Photo of Professor Caroline Gatrell

Professor Caroline Gatrell FBAM, FAcSS

Professor of Organization Studies Work, Organisation and Management


    Research Overview

    My research centres on work, family and health, which I explore from a socio-cultural perspective. I explore the experiences of both mothers and fathers, as they combine parenting and paid work. Regarding mothers, I have developed the notions 'pregnant presenteeism' (where expectant mothers remain at work during pregnancy, even if they are ill) and 'maternal body work', where pregnant women and new mothers seek to fulfil the often conflicting criteria of 'good' mother and 'good' employee.

    Recent publications include a review of fathers and employment published in Journal of Management Studies:

    Work, family and health

    My research centres on work, family and health. From a socio-cultural perspective, I examine how working parents (both mothers and fathers) manage boundaries between paid work and their everyday lives.

    In so doing I explore interconnections between gender, bodies and employment. In theorising the body work undertaken by women who are combining pregnancy/new motherhood and paid work, and drawing upon the sociological concept ‘abjection’ (or disgust), I have devised the term ‘Maternal Body Work’. This notion articulates mothers’ experiences of combining aspects of maternity (for example breastfeeding), with the comportment of their maternal bodies at work

    I have, further, developed the concept 'Pregnant Presenteeism' to articulate tendencies among pregnant employees to continue working while unwell.

    I am presently focusing on the topic of fathers, employment and the work-family interface, having gained a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2018 - 2019.

    With Rt Rev Dr Nigel Peyton, I am also exploring the experiences of senior women in the Church of England, following policy changes whereby women clerics may be appointed to the role of Bishop.


    Research Group Membership

    Research Grants

    The Paternal Body: a lens for articulating fathers’


    November 2018 - October 2019