organisational Psychology

University of Leeds

BASc Honours Psychology

University of Guelph