I love talking about ideas and data, and making the insights of my research interesting and applicable to the real world. I have experience with live and pre-recorded radio, print news, and column-writing. I can speak to diversity and leadership, business networks, higher education policy, the professions, and Australia’s economic past. I am always looking for new media opportunities, so please get in touch and let’s talk!

Claire Wright, business historian, interviewed by the Australian regarding composition of corporate boards

Feature article: "How the Big Four firms have ‘infiltrated’ top corporate boards", The Weekend Australian, Helen Trinca and Joe Lam, 10th June 2023.

The boards of Australia’s Top 100 companies are heavily populated by people drawn from the ranks of professional service firms, with almost 25 per cent of directors with multiple seats coming from the Big Four – PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY, KPMG and Deloitte.

The revelation that one in four of so-called “interlocked” directors – those who hold two or more board seats in the top companies – has worked at the Big Four comes as the firms reel from the controversy surrounding PwC’s tax advice to the ­federal government.

Radio interview: 'What is the economy?', ABC Overnights with Trevor Chappell, 2nd June 2022.

We hear a LOT about “the economy” – in politics, in news… what’s good for it, what’s bad for it, will “IT” survive… but what is “IT” in 2022? We’re still in the midst of a pandemic and are a week into a new Government so it’s a good time to check in on the state of the economy… and remind ourselves – what is it again?!

Dr Claire Wright is a business historian at the University of Technology Sydney Business School, joins us to talk about The Economy.

Opinion piece: Ethnic diversity in corporate Australia, Emerald Publishing blog, 31st May 2022.

Did you know that in 2019 less than 10% of executives on Australia’s top corporate boards were from non-white ethnic backgrounds? The corporate elite has done well to increase gender diversity, however in spite of almost half of Australia’s population being born overseas or having at least one parent born overseas, corporate boards in Australia remain decidedly ‘white’. 

Authors: Dr Claire Wright (UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney), and Associate Professor Corinne Cortese, Dr Abdullah Al-Mamun and Dr Searat Ali (Faculty of Business and Law, University of Wollongong).

Radio panel show: ‘Social Impact - Can Business Change the World?’, Think: Business Futures on 2ser 107.3, 1st June 2022.

Many modern companies incorporate social or environmental principles into their structures. Is this incremental progression enough? Or do we need a complete restructure of incentives in order to see the change that’s needed. This episode we look at the potential future for business & social impact.
Guests: Bronwen Dalton, Director of the Masters of Not-for-Profit and Social Enterprise Program at the UTS business school & Claire Wright, business historian at the UTS Business School.

Radio panel show: ‘Women in Leadership: Business & Politics’, Think: Business Futures on 2ser 107.3, 12th April 2022.

The second wave feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s brought sweeping changes to women’s roles in both business and politics. This episode we explore the history of women in leadership. We ask what does the landscape of women in leadership looks like today? What the continuing barriers are, and how we can progress to not only increase the number of women in leadership positions but also to expand the diversity of women in these roles.

Guests: Claire Wright – business historian at the University of Technology Sydney Business School and Blair Williams – Research Fellow and Lecturer with the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at the Australian National University.

Newspaper interview: Helen Trinca, “Gaming online training a test for corporates”, Weekend Australian, 18 September 2021.

​Companies spend millions on online compliance training and testing, but revelations of widespread “answer-sharing” at KPMG Australia have surely sent shockwaves through HR departments across the company. The professional services firm spent 18 months investigating just how often over the last five years its 10,000 employees had cheated by sharing answers to the multiple-choice tests of their knowledge of professional standards around issues such as shareholdings and client conflicts. The announcement by KPMG that it disciplined more than 1000 staff across all ages and levels left a couple of elephants in the room – how many other organisations have uncovered similar misconduct; and just how valid is multiple choice testing anyway?

In this interview with the Weekend Australian’s Helen Trinca, Claire reflects on the history and effectiveness of standardised compliance training for creating trust in professions such as accounting.

Newspaper interview: Helen Trinca, “Their path to power: The domination of the big four”, Weekend Australian, 12 September 2020

If your ambition is to join one of the nation’s top corporate boards you could do worse than opt for a degree in accounting or the law. Then do all you can to join one of the big four professional service firms and hang on till you make partner. Around 50 or so you can happily say goodbye to your colleagues with the expectation that your professional experience and accreditation will prompt an invitation to join an ASX publicly listed company board.

In this article, Helen Trinca and Claire discuss the career paths of top company directors, particularly the increasing dominance of the corporate elite by professionals such as lawyers, accountants and bankers.

Live radio interview and talkback: ‘Melbourne’s wild and woolly past’, ABC Melbourne Afternoons with Jacinta Parsons, 15th July, 2020

We think of wool as a rural business, but Melbourne’s Collins Street was once the epicentre of Australia’s wool industry.

While wool is grown in regional areas most of the industry’s infrastructure takes place in cities where it is processed, marketed, sold, insured, financed, and shipped overseas.

In the 1920’s over 120 wool-broking firms were clustered within a three-block radius which was crucial for the growth of Melbourne.

Claire Wright, business historian, shares the story of Melbourne’s wild and woolly past and teaches Jacinta Parsons a new word.

Column: Claire Wright, ‘Painting Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce as a superhero is part of a long Australian tradition’, ABC News via The Conversation, 9th October, 2019.

Alan Joyce is Australia’s highest paid chief executive.

Alan Joyce is one of the Financial Review’s ten most covertly powerful people.

Alan Joyce writes heartwarming notes to children.

Alan Joyce is getting married.

And he is apparently some sort of superhero.

Something about chief executives brings forth testimonials like this, published in the News Corporation tabloids last month, which followed the revelation that Joyce was Australia’s highest paid corporate chief (taking home $24 million in 2018-19).

In this column, Claire discusses the history of media representations of corporate leaders, and the way that painting leaders as exceptional and untouchable justifies exorbitant their often pay.

Radio interview and podcast: ‘The Importance Of Tea Rooms In Australia’, ABC Overnights with Rod Quinn, 6th May, 2018

In the years after World War 2 new universities opened across Australia, and one of the developments that came out of that was the collaborative environment that is the tea room. Why was this so important and what effect did it have on our universities as places to work? Rod Quinn speaks to Dr Claire Wright about the importance of informal collaborative spaces for interdisciplinary knowledge.



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