Dr Katharine Venter

Dr Katharine VenterAssociate Professor in Sociology

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5956
  • Email: k.venter@le.ac.uk
  • Office: Room 601B, Level 6, Ken Edwards Building
  • Office hours: Monday 3.30 pm - 5.30 pm

Personal details

I am an Associate Professor in Sociology within the School of Business. In 1991 I joined the University of Leicester in the Centre for Labour Market Studies one of the departments that launched the University’s first distance learning programmes. In 2012 I joined the School of Management before it became a part of the School of Business in 2016. I am currently the Head of Work and Employment Division. I have an undergraduate degree in Applied Sociology and my PhD research examined the careers of women managers in Hong Kong and Britain. I am a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • MBA 2017 - MN7701  Managing and Developing People and Organisations - Module Leader
  • DSocSci  - LM8011  National Culture and HRD - Module leader
  • DSocSci  - LM8010  Globalisation and HRD - Module leader
  • DSocSci  - LM8015  Work, Employment and Learning Issues in China and Hong Kong (SAR) - Module Leader

Administrative responsibilities

  • Division Head (Work and Employment)
  • Athena SWAN self assessment team


My principal research interests revolve around issues of gender, employment and the interconnections between paid work, unpaid work and home, family and leisure lives. I'm also interested in the cultural context of work and of learning, (including experiences of both formal education and workplace learning). My current research explores a range of these issues in the context of the non-profit and voluntary sector.

I have undertaken research funded by a number of bodies including the ILO, CIPD, Skills Third Sector and the British Academy.

Research grants

Work, Life and Volunteering: Contextualising experiences of voluntary work in the non-profit and voluntary sector. British Academy SG150165.


Current doctoral supervision

  • Kinkini Chatterjee: Evolution of the Work Model: Transition from Conventional Work Place to Co-Working Spaces, Work from Home and Virtual Work Spaces for the Knowledge Worker.
  • Nora Musyoka: “Mwethya” in action: Leveraging traditional cultural practise to promote the empowerment of women in Kitui County of Eastern Kenya
  • Benjamin Palmer: A fruitful field for women: A collective biography of women in biochemistry 1906-1975.
  • Eimer Sparham: Breadwinning Mothers: The Lived Realities of Work and Home.
  • Rita Singh: The Conceptualization and Experiences of Work-life Balance: A Case Study of Employees at a University in Hong Kong.
  • Rasha Ismail: O’Mare Work-life balance among female expatriates in the UK.
  • Yousef Jarbi: The impact of Assistive technology on the learning experiences of learners with special educational needs.
  • Nadine Newman: Employee Perception of Engagement: A Case Study of a Higher Education Institution in Jamaica.
  • Yuko Kimura:  Approaches to learning of Japanese managers.

Completed doctoral supervision

  • Sarah Howling: Principal perspectives on experiential learning: the role of individual attributes and context.
  • Pansy Lam: Chinese culture and learning in Hong Kong.
  • Lynda Holland: The development of professional services in 19th Century County Towns: A case study of the County Town of Stafford.
  • Andrea Thuermer-Leung: Chinese Business Culture: The Importance of ‘Guanxi’ for Management Practices in Hong Kong.
  • Carole Hogan: An investigation of the Learning Strategies used by managers to learn in the workplace.
  • Helen Kwan: An Intergenerational Inquiry into the Perceptions and Experiences of Education and Learning of Chinese Post-Graduate Students and their Parents.
  • Geraldine O’Malley: An Exploration of the UK Labour Market Experiences of Second-Generation Irish: Still nursing and navvying.
  • Michael Newnham: Comparing the experience of emotional labour between hotel workers in the Philippines and Australia, and implications for human resource development.
  • Alexandra Kaoni: The Impact of Engaging in Lifelong Learning on the Work and Life of Women in Greece.
  • Dale Sheptak: Training Volunteer Workers: An Ethnographic Study on the Role of Training on Volunteer Workers’ Job Satisfaction in the Sports Industry.
  • Robert King: Helping the Helpers: What factors contribute to health and wellness for front line staff within a public sector social services work environment?


Venter, K. Currie, D and McCracken, M. (2017) ‘You can’t win’: The non-profit double-bind and experiences of organisational contradictions in the non-profit and voluntary Sector. Work, Employment and Society online first: August 11, 2017

Venter, K. (2017) Exploring the spaces between home and work: The mediating role of digital technologies in experiences of contemporary voluntary work. WORK 2017 16-18 August 2017 Turku, Finland.

Venter, K. (2016) Volunteer experiences in the spaces between paid employment and the home: Implications for the management and development of volunteers. CIPD Applied Research Conference, 2016, 19 December, London.

Currie, D., McCracken, M., and Venter, K. (2015) The development of human resources in the context of inter-organisational relationships: The case of voluntary organisations under public sector contracts. CIPD Applied Research Conference, 2015, 8 December, London.

