Dr Vanessa A Beck

BSc (Hons), MPhil, PhD

  • BS8 1SD

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a Reader in Work and Organization and have worked at Bristol since 2017. I am interested in individuals and groups at the margins of the labour market, including those who are unemployed or underemployed, and who experience multiple and complex barriers to (decent) employment. My work centres on the interrelationship between individual experiences and social or structural contexts, with a particular focus on gender and age. 

I am currently leading an ESRC-funded project entitled: "A sociological investigation of underemployment and the lived experiences of underemployed workers". The team for this three year, mixed methods project also includes Prof Tracey Warren and Dr Luis Torres-Retamal from the University of Nottingham, Dr Vanesa Fuertes from the University of the West of Scotland, and Dr Daiga Kamērade of the University of Salford. From January 2023 until January 2026, the team will analyse the intersectionality of characteristics and effects of underemployment using qualitative and quantitative data in an iterative manner. By fully understand lived experiences of underemployment the aim is improve circumstances for underemployed people, their families and communities, and also importantly employers and the economy, who might not be making best use of the labour force abilities or skills.

In the past, I have undertaken extensive research into unemployment and redundancy, as well as the the managmeent of older workers, in particular in relation to menopause transitions in the workplace. My research has been funded by the European Commission, the UK Government’s Equality Office, ACAS, the Independent Social Research Foundation and the ESRC. I publish in journals such as Work, Employment and Society, Human Resource Management Journal, Organization, Education + Training, and the Journal of Education and Work

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Ageing Futures
  • Perspectives on Work
  • Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures


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