Ms Rebecca Burke

Research project: The affects of pay inequity on women


Research Questions1. Why is fair pay important to us?2. What happens when we find out that we have been paid unfairly?3. How does injustice affect our emotions, and then our behaviours?

Research MethodA critical realist approach, combined with a qualitative methodology, the researcher will conduct a series of in-depth interviews with women who have experienced pay inequity for themselves, and subsequently attempted to hold their employers to account over it (Ritchie, et. al, 2013). Participants will be identified through a mixture of purposive and snowballing sampling techniques, beginning with the researcher's own personal network of contacts from her four years as an equal pay victim and activist, with 15 to 20 participants interviewed for no longer than 2 hours in total (Strauss and Corbin, 1990).

AnalysisThe researcher will conduct two key analyses:1. Thematic analysis to Mapping data analysis to existing theories2. Utilising a grounded theory approach as a way of developing new theory 


After an undergraduate degree in Philosophy Rebecca enjoyed two decades building a successful career in project and programme management, where she rose to director-level status and ran her own consultancy business. In 2015 she became a victim of pay inequity at work, and since then she has dedicated her energy and effort to attempting to bring a greater understanding to this phenomenon. Whether through research and education, or through TV and media, she continues to strive towards an opening of the ‘black box' of cause and effects of unequal pay for women. She has adopted a qualitative and feminist approach to her research which attempts to explain and understand the ‘real-lived' experiences of women. Rebecca also has over 24 years of professional training and hands-on experience in delivering large, complex projects and programmes for a wide range of both private and public sector businesses.

Areas of research interest

  • Human Resource Management
  • Pay Systems and Structure
  • Justice Theory
  • Gender Pay Gap
  • The Cognitive Dissonance Caused by Pay Inequity
  • Equal Pay Laws
  • Emotional Impacts of Unfair Treatment at Work
  • Corporate Exploitation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Thematic Analysis


  • Masters of Business Administration
  • Masters of Research