Professor Sara Charlesworth



School /
Work Unit


Contact Details

+61 3 9925 1383


Building: 80
Level: 9
Room: 62

City Campus




"Sara Charlesworth"


PhD (Legal Studies), Latrobe University

Graduate Diploma Government Law, University of Melbourne

BA (Hons), University of Melbourne

Diploma of Social Studies, University of Melbourne


Sara Charlesworth works in the School of Management at RMIT University and is a member of the Centre for Sustainability, Organisation and Work in the College of Business. She was previously Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Work + Life, University of South Australia. Sara has published and presented widely in a wide range of academic, policy and community and has been involved in a number of key equality policy reviews and debates. Sara was a member of the Advisory Committee to the Review of Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Vic) in 2007/08, a panel member on the 2012 ACTU Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work, and an advisor to the recent Australian Human Rights Commission Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review. She is co-convenor of the Work+Family Policy Roundtable and a member of the Discrimination Law Experts Group.

Sara’s research interests centre on gender inequality in employment at the labour market, industry and organisational levels. She has undertaken a number of Australian Research Council-funded projects and was awarded an ARC Future Fellowship in 2012. Sara is currently working as sole CI on two ARC projects:

  • The ‘From Margins to Mainstream: Gender Equality and Employment Regulation’ project critically examines the impact of regulatory strategies on gender inequality drawing on the decent work agenda proposed by the International Labour Organisation.
  • The 'Prospects for Decent Work and Gender Equality in Frontline Care Work' fellowship aims to identify the main policy paths shaping regulatory responses to gender inequality in frontline care work in the Australian and international contexts and to provide practical policy alternatives that link decent work for frontline care workers to improved quality of care services.

She is a CI with:

  • Prof Barbara Pocock (UniSA), Prof Carol Kulik (UniSA) and A/Prof Lyndall Strazdins (ANU) on an ARC Linkage project, ‘Work, care, retirement and health: Aging agenders’, in partnership with Women in Super and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
  • A/Prof Deb King (Flinders) on a Department of Social Services-funded project, ‘Quality Care and Quality Jobs: Improving work practices to deliver quality aged care jobs & aged care services for older Australians’, in partnership with Brightwater Care, HammondCare, Helping Hand and United Voice.

Sara is an international collaborator on two Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grants. ‘Closing the Enforcement Gap: Improving Employment Standards Protections for People in Precarious Jobs’ led by Prof Leah Vosko (York) ( and ‘Gender, Migration and the Work of Care: Comparative Perspectives’ led by Prof Ito Peng (Toronto) (http:/

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests

  • Gender equality in employment
  • Job quality & decent work
  • Social care workforce
  • Industrial and anti-discrimination law & practice
  • Intersection of work & care
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