Currie, D., McCracken, M., and Venter, K. (2015) Workplace negative acts and public sector work: antecedents, consequences and strategies’ Academy of Management Symposium, Vancouver, Canada. August 2015

Venter, K. Currie, D. and McCracken, M. (2015) Developing Learning Cultures in a Precarious World: The Case of the Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector UFHRD 2015 3-5 June, Cork.

Venter, K., Currie, D. and McCracken, C. (2015) ‘Doing Good’ and ‘Doing Well’: Experiences of a Double Bind in the UK Non-Profit and Voluntary Sector. International Labour Process Conference Athens, Greece, April 13th-15th 2015.

Venter, K. and Douglas, S. (2014) The Role of Social Media in Gathering Data: The example of parents of children with JIA. INVOLVE 2014: Changing Landscapes. INVOLVE, NIHR, 26-27 November. Birmingham.

Venter, K (2014). Workforce Engagement in Turbulent Times: an investigation of experiences of engagement in the Voluntary Sector. 15th International Conference on HRD Research and Practice Across Europe, UFHRD, Edinburgh Napier 4-6 June 2014

Venter, K. (2011) ‘Fathers ‘Care’ Too: The impact of family relationships on the experience of work for parents of disabled children', Sociological Research Online 16(3):

Venter, K. and Sung, J. (2009) Do Skills Matter? A Literature Review on Skills and Workforce Development in the Third Sector. Literature Review Report commissioned by Skills Third Sector.

Abusidalaghoul, V., Goodwin, J., James, N., Rainnie, A., Venter, K ., and White, M (2009) Sitting on a wall in Northumberland crying: The realities of semi-structured interviews, in Townsend, K. and Burgess, J. (eds) (2009) Method in the Madness? Research Stories You Won't Find in a Textbook. Oxford: Chandos.

Venter, K. (2009) Work, Employment and Care: the experiences of parents of children with disabilities. Centre for Labour Market Studies, Working paper No. 52.

Venter, K (2004) 'One country, two systems, multiple skill demands: the dilemmas facing the education system in the People's Republic of China', Journal of Education and Work, vol 17, no 3, pp 283-300. (ABS 2)

Sung, J. Venter, K. & Quinn, M. (2004) Training and Development in Britain 2004, London, CIPD

Venter, K (2003) The Isolation of Distance Learning: Cultural variations in adult learners' coping strategies Centre for Labour Market Studies working paper, No. 41.

Venter, K (2003) 'Building on formal education: employers' approaches to the training and development of new recruits in the People's Republic of China', International Journal of Training and Development, vol 7, no 3, pp 186-202.

Venter, K (2003) 'Coping with isolation: the role of culture in adult distance learners' use of surrogates', Open Learning vol 18, no 3, pp 271-287. DOI:10.1080/0268051032000131035

Venter, K (2002) Common Careers, Different Experiences: women managers in Hong Kong and Britain Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Paperback and Hardback, pp.245.

Venter, K (2002) 'Learners in Hong Kong, Malaysia and the UK' in Lifelong Learning in Action: Hong Kong Practitioners Perspectives Cribbin, J. and Kennedy P. (eds) Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Venter, K., Ashton, D and Sung, J. (2002) Education and Skills in the People’s Republic of China, Geneva: International Labour Organisation.

Venter, K (2002) Employers' Perceptions of Skill: Education and the Impact of Global Competition in the People’s Republic of China. Centre for Labour Market Studies working paper, No. 38.

Hills, K (2000) Education and Training for Business Competitiveness. Education and Training in China November 2000, Bejing. International Labour Office, Chinese Enterprise Confederation and Centre for Labour Market Studies.

Hills, K (2000) In Their Own Voice: Women Managers' Experiences of Careers, Work and Inequality in Hong Kong and Britain. British Sociological Association Annual Conference 17- 20 April 2000, University of York

Goodwin, J, HILLS, K and Ashton, D (1999) 'International Briefing 2: Training and Development in the United Kingdom', International Journal of Training and Development, vol 3, no 2, pp 167-179.)

Goodwin, J and HILLS, K (1999) 'A view from Hong Kong: Chinese representations of war, violence & American imperialism', Sociological Research Online, vol 4

Hills, K and Powell, M (1999) 'Growing up in an Asian community: towards an understanding and explanation' British Sociological Association Annual Conference 6 – 9 April 1999, University of Glasgow.

Hills, K (1998) 'Distance Learning across the East West divide: The Asian Learners’ experience of western distance learning'. The Asian Distance Learner Conference. Association of Asian Open Universities, Hong Kong Open University

Hills, K (1993) 'The Structure of Women Manager's Careers in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom: The Influence of the Family Division of Labour in Comparative Perspective'. 1st Women in Management in Asia Conference, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 19-21 November.

Hills, K (2001) 'Becoming Other: The Role of Family and Personal Ties'. Extended review, Work, Employment and Society, vol 15, no 2, pp415-419.

Hills, K (2000) Gendered Life at Work: Conflict and Consensus in the Workplace Centre for Labour Market Studies working paper, No. 26.

Hills, K (1995) The Structure of Women Managers' Careers: A Comparative Study of Hong Kong and the UK.  Centre for Labour Market Studies working paper, No. 10.

Full listing of publications

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