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Professor Gill Kirton


Associate Dean, Research / Professor of Employment Relations

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 7439
Room Number: Mile End Campus, Bancroft Building, Room 4.25g


Student drop-in and feedback hours
Tuesday 11am- 12pm and 2-3pm

Associate Dean, Research 
Member of the School’s Steering Group (Senior Management Team)
Professor of Employment Relations

Postgraduate Teaching


Research Interests:

Gill's research interests are in the field of employment relations. Her recent published work focuses on the roles and activities of women within trade unions; gender and race equality in employment; organisational diversity management. Her published books include: Gender and Leadership in Trade Unions (2013), The Dynamics of Managing Diversity (2000, 2005, 2010); Women, Employment and Organisations (2006); The Making of Women Trade Unionists (2006). She has also published articles in several leading journals including The British Journal of Industrial Relations, The Industrial Relations Journal, Work, Employment and Society and Gender, Work and Organization. She is a member of the editorial boards of Work, Employment and Society, Gender, Work and Organization and Equal Opportunities International. Before joining Queen Mary, Gill had several years of higher education teaching experience in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at the University of Hertfordshire and at London Metropolitan University.



  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2013) Gender and Leadership in Trade Unions, London: Routledge
  • Healy, G; G. Kirton and M. Noon (2010) (eds.) Equality, Inequalities and Diversity, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Greene, A. M. and G. Kirton (2009) Diversity Management in the UK – Organizational and Stakeholder Experiences, London: Routledge
  • Kirton, G. (2006) The Making of Women Trade Unionists, Aldershot: Ashgate     
  • Glover, J. and G. Kirton (2006) Women, Employment and Organizations, London: Routledge
  • Kirton, G and A.M. Greene (2010) (3rd Edition) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity, Oxford: Elsevier

Refereed Journal Articles

  • Kirton, G. (2015) 'The Coalition of Labor Union Women: Still a Space of Social Creativity and a Force for Social Change?', Labor Studies Journal, 40(2): 129-148

