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From 'Lady Clerks' to CEO: A biographical narrative exploration of the challenges, opportunities and educational programmes for female bank workers since the lifting of the marriage bar in Ireland.( Ref: WD_2022_13_WSCH)

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  Dr A Tuite, Dr Z Dooly, Dr Séan Byrne  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Post summary

Applications are invited a full time PhD researcher to undertake a project exploring the lived experiences of women in Irish banking institutions and the effects of the marriage bar on career development and economic independence.

In 2023 it will be 50 years since the marriage bar was lifted in Ireland. The marriage bar, national legislation that prevented women working upon marriage, limited the careers and economic independence for women, despite a desire for many to continue with their careers post-marriage or to resume careers at a later time.

The objective of the research is to draw out experiences of identity and sense of belonging as a female bank worker across a period of organisational and social change. In recent years banking has experienced a rise in women’s participation at the highest levels across the industry. The research seeks to understand the processes, policies, programmes and people that participants used and, had access to, in developing banking careers; such as internal mentoring programmes, gatekeepers or external education opportunities.

 The research will make use of biographical narrative and storytelling methods to surface the unique experiences of women in banking over the past 50 years. The narratives will be supported by secondary research around changing social norms, economic development and existing testimony of women and work.

 It is expected that the research will contribute to theory, practice and method as it relates to equality, diversity and inclusivity through understanding the impact of barriers to careers, social change, gatekeepers, mentoring and programmes of education and leadership.

 This project is suited to business, education, arts, humanities or social science graduates, or those comfortable with qualitative, interpretive and inductive research methodologies. The candidate should be open minded and flexible to using a broad range of interpretive research methods.

 The candidate should have a broad interest in processes of social change as it relates to places of work and identity.

Person specification



An Honours Degree (Level 8) with first class honours or 2.1 minimum in the areas of business, education, arts, humanities, social sciences or a related discipline


A Masters Degree (Level 9) with first class honours or 2.1 minimum or a Masters Degree by research (Level 9) in the areas of business, education, arts, humanities, social sciences or a related discipline

 Knowledge & Experience


The ability to conduct research relevant to the themes outlined above


An academic interest in studies of work and in-work mentoring & education processes

An academic interest in processes of social change as it relates to places of work and identity

An interest in social change as it relates to equality, diversity and inclusivity in places of work

Ability and experience in qualitative and interpretive methodologies

 Skills & Competencies


A high level of written and oral English. Applicants whose first language is not English must submit evidence of competency in English, please see WIT’s English Language Requirements for details.

Meet the visa requirements for studying in Ireland


Understanding of the skills and competencies for carrying out independent research and managing resources

A high level of academic writing skills including critical exploration of academic literature

Funding Notes

Supervisor(s): Dr Aisling Tuite (WIT) and Dr Zeta Dooly (WIT) and Dr Seán Byrne (WIT)
Research Group AIB Centre for Finance and Business Research
Department / School Management and Organisation
Duration 48 Months
Status: Full-time
Funding information WIT PhD Scholarship 2022 (WSCH)
Value of the scholarship (per annum)
Stipend:€15,000 Fees: €4,500 Research costs- €2000
Teaching requirement :168 hours of academic development activities over the 4-year term of the PhD programme in line with scholarship requirements.
Closing date and time This Competition will close on the 23rd May 2022 at 4pm Irish time.
Interview date : From 06/06/2022
Commencement date September 2022


Further information
For any informal queries, please contact Dr Aisling Tuite or Dr Zeta Dooly by email on atuite@wit.ie or zdooly@wit.ie
For queries relating to the application and admission process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions Office via email pgadmissions@wit.ie or telephone +353 (0)51 302883.
Website: www.wit.ie
Application procedure
Download the Research Postgraduate Application Form and return completed applications to rpgadmissions@wit.ie, quoting WD_2022_13_WSCH in the email subject line. Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted
Please note that paper submissions will not be accepted.
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