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Over her academic career Sue has combined teaching at all levels, research, and feminist activism. She taught at Oxford Brookes Business School in the 1990s where she was also a member of the Equal Opportunities Action Group and led various research projects including a study of bullying and harassment in the university. In 2000 she moved to Ruskin College, Oxford where she ran the MA Women’s Studies, set up and ran the MA International Labour and Trade Union Studies, organised union and international scholarship programmes, and gained associate status with the Global Labour University for which she also ran the alumni research group Gender and Trade Unions. She has organised a number of conferences, round tables and seminars in the field. She has stood for election to Oxford city and county councils and was a founder member and co-women’s officer of the Oxford and District Labour Party Women’s Group.
Sue’s principal research focus has been gender and equality and democracy in organisations; mainly trade unions. In the 1980s she researched and wrote the women’s pages for the print trade union SOGAT, was a member of the union’s equality committee and ran women’s courses. In the 1990s she was the joint holder of a four year ESRC award, researching with SOGAT’s successor union, the GPMU, and with public service union UNISON. Other funded projects included work in the UK with the GFTU [Union Modernisation Fund], in Ukraine [Public Services International, PCS and UNISON funding] and Brazil and South Africa [Leverhulme funding].
In 2016 Sue achieved her PhD by publication through re-analysing her published work in the field. From a feminist position and using a Gramscian framework of a ‘long revolution’ she concluded there was still a long way to go in achieving gender parity.
2017 Yilmaz, G. and Ledwith, S. Migration and Domestic Work: the collective organisation of women and their voices from the city. London. Palgrave.
2016 Ledwith, S. ‘Prospects for gender democracy in labour movements’ PhD thesis. Oxford Brookes University.
2015 Ledwith S. and Munakamwe J. ‘Gender, union leadership and collective bargaining: Brazil and South Africa’, The Economic and Labour Relations Review September. 26:3. 411–429
2013 Gendering and diversifying trade union leadership. Ledwith, S. and Lise Lotte Hansen [eds]. Routledge.
2012 ‘How progressive can trade unions be really be without gender equality? The case of Brazil’. in: Sustainable growth, development and labour: progressive responses at local,national and global level. José Dari Krein, Eugenia Troncoso Leone and Pedro Evangelista Duarte. (Editors).GLU/ILO
2012 ‘Outside, inside: gender work in industrial relations’ Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: an international journal. Vol 31:4
2012 ‘Gender politics in trade unions. The representation of women between exclusion and inclusion’. For special issue of Transfer on Trade Union Cultures. Volume 18(2). 1 May
2012 Britwum, A. Douglas, K., Ledwith, S. ‘Gender, Power and the Woman Question in Trade Unions’, in Williams, M. and Mosoetsa, S. (eds) Labour in the 21st Century: Challenges and Responses for Workers from the global South. ILO/GLU.
2009 Encounters between gender and labour politics; towards an inclusive trade union democracy. in Equality Theory and Research, ed M. Ozbilgin. Edward Elgar.
2009. ‘Vive la difference? women and trade unions in Britain’. Revue du Centre de Recherches en Civilisation Britannique,
2006 Joint editor of special issue Industrial Relations Journal on gender and industrial relations, and Ledwith,S. (2006) ‘Feminist praxis in a trade union gender project’ Industrial Relations Journal. July.
2002 Colgan, F. and Ledwith, S. [eds] ‘Gender, Diversity and Trade Unions: international perspectives’. Routledge
2001 Ledwith,S., and Seymour, D. ‘Home and away: preparing students for multicultural management’. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Vol12:8. December.
2000 Ledwith, S. and Manfredi, S., Balancing Gender in Higher Education: a study of the experience of senior women in a ‘new’ UK university’ The European Journal of Women’s Studies. Vol. 7, 7-33
1996 Ledwith, S., and Colgan, F. (eds) Women in Organisations: Challenging gender politics. Macmillan