Exploring what professionalism means

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What our research explores...

Initiate reflective conversations regarding what ‘professionalism’ means in your workplace or team by drawing on our Interactive Pack of Cards, designed to challenge elements of traditional notions of ‘professionalism’ to foster more inclusive work environments.

Through extensive research conducted with employed parents from diverse circumstances, we have uncovered the underlying beliefs that shape employees’ experiences of inclusion, progression, and personal well-being.

These cards serve as a powerful tool to encourage critical questioning, open discussions, and the collective creation of an explicit definition of ‘professionalism’ that aligns with the goals of your organisation, including diversity and inclusion. Whether you engage in individual coaching or dynamic group activities, you’ll delve into thought-provoking questions and prompts on each card, fostering deep reflection and dialogue.

By bringing implicit views of professionalism to the surface, we help you to reshape your workplace culture, incorporating diverse perspectives and experiences.

We've produced a toolkit for managers and leaders who care about...


Happy and loyal employees

When managers understand and support employees with parental responsibilities, those employees feel valued and supported. This leads to higher job satisfaction, stronger loyalty to the company, and lower turnover.


Better performance and productivity

When managers help employees balance their work and family responsibilities, they can perform better, letting them give their best effort and resulting in improved performance and productivity.


Inclusive and diverse workplace

Shows that the company values diversity and inclusion. This helps attract diverse talent and creates an inclusive work environment, fostering innovation and positive collaboration among team members.

This is an insightful, research-based and practical management guide, together with a range of supportive resources, produced by experienced academics from the University of Liverpool Management School, which enables managers to develop inclusive, family-friendly, hybrid working environments. The toolkit is an excellent aid for managers who are focusing on aligning their organisational goals with workplace cultures based on inclusion and contemporary working practices – and thereby enhancing employee attraction, retention and engagement.

Emeritus Professor Michael Osbaldeston Cranfield University School of Management and Member of ULMS Advisory Board

In all cases the research from Laura and Caroline was incorporated in the programmes we ran, and the insights from the research shared with participants on their programmes, and their managers, leading to better conversations between managers and employees.

WOMBA (Work, me, and the baby) CEO

…it became more clear to me that inclusion doesn’t mean everyone being the same and working the same, but embracing and learning from our differences. I am now more aware of what other people need, rather than what I believe they need. Support isn’t always with an end goal in mind.

Workshop Attendee – CBRE

Inclusion is ensuring everyone feels included and valued…ensuring when a meeting is happening in the office and some online that we…include those online. Making sure those working from home don’t feel like they are judged or doing a worse job than someone in the office. Etc lots to take away from today.

Workshop Attendee – CBRE

Here at Nationwide, we have used Dr Radcliffe’s research to help inform our future strategies around our family friendly policies. We look forward to continuing to work with Dr Radcliffe to continue our journey for balance in the workplace.

Nationwide, Culture, Engagement & Inclusion Team

Our other areas of research...

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Supporting diverse working families

The traditional nuclear family is in decline in Britain.

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Supporting hybrid working

Employees’ changing views of work offer unique challenges in how to manage a team.