  • Avdelidou-Fischer, N. and G. Kirton (2015), 'Beyond burned bras and purple dungarees: Feminist orientations within working women’s networks', European Journal of Women’s Studies, DOI: 10.1177/1350506815578193
  • Seierstad, C. and G. Kirton (2015), 'Having It All? Women in High Commitment Careers and Work–Life Balance in Norway', Gender, Work and Organization, 22(4): 390-404
  • Kirton, G. (2014) Progress towards gender democracy in UK unions 1987-2012, British Journal of Industrial Relations
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2013) Stratégies en faveur de la démocratie de genre dans les syndicats. Travail, Genre et Sociétés
  • Healy, G. and G. Kirton (2013) ‘The early mobilization of women trade union leaders – a comparative perspective.’ British Journal of Industrial Relations
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2013) ‘Commitment and collective identity of long-term union participation: the case of women union leaders in the UK and USA’. Work, Employment and Society, 27(2): 195-212
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2012) ‘Lift as you rise’: union women’s leadership talk’. Human Relations, 65(8): 979-999
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2012) ‘ Women’s union leadership in Barbados: exploring the local within the global.’ Journal of Leadership & Organizational Development
  • Greene, A. M. and G. Kirton (2010) ‘Diversity management meets downsizing: the case of a government department’, Employee Relations, 33(5)
  • Healy, G., G. Kirton, M. Ozbilgin and F. Oikelome (2010) ‘The Politics of Assessment Centres: competing rationalities in the diversity project of the judiciary’, Human Relations, 63(4)
  • Kirton, G. and A.M. Greene (2010) ‘What does diversity management      mean for the gender equality project? Views and experiences of organizational actors in the UK’ Canadian Journal of Administrative Science, 27(3): 240-262
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2009) ‘Using competency-based assessment centres to select judges – Implications for equality and diversity.’ Human Resource Management Journal, 19(3): 302-318
  • Kirton, G. (2009) ‘Career Plans and Aspirations of Recent Black and Minority Ethnic Business Graduates’, Work, Employment and Society, 23(1): 12-29
  • Kirton, G. and A. M. Greene (2009) ‘The Costs and Opportunities of Doing Diversity Work in Mainstream Organisations’, Human Resource Management Journal, 19(2): 159-175.
  • Kirton, G., A. M. Greene, D. Dean (2007) ‘British Diversity Professionals as Change Agents: radicals, tempered radicals or liberal reformers?’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(11): 1979 – 1994.
  • Kirton, G. and Read, I. (2007) ‘Inequalities in Europe’s SMEs: the Challenges for a Trade Union Agenda’, Transfer, 13(1): 131-146.
  • Kirton, G. (2006) ‘Alternative or parallel careers for women: the case of trade union participation’, Work, Employment and Society, 20(1): 47-66.
  • Kirton, G. and A.M. Greene (2006) ‘The Discourse of Diversity in Unionised Contexts: Views from Trade Union Equality Officers’, Personnel Review, 35(4): 431-448
  • Kirton, G. (2005) ‘The influences on women joining and participating in trade unions’, Industrial Relations Journal, 36(5): 386-401.
  • Greene, A.M., G. Kirton and J. Wrench (2005) ‘Trade Union Perspectives on Diversity Management: A Comparison of the UK and Denmark’, European Journal of Industrial Relations, 11:2, 179-196.
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (2004) ‘Shaping Union and Gender Identities: a case study of women-only trade union courses’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 42:2, 303-324
  • Greene, A.M and Kirton, G. (2003) ‘Possibilities for remote participation in trade unions: mobilising women activists’, Industrial Relations Journal, 34:4, 319-333
  • Greene, A.M and Kirton, G. (2002) ‘Advancing Gender Equality in UK Trade Unions: the Role of Women-only Trade Union Education’ Gender, Work and Organization, 9:1 39-59
  • Kirton, G. and A.M. Greene (2002) ‘The Dynamics of Positive Action in UK Trade Unions: the Case of Women and Black Members’ Industrial Relations Journal, 33:2, 157-172
  • Kirton, G. and A.M. Greene (2002) ‘New Directions in Managing Women’s Trade Union Careers: Online Learning’ Women in Management Review, 17:3/4, 171-179
  • Healy, G. and G. Kirton (2000) ‘Women, Power, and Trade Union Government’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 38:3, 343-360
  • Kirton, G. (1999) ‘Sustaining and Developing Women’s Trade Union Activism - a Gendered Project’, Gender, Work & Organization, 6:4, 213-223
  • Kirton, G. and G. Healy (1999) ‘Transforming Union Women: the Role of Women Trade Union Officials in Union Renewal’ Industrial Relations Journal, 30:1, 31-45


