Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Exeter

Dr Renata Bongiorno is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow working on an ERC funded project: Context, Identity & Choice: Understanding the Constraints on Women’s Career Decisions at the University of Exeter in England.

Before joining the University of Exeter in 2017, Renata was employed in a number of research roles in Australia, including by Melbourne Business School to examine barriers the uptake of flexible workplace practices, and at The University of Queensland to examine biases affecting the prosecution of sexual assault cases.

Renata's research focuses on gender inequality, collective action, and social change. She was awarded her PhD from the Australian National University. As part of her PhD research, she uncovered a new form of prejudice towards women who are tentative, rather than assertive, in leadership roles. This new form of prejudice towards tentative female leaders may be more difficult to overcome, because it is harder to see as unfair.

In addition to published research on prejudice towards women in leadership, Renata has also published research on how to motivate community action to advance social causes (e.g., action on climate change, action to promote gender equality); gender bias in the judicial system, particularly relating to prosecuting men's sexual assault of women; and examining reactions to perpetrators and victims of sexual harassment.

Renata has ongong research examining mobilising men’s action in support of gender equality, gender stereotypes and women's perceived lack of leadership fit; and paradoxical effects of women's empowerment campaigns as an avenue for promoting social change.

Renata's research has received national and international media coverage, including in The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Salon, The Age, Brisbane Times and Daily Life.


  • 2017–present
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Exeter
  • 2010–present
    Honorary Research Fellow, The University of Queensland


  • 2010 
    Australian National University, PhD/Psychology
  • 2002 
    Australian National University, BA (First Class Honours in Psychology)