Sara Charlesworth is Professor of Work, Gender & Regulation and Deputy Head of School, (Research & Innovation) in the School of Management. She is an executive member of the Centre for People, Organisation & Work in the College of Business. Sara has published and presented widely in a wide range of academic, policy and community fora and has been involved in a number of key gender equality policy reviews and debates. She was a panel member on the 2012 ACTU Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work, and an advisor to the Australian Human Rights Commission on their 2014 Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review and 2018 National Sexual Harassment Prevalence Survey.
In 2017 Sara was appointed to the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council, a founding reform of the Victorian government’s Gender Equality Strategy. She is currently a member of the Victoria Police VEOHRC Review Academic Governance Board, on the Steering Group of the Migrant Workers Rights Campaign and co-convenor of the Work+Family Policy Roundtable. Sara is a Fellow of the Future Social Services Institute and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Industrial Relations.
Sara’s research interests centre on gender inequality in employment at the labour market, industry and organisational levels. She has undertaken a number of Australian Research Council-funded projects. Much of her recent research has focused on paid care work. Together with A/Prof Deb King (Flinders), she completed a large three year Department of Health-funded project, ‘Quality Jobs and Quality Care: Improving work practices to deliver quality aged care jobs & aged care services for older Australians’, in partnership with Brightwater Care, HammondCare, Helping Hand and United Voice.
Sara’s current research program includes:
- Leading an ARC Discovery Project ‘Decent Work & Good Care: International Approaches to Aged Care’ (2017-2019) with: Prof Donna Baines (Sydney), A/Prof Deb King (Flinders), Prof Ian Cunningham (Strathclyde), Prof Tamara Daly (York).
- Working with: Prof Deborah Brennan (UNSW), Dr Elizabeth Hill (Sydney) and Prof Ito Peng (Toronto) on an ARC Discovery project ‘Markets, Migration and Care in Australia’.
- Working with Dr Lydia Hayes (Cardiff) and Dr Fiona Macdonald (RMIT) on a comparative case study of gender-based violence in home care work, which grew out of a case study on violence and harassment in the care economy for a UK Global Challenges Research Fund Strategic Networks–funded project: Unacceptable Forms of Work: Global Dialogue-Local Innovation
Sara is also currently collaborating with international colleagues on a number of large partnership grants:
- The UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded multidisciplinary ‘Sustainable Care: Connecting People and Systems’ research programme led by Prof Sue Yeandle (Sheffield)
- The Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded partnership project ‘Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives’ led by Prof Ito Peng (Toronto).
- The SSHRC funded partnership project ‘Imagining Age–Friendly “Communities” within Communities: International Promising Practices’ led by Prof Tamara Daly (York)
- The SSHRC funded ‘Disruption and Experimentation in the Regulation of Work and Employment’ led by Prof Gregor Murray (Montreal), in which RMIT’s Centre of People Organisation & Work is a partner.