Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre

Exploring contemporary issues linked to gender and diversity

Our intersectional and engaged approach pays attention to the conditions that support (or constrain) decent and productive work and the role of diversity in gender and diversity.

We focus on demographic workplace diversity and consider its impact on the workplace in terms of, for example, performance, productivity and well-being at work. Added to this is expertise in human rights and discrimination law, which strengthens our impact and policy influence, particularly in the areas of discrimination at work.

We are named in honour of Manchester Art School alumni Sylvia Pankhurst and are supported by active feminist researcher Dr Helen Pankhurst. Helen is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst and we are honoured to have her as a visiting Professor to our centre.

Our members have particular expertise in the following areas:

Gender: We have an international reputation as a place of engaged feminist research in business and law.  Key themes include: Gender and Criminal Justice; Gender Identities and Sexuality; Gender in Leadership and Workplaces; and Gender and Enterprise. We are also home to the Generating Routes for Women’s Leadership (GROWL) initiative.

Sexuality: We have expertise in different forms of international pressure used to support and advocate for sexual orientation and gender identity rights in different legal and political arenas.

Age: We have a focus on the impacts on and of older workers, and particularly the intersection of age and gender in the workplace.

Class: Our research here focuses on the classed dynamics of, for example, the informal economy, business ownership, career progression and the role of entrepreneurship as a route for social mobility.

Caste: We have strong collaborative research connections with international communities where caste impacts on career opportunities and daily working life.

We have a developing focus on Black and and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leadership and workplace progression through the GROWL initiative. We are also developing expertise on emerging aspects of diversity, such as its role in well-being-related variables such as stress and health.

2018 marked the centenary of (some) women gaining the right to vote. To celebrate this milestone the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre organised a variety of events that took place throughout the year, which culminated with the unveiling of Manchester’s statue of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Visit the VOTE100 microsite for more details

The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre supports GM4Women

Colleagues from The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre are delighted to be contributing to the development of the GM4Women initiative led by our Visiting Professor Helen Pankhurst. Claire Pattison from our Business Engagement Team is providing coordinating support to this activist partnership and we were delighted to host a meeting of the membership in July.

Prof Julia Rouse is leading the Employment Action Group. With Professor Jillly Rubery at the University of Manchester and Dr Francine Morris at Salford University she is compiling an analysis of how women in GM are doing in relation to the 7 principles in the GM Good Work Employers Charter and this will lead to an event with employers in the New Year. Our universities are working with the Chambers, Manchester City Council, GMCA, Growth Company and private, public and third sector businesses in the Working Group and look forward to supporting women working in GM to have their voice in the future.

Becky Clarke and Dr Kay Lalor are leading GM4Women's Safety Action Group. Following the retirement of Dr Kate Cook, this group has been consolidating the support of the many agencies in Kate's networks to form an across-GM collective.

Farewell and thanks to Dr Kate Cook, founder member of the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre

The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre were delighted to host two events to mark the retirement of one of our founders, Dr Kate Cook. Kate's research on rights and services for women and girls survivors of violence has produced an enduring legacy. A testament to this was the many agencies who attended a networking event that aimed to develop new connections with Sylvia members, as Kate retired. Singer Claire Mooney was even inspired to compose a touching and rousing song to pay tribute to 'Our Friend Kate'. She gave us another cracking performance at a staff leaving do organised by the Law School. Thank you to Claire - and to Kate for her activism, wisdom and passion. We wish her a long and happy retirement in the USA.


For updates on our news and activities sign up to The Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Centre blog and follow us on Twitter: @mmu_sylvia.

Joint Research Group Leader

Prof. Julia Rouse

Senior Lecturer
Joint Group Leader - Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre

Dr. Julia Rouse jointly leads the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre.

Find out more

Phone +44 (0)161 247 6010

Joint Research Group Leader

Dr. Sally Jones

Reader in Entrepreneurship and Gender Studies
Joint Group Leader - Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre

Dr. Sally Jones jointly leads the Sylvia Pankhurst Gender and Diversity Research Centre.

Find out more

Phone +44 (0)161 247 6358

Our Expertise