Professor Joanne Duberley MICPD, FRSA, FAcSS

Professor Joanne Duberley

Department of Management
Deputy Head of the College of Social Sciences
Professor of Organisational Studies

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
B15 2TT

Professor Jo Duberley is Deputy Head of the College of Social Sciences. Jo is also Co-Director of the Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC). She is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and the Royal Association of Arts and Manufacturing and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. 

Jo joined the University of Birmingham in 2002 as a lecturer in Birmingham Business School, having previously worked at Heriot Watt University, Sheffield University, Leeds University and Sheffield Hallam University.  She has an extensive record of research funding from ESRC, EPSRC and the British Academy amongst others. Central to her research is an interest in the concept of career. In recent years, she has focussed on the impact of gender, ethnicity, social class and age on careers in a variety of contexts, including academia, defence and professional service organisations. Current research projects focus on women’s experiences of ageing at work and retirement and the career transitions of ethnic minority doctors.

Jo is also Co-Director of the Work Inclusivity Research Centre (WIRC).


PhD Organisation Studies, Loughborough University, 1994

BA (Hons) Organisation Studies with Industrial Relations Lancaster University, 1989



Jo joined the University of Birmingham in 2002.  Prior to this she had held posts at Heriot Watt, Sheffield, Leeds and Sheffield Hallam Universities.  She has held a wide variety of leadership posts whilst at Birmingham including, Director of undergraduate programme in Business and Management, Director of Postgraduate Research for College of Social Sciences,  Director of Research for Birmingham Business School and Director of Research for the College of Social Sciences. 

Central to her research is an interest in the concept of career.   Her main contribution in this area has been to develop a more theoretically informed and contextually embedded understanding of career.  In the last ten years she has developed research examining the impact of gender, ethnicity, social class and age on careers in a variety of contexts including defence, professional service organisations and the police in the UK.  She co-directs the Work Inclusivity Research Centre with Dr Holly Birkett and has successfully won over £2 million of research funding to support her research.  She publishes her work in journals such as Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Human Relations, Work Employment and Society and Gender Work and Organisation.


BSc Business and Management final year elective in Change Management

Postgraduate supervision

Jo would be interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • Social mobility and access to the elite professions
  • Extended working lives and older women’s experiences of work
  • Career transitions and downshifting


Jo’s research is focussed on the concept of career.  She has lead a number of projects exploring careers in a variety of contexts, including academic scientists, women entrepreneurs, NHS managers and women approaching retirement. She has received funding for this from ESRC, the EPSRC, British Academy and NHS SDO.  

Current interests

  • Older women’s experience of working
  • Women in engineering
  • Social class in organisations
  • Workplace inclusion and the lived experience of diversity

Other activities

  • Fellow of Royal Society of Arts
  • Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences


Cohen, L and Duberley, J (2021) Making Sense of Our Working Lives: The concept of the career imagination, Organization Theory, forthcoming 

Cohen, L. Duberley J., and Torres, B (2021) Experiencing gender regimes: Accounts of women professors in Mexico, the UK and Sweden, Work Employment and Society, forthcoming. 

Atkinson, C., Beck, V., Brewis, J., Davies, A., & Duberley, J. (2021). Menopause and the workplace: new directions in HRM research and HR practice. Human Resource Management Journal. 31(1) 49-64 

Atkinson C., Carmichael, F and Duberley, J (2020) The menopause taboo at work: examining women’s embodied experiences of menopause in the UK police service. Work Employment and Society (forthcoming) 

Cohen, L and Duberley J (2020) Women in extraordinary times: The impact of external jolts on professional women’s careers, Journal of Professions and Organisations 7(3), 247-264 

Gribling, M., & Duberley, J. (2020). Global competitive pressures and career ecosystems: contrasting the performance management systems in UK and French business schools. Personnel Review. (forthcoming) 

Al-Ismail, S., Carmichael, F and Duberley, J (2019) Female employment in hotels in Saudi Arabia and UAE, Gender in Management, 34(7), 554-576. 

Garbe, E and Duberley, J (2019) Career Change: Examining structure and agency in changing humanitarian careers, International Journal of Human Resource Management 1-25 

Cohen, L., Duberley, J., McGavin, P (2019) Losing the faith: Public sector work and the erosion of career calling, Work Employment and Society 33(2), 326-335.

Fernando, D., Cohen, L. asnd Duberley, J. (2018) What helps? Women engineers' accounts of staying on, Human Resource Management Journal. 28, pp. 479-495 (ABS 4*)1

Fernando, D., Cohen, L & Duberley, J (218), Navigating sexualised visibility: A study of British women engineers, Journal of Vocational Behaviour. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvb.2018.06.001, p 1-14. (ABS 4*)

Birkett, H., Carmichael, F and Duberley, J (2017) Activity in the third age: Examining the relationship between careers and retirement experiences, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103 pp52-65

Cohen, L., Duberley, J. and Mcgavin P., (2018) Losing the faith: Public sector work and the erosion of career calling, Work, Employment and Society, forthcoming 

Duberley, J., Carrigan, M., Bosangit, C and Ferreira, J (2017) Diamonds are a girl’s best friend?... Examining Gender and Careers in the Jewellery Industry, Organization, vol 24(3) pp355-376

Duberley, J and Carmichael, F (2016) Career pathways into retirement in the UK: linking older women’s pasts to the present, Gender Work and Organization, vol 23 (6) pp582-599

Cohen , L and Duberley, J (2015) Three faces of context and their implications for career: a study of public sector careers cut short, Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol 91, pp. 189-202

Duberley, J (2015) The Future of Qualitative Research: Unity, fragmentation or pluralism?  Qualitative Research in Organisation and Management, Vol. 10 Iss 4 pp. 340 - 343

Johnson, P and Duberley J (2015) Inductive Praxis and Management Research: Towards a Reflexive Framework, British Journal of Management, 26(4), 760-776

Duberley, J., Carmichael, F., & Szmigin, I. (2014). Exploring Women's Retirement: Continuity, Context and Career Transition. Gender, Work & Organization, 21(1), 71-90

Cohen, L and Duberley, J (2013) Constructing careers through narrative and music: an analysis of Desert Island Discs, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 82,(3), 165-175

Duberley, J and Carrigan M (2013) The career narratives of ‘Mumpreneurs’:  Women’s experiences of combining enterprise and motherhood, International Small Business Journal 31(6), 629-651

View all publications in research portal