Carol Woodhams image

Professor Carol Woodhams

Professor of Human Resource Management
+44 (0)1483 682006
42 MS 03
Thursdays 10 - 11


Affiliations and memberships

Committee Member British Academy of Management Gender in Management Special Interest Group
I hold the Past Chair position of the Gender and Diversity in Management Special Interest Group at the European Academy of Management and chaired it between 2007 and 2011. I have been on the Committee (Treasurer) of the British Academy of Management Gender in Management Special Interest Group since its inception in 2006.
Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
British Academy of Management
Invited Fellow of the British Academy of Management


Research interests

Research projects



CAROL WOODHAMS, Ira Parnerkar , Donald Tomaskovic-Devey (2022)Relational Inequalities in UK Surgery: Gender, Race and Closure, In: Proceedings - Academy of Management2022(1)
CAROL WOODHAMS, Grzegorz Trojanowski, Krystal Wilkinson (2022)Merit Sticks to Men: Gender Pay Gaps and (In)equality at UK Russell Group Universities, In: Sex Roles Springer

Academic studies of gender pay gaps within higher education institutions have consistently found pay differences. However, theory on how organisation-level factors contribute to pay gaps is underdeveloped. Using a framework of relational inequalities and advanced quantitative analysis, this paper makes a case that gender pay gaps are based on organisation-level interpretations and associated management practices to reward ‘merit’ that perpetuate inequalities. Payroll data of academic staff within two UK Russell Group universities (N = 1,998 and 1,789) with seeming best-practice formal pay systems are analysed to determine causes of gender pay gaps. We find marked similarities between universities. Most of the variability is attributed to factors of job segregation and human capital, however we also delineate a set of demographic characteristics that, when combined, are highly rewarded without explanation. Based on our analysis of the recognition of ‘merit,’ we extend theoretical explanations of gender pay gap causes to incorporate organisation-level practices.

CAROL WOODHAMS, Mark Williams , Jane Dacre , Ira Parnerkar , Mukunda Sharma (2021)A retrospective observational study of ethnicity-gender pay gaps among hospital and community health service doctors in England., In: BMJ open BMJ

Objectives: To identify differences in average basic pay between groups of National Health Service (NHS) doctors cross-classified by ethnicity and gender. Analyse the extent to which characteristics (grade, specialty, age, hours etc.) can explain these differences. Design: Retrospective observational study using repeated cross-section design. Setting: Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) in England. Participants: All HCHS doctors in England employed by the NHS between 2016 and 2020 appearing in the Digital Electronic Staff Record dataset (average N=99,953 per year). Main outcome measures. Hours-adjusted full-time equivalent pay gaps; given as raw data and controlled for demographic, job, and workplace characteristics (such as grade, specialty, age, whether British nationality, region) using multivariable regression and statistical decomposition techniques. Results. Pay gaps relative to white men vary with the ethnicity-gender combination. Indian men slightly out-earn white men and Bangladeshi women have a 40% pay gap. In most cases, pay gaps can largely be explained by characteristics that can be measured, especially grade, with the extent varying by specific ethnicity-gender group. However, a portion of pay gaps cannot be explained by characteristics that can be measured. Conclusions. This study presents new evidence on ethnicity-gender pay gaps among NHS doctors in England using high quality administrative and payroll data. The findings indicate all ethnicity-gender groups earn less than white men on average, except for Indian men. In some cases, these differences cannot be explained giving rise to discussions about the role of discrimination.

Carol Woodhams, Dulini Fernando, Yuanyuan Huo, Gabriele Dente (2022)Exploring the Interplay Between Pay, Career Barriers and Management Support: An Intersectional Study of Migrant Doctors, In: Academy of Management Discoveries Academy of Management

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is heavily reliant on migrant labour to deliver essential services. While evidence indicates that overseas doctors have less positive career outcomes that may result in pay gaps in comparison to UK-trained counterparts, extant theoretical explanations have been slow to consider the crucial role of workplace practices, and the degree to which pay gaps differ between multiple identity sub-groups. Adopting an intercategorical approach to analyse statistical survey data from 5,753 NHS doctors, we examine how pay gaps stem from career barriers and management support in male and female International Medical Graduate, European Economic Area and UK doctors. Our findings provide insights into intersectional variations in career barriers and pay gaps for skilled medical migrants which point to penalties for migrants, especially migrant ethnicized women. Based on our findings we extend the literature in two ways. First, we extend theoretical explanations of pay gaps by conceptualizing pay differences as a complex multi-layered concept that embrace workplace practices as well as intersecting demographic identities. Second, we contribute to theory on skilled migration by highlighting the counter-intuitive shape of management support on migrants’ careers and diversifying extant understandings of constraint and enablement in migrant careers.