Dr Shireen Kanji

Dr Shireen Kanji

Department of Management
Reader in Work and Organisation

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Shireen Kanji’s research is situated in the intersection of gender, work and social inequality. Current research in her core interest of gender, work and parenting relates to parents’ working hours and the causal effect of grandmothers’ unpaid care on mothers’ labour force participation. A further strand of her research is the exploration of the working hours and paid work participation of older men and women in Europe. Her current work on occupations and inequality is based on occupational gender segregation in the IT sector, women expatriates in the pharmaceutical industry and women’s changing occupational status in China.

Previous research has centred on parents’ experiences at work. Firstly, in relation to women’s participation and exit from work. Secondly, in relation to male breadwinners, their working hours preferences and actual hours of work. She has also studied the occupational aspirations of younger workers and the long lasting impact of precarious work on the wellbeing of younger workers in Germany.

Her work has been widely reported in national and international media; she has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and on the BBC World Service.

Prior to working in academia, Shireen had a career in international finance.


  • PhD in Social Policy, London School of Economics
  • MSc in Development Economics, University of Oxford
  • BSc(Econ) in Economics, London School of Economics


Leadership Development module on the MSc Human Resource Management.

International Human Resource Management module on the MSc International Business.

Postgraduate supervision

Angele Ellul Fenech (University of Leicester).

Other activities

 Shireen is one of the editors of Work, Employment and Society.


Journal Articles

Samuel, Robin & Kanji, Shireen. (2018). Valuing creativity, feeling overworked and working hours: male workers and the New Spirit of Capitalism. Time & Society. In press

Moor, L and Kanji, S. 2018. Money and relationships online: communication and norm formation in women’s discussions of couple resource allocation. The British Journal of Sociology, DOI: 10.1111/1468-4446.12492, forthcoming.

Kanji, S. 2017. Grandparent care: A key factor in mothers’ labour force participation in the UK. Journal of Social Policy. 
DOI: 10.1017/S004727941700071X

Wang, L, Kanji, S, Jha, S and Meurs, M. 2017. How Women Have Fared with the Rise of the People’s Republic of China in Global Supply Chain Trade. 2017. ADB Economics Working Paper Series

Helbling, L and Kanji, S. 2017. Job insecurity: Differential effects of subjective and objective measures on life satisfaction trajectories of workers aged 27–30 in Germany. Social Indicators Research, 1-18. DOI: 10.1007/s11205-017-1635-z

Brook, PA, Beck, V, Carter, R, Clark I, Danford, A, Hammer, N, Kanji, S, Simms, M. 2016. Work Employment and Society sans frontières: extending and deepening our reach. Work, Employment and Society. DOI: 10.1177/0950017015613747

Kanji, S and Samuel, R. 2015. Male breadwinning revisited: how specialisation, gender role attitudes and work characteristics affect overwork and underwork in Europe. Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/0038038515596895

Kanji, S and Cahusac, E. 2015. Who am I?: Mothers’ shifting identities, loss and sensemaking after workplace exit. Human Relations. On-line first doi: 10.1177/0018726714557336

Kanji, S and Hupka-Brunner, S. 2015, Young women’s strong preference for children and subsequent occupational gender segregation: What is the link? Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EDI-05-2014-0041

Schwiter, Karin, Hupka-Brunner, Sandra, Wehner, Nina, Huber, Evéline, Kanji, Shireen Maihofer, Andrea, Bergman Max (2014) Warum sind Pflegefachmänner und Elektrikerinnen nach wie vor selten? Geschlechtersegregation in Ausbildungs- und Berufsverläufen junger Erwachsener in der Schweiz. Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 40(3). Article (PDF, 315 Kb). Winner of the Co-Reched Prize

Kanji, S and Schober, P. 2014. Are couples with young children more likely to split up when the mother is the main or an equal earner? Sociology, 21(1) 57-70. DOI: 10.1177/0038038512467710

Cahusac, E and Kanji, S. 2014. Giving up: how gendered organisational cultures push mothers out.. Gender, Work and Organization, 24(1) 57-70. DOI: 10.1111/gwao.12011

Kanji, S. 2013. Do fathers work fewer paid hours when their female partner is the main or an equal earner? Work, Employment and Society. 27(2): 326-342. doi: 10.1177/0950017012460321

Bandyopadhyay, S., Kanji, S., Wang, L. 2011. The impact of rainfall and temperature variation on the prevalence of diarrhea in sub-Saharan Africa, in: Applied Geography 33, S. 63-72.

Kanji, S. 2011. What keeps mothers in full-time employment? European Sociological Review 27 (4) 509-524. doi: 10.1093/esr/jcq022

Book Chapter

Kanji, S. 2012. What stops lone mothers from working? Insights from the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study, pp 129-152, In The Costs of Children: Parenting and Democracy in Contemporary Europe edited by David G. Mayes and Mark Thomson. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. DOI:10.1080/1354570042000217775

Policy Reports

Wang, L, Kanji,S, Jha,S, and Meurs, M (2015). How have women fared in China: the impact of increasing supply chain trade. Report commissioned by the Asian Development Bank.

Hupka-Brunner, S, Kanji, S and Bergman, M.2012. Gender differences in the transition from secondary to post-secondary education in Switzerland. Report commissioned by the OECD.

View all publications in research portal