Prof Ruth Woodfield

Prof Ruth Woodfield

Professor of Equalities and Organisation

Researcher profile




Ruth is Professor of Equalities and Organisation in the School of Management. She joined the School of Management at the University of St Andrews in 2013, arriving from the University of Sussex where she was Professor of Sociology. Her research primarily focuses on gender differences and inequalities in the context of work and education. As well as her academic writing, she has been commissioned by national and international organisations, such as the Equality Challenge Unit, Higher Education Academy, Fire & Rescue Service, and the European Social Fund to produce research reports on issues related to Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

Ruth is Co-Director of the Centre for Research into Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.

She was Assistant Vice-Principal (Diversity) in the Principal’s Office 2019-2021. She is currently on research leave for the academic year 2021-22.

Research areas

Ruth's research primarily focuses on gender and other inequalities in the context of work and education. She has particular interests in: the experiences of men and women in gender-segregated organisations and occupations (professional IT work, the Fire & Rescue Service, teaching etc.) and the way in which gender equality laws and initiatives frame such experiences; gender differences in areas of knowledge e.g. scientific and technical fields; the experiences and outcomes of different socio-demographic groups in higher education. She is also interested in research methods, and the philosophy underpinning different methodological approaches.

Ruth’s current research projects include:

  • Concepts of Excellence in Academic Research, including within the Research Excellence Framework
  • Understandings of Positive Discrimination and Positive Actions
  • A History of Women Professors in Accounting and Finance

PhD supervision

  • Samantha Ross
  • Greg Morgan

Selected publications


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