Debora Gottardello Headshot

Lectureship in Human Resource Management/Employment Relations

Roles and Responsibilities

Course organiser on Human Resources Management  2 (Year 2 UG)


Before joining the University of Edinburgh, I taught at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and at Cranfield University, where I was involved in a MoD-funded research project examining changes in the world of work, the workplace, the workforce and their implications for UK Defence.

I studied political science and obtained my Bachelor's degree (BSc) in Law. I completed an MBA and held a PhD in Economics and Business. I am Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I have not been an academic all my professional life as, after completing a Law degree, I began work as an employment lawyer and HR consultant in Spain. Working in these fields and giving advice regarding business claims, exploring HR policies, and carrying out negotiations with employers and trade unions, together with the stories I heard in my youth, has attracted me to academia and inspired my research interests.

My research interest takes a multidisciplinary approach and aims to gather new knowledge by drawing together seemingly disparate research fields. Beyond the general area of Diversity and Inclusion, my research spans various subfields ranging from gender, religious beliefs, neurodiversity, and the future of work. Using primarily qualitative methods, my research is underpinned by an intersectional approach, acknowledging that intersecting inequalities inform labour experiences.

My main interests include:

First, I have a longstanding interest in how inequalities in access to and control over resources and power are generated, reproduced, and challenged through everyday socioeconomic relations in the world of work. I am interested in understanding the problems faced by women, religious minorities, immigrant and neurodiverse people when accessing employment and exploring diversity-related conflicts, ranging from career progression opportunities to a lack of accommodations and other practices employees are legally entitled to engage in at work. I explore the awareness and embeddedness of diversity in HR practices by considering the gap between policy discourses and diversity practices. I am committed to working with women, ethnic minorities, neurodiverse people, researchers from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, and other stakeholders to tackle the various forms of exclusion experienced by minorities worldwide.

Second, I research and theorize about the future of work and employment. Namely, I explore how a changing world, characterized by continual uncertainty and shocking events, has created more dynamic business environments transforming the traditional concept of careers and making contemporary career paths no longer a succession of predictable steps. I focus on how employees aspire to survive professionally and thus create meaning in their careers and keep engaged. I am particularly interested in understanding how minorities who consistently face barriers to employment or career advancement manage to assign meaning to their career, especially when they face marginalization and additional constraints that intersect with other social characteristics. I am interested in understanding how technology in HR, including AI and HR analytics, can help nurture more inclusive workplaces.

My research interests translate into various engagements with academic, civil society, and organizations. Among others, Dyslexia Scotland, where I am committed to help people, especially neurodiverse women, feel more included in the world of work.

Research Fingerprint

View Debora’s Research Fingerprint

Research Area