I want to make the world a more equal and prosperous place through innovative research and evidence-based practice.
I am an early career researcher in Australian economic and business history. I have had a varied and (I think!) interesting career, operating within and between economics, history and business groups. I am interested in the ways that interpersonal connections affect knowledge, markets, and business strategy, focussing particularly on Australian corporate networks and diversity in leadership.
I then (sort of by accident) moved to the history department at UOW for my PhD, where I was surrounded by a passionate and talented group of humanities scholars, with particular strength in cultural, imperial and transnational histories.
I learnt there the value of immersion in archives, being an active reader of sources, and being just as attuned to what is missing from recorded material as to what has survived. My PhD project combined my existing expertise in history of economic thought with my new-found basis in Australian history, to use a range of techniques to understand interdisciplinary professional communities in the Australian economic history field. This formed the basis of my first book, Australian economic history: Transformations of an Interdisciplinary Field (June 2022).
After my PhD I was fortunate enough to work on an ARC Linkage grant, partnered between the Universities of Wollongong, Sydney and Melbourne, and the Macleay and Australian Museums, on “reconstructing museum specimen data through the pathways of global commerce”. I was the main person working day-to-day at the museums to understand the trade of natural history specimens, and it was fascinating to see how these institutions operate. I learnt more than I probably needed to about arsenic and how to preserve dead bats!
In 2019 I began a Macquarie University Research Fellowship (MQRF) in their management department on “Networks of trust, knowledge and power: Interlocking directorates in Australian corporations over the twentieth century”. It was fantastic to be in a business school that had such strength in unorthodox and historical research, and I learnt so much from my colleagues in leadership, strategy, corporate governance and international business. I examined an important but neglected area of scholarship – Australia’s corporate elite, the nature and cause of inter-firm connections, and the various impacts of companies that are too closely connected to one another. Understanding the lives and careers of top company board members identified some women with formal company roles since the 1980s, and the importance of family and marriage for women’s agency in the corporate sector throughout the twentieth century.
The data and insights of the MQRF was the basis of my current Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) Fellow (2022-25), “Above the glass ceiling: Australian women in corporate leadership, 1910 – 2020”. I have happily remained in a management department, but have moved to the UTS Business School to continue learning and growing as a scholar and colleague. I am thrilled to be teaching again, this time in ‘Business and Social Impact’, as part of the Business School’s extensive Masters suite. I also coordinate diversity and inclusion courses, doing my best to make activist and changemakers of our undergraduates!
When I’m not at work, I quite like outdoorsy things (hiking, swimming, photography), indoorsy things (music and theatre) and a combination of indoorsy and outdoorsy things (looking after my plants)!
Latest From The Blog
Click through to read the article in full.
ARC DECRA Fellow at UTS Business School
I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. In particular, I acknowledge that I live and work on the unceded lands of the Dharawal and Gadigal people. This always was, and always will be Aboriginal land. I pay my respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples today.
All thoughts and opinions posted on this website are my own, and not reflective of the institutions I may represent.
Copyright 2022 Claire E. F. Wright