Laura Airey Headshot

Post Doctoral Research Fellow for Wendy Loretto (Org Studies)

+44 (0)131 651 1035

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Board member, genderED
  • Member, UEBS Equality & Diversity Committee


I am a qualitative social science researcher, and I hold a PhD and an MA, both from the University of Edinburgh. My interdisciplinary research background spans the fields of social geography, social policy, the sociology of health and illness, and public health. Prior to joining the Business School I spent several years as a researcher at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, University of Edinburgh.

Since joining the Business School in 2016, I have worked with Professor Wendy Loretto on a number of different research projects focused primarily on ageing and employment.  Our research examines the implications, for both employers and older workers, of Extended Working Life policies in the UK. The research is underpinned by a lifecourse perspective, and I am particularly interested in exploring ways in which structural inequalities, gendered social roles and health status interact over time to influence men and women’s experiences of work after the age of fifty.

Current and recently completed research projects include:

  • Dynamics of Accumulated Inequalities for Seniors in Employment (DAISIE), a comparative study of extended working lives in five European countries (the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden and Czech Republic).
  • Older People and Employment, a study of the opportunities and challenges associated with Scotland’s ageing workforce, commissioned by Scottish Government in 2017.
  • Grandparenting and Employment, a study of interactions between grandparents’ employment trajectories and unpaid childcare provision in the UK.
  • Uncertain Futures; negotiating extended working lives, a study based on five case-study organisations in the UK.

Research findings have contributed to the development of Scottish Government policies to improve older workers’ labour market position. Age Scotland (Scotland’s leading charity representing older people) have used the research in the creation of their Age-Inclusive Matrix – a specialist HR consultancy service designed to support employers to develop age-inclusive policies and practices.

Through an on-going collaboration with Age Scotland, CIPD and Business in the Community, I have been involved in establishing the Age@Work Employer Network, a community of employers who are committed to making their workplaces more age-inclusive.

My future research priorities include investigation of women’s experiences of menopause in the workplace, and further study of gendered inequalities in later life employment.

Research Taxonomy

Research Interests

Key research interests include:

  • Extended working lives
  • Gender, work and care over the lifecourse
  • Health and employment in later life
  • Social and spatial inequalities in health 

Research Area