Book Chapters

  • Kirton, G. (2012) ‘Work-life balance: national regimes, organisational policies and individual choices.’ In A. Wilkinson (ed.) Contemporary Human Resource Management, Prentice Hall
  • Kirton, G.; G. Healy; S. Alvarez; M. Gatta; R. Lieberwitz and H. McKay (2012) ‘Developing and globalizing women’s union leadership via a cross-national exchange programme’ in S. Ledwith and L.L. Hansen (eds.) International perspectives on gender, identity and union leadership, London: Routledge.
  • Kirton, G. (2011) ‘Gender, equality, diversity and a new industrial relations paradigm?’ in Townsend, K. and A. Wilkinson (2011) (eds.) The Future of Employment Relations: New Paradigms, New Developments, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Greene, A. and Kirton, G. (2011). The value of investigating stakeholder involvement in diversity management. Diversity in the workplace: multi-disciplinary and international perspectives. Ed. Groschl, S. Farnham: Gower.
  • Kirton, G. (2010) ‘Work-life-balance: attitudes and expectations of young black and minority ethnic graduates’, in Healy, G; G. Kirton and M. Noon (2010) (eds.) Equality, Inequalities and Diversity, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Greene, A. M. and Kirton, G. (2009) ‘Trade union perspectives on diversity management’, Theory and Scholarship in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: a research companion, M. Ozbilgin (ed.), Edward Elgar
  • Kirton, G. (2008) ‘Managing multi-culturally in a diverse society’, Handbook of Macro Organizational Behaviour, S. Clegg and C. Cooper (eds.), Sage.
  • Kirton, G. (2007) ‘The longer-term influence of women-only trade union schools’, Learning with trade unions: a contemporary agenda in employment relations, S. Shelley (ed.), Ashgate.
  • Kirton, G. (2007) ‘Gendered Enterprise’, Encyclopedia of Sociology, G. Ritzer (ed.) Blackwell
  • Greene, A.M. and G. Kirton (2006) ‘Trade Unions and Diversity’, in A. Konrad, P. Prasad and Pringle, J. (Eds.) Handbook of Workplace Diversity, Sage.
  • Kirton, G. (2003) ‘Developing Strategic Approaches to Diversity Policy’ in ‘Individual Diversity and Psychology in Organizations’, 3-17, M. Davidson & S. Fielden (Eds.), John Wiley
  • Healy, G. and G. Kirton (2002) 'Professional and Highly Qualified Women in Two Contrasting Unions', in Gender, Diversity and Trade Unions: International Perspectives, 186-204, Colgan, F. & Ledwith, S. (eds.), London: Routledge
  • Kirton, G. (2002) ‘What is Diversity?  Understanding the Issues’ in Managing Diversity in the Workplace, 1-23, IRS/Eclipse

Research funding secured:

  • British Academy – small grant, 1st July 2015 – 30th June 2016. Co-investigator with Professor Anne-marie Greene (DeMontfort)– ‘Careers, strategies and practices of diversity consultants’.
  • Leverhulme Trust – International Fellowship – spent at Industrial and Labor Relations School, Cornell University, New York, USA, February – May 2013
  • Leverhulme Trust – Principal Investigator, 1st October 2008 – 30th September 2010. International Network: ‘Women and Trade Union Leadership in Comparative Context – the UK and USA’. Value of award: £111,56
  • Nuffield Foundation – Principal Investigator, June 2006-Feburary 2007: ‘Black and minority ethnic business graduates’ career plans and aspirations.’ Value of award: £7,400. 
  • Department of Constitutional Affairs – Co-Investigator, July-November 2005: ‘The utility of assessment centres in increasing diversity in the judiciary.’ Value of fee: £60,000.
  • European Social Fund – Co-Investigator (1st January 2004-31st December 2005): ‘Stakeholder approaches to diversity management’. Value of award: £189,000.

PhD Supervision

Gill Kirton is interested in supervising PhDs in the following areas:

  • Gender, diversity and trade unions
  • Diversity management in organisations
  • Gender, careers and the workplace
  • Gender, work and careers in the public sector

Current Doctoral Students

First Supervisor: 

  • Deborah Osei, work-life balance, talent management and diversity in the civil service, June 2016 – present
  • Mark Bergfeld, migrant worker organising, January 2014 - present
  • Pedro Trespaderne, Part-time, January 2011 – present, migrant entrepreneurs in Spain

PhD supervision completions

  • Clifford Lewis, Completed December 2016. ‘Gender, race and leadership in South Africa’ Emily Yarrow, Completed January 2017. ‘Gender equality in UK academia’
  • Tessa Wright, 'Gender, sexual orientation and male dominated workplaces'. Completed 2011. Now Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London.
  • Cathrine Seierstad, 'Gender segregation and professional women in Norway'. Completed 2011. Now Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London.
  • Nicole Avdelidou-Fischer, 'Professional women’s networks in Germany and the UK'. Completed 2010. Now freelance researcher.
  • Simon Roberts, 'Gay men, sexual orientation and the workplace'. Completed 2007. Now Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University.
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