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Yumna Arif


Yumna is a PhD researcher at the Warwick Business School, currently in her 2nd year. Born and raised in Pakistan, she first came to the UK, in 2019, to pursue her MSc in Business strategy, Leadership and Change.

She is a social entrepreneur by heart and has previously worked on several projects to empower women in her home country. Her passion for ‘reduced inequalities’, UNSDG Goal 5, also awarded her the prestigious commonwealth scholarship where she studied the same theme as the core focus of her thesis.

Research Topic

Intersectionality of class and gender and the leadership process

Summary of Research Area

The study seeks to understand how the interplay of class and gender shape the leadership journey of lower-class women; a group subordinated on multiple axes of subordination.


Social class theorists have argued that class shaped individuals’ traits, behaviours, and psychological tendencies. In parallel, leadership scholars suggest that how one acts and behaves are consequential to who appears to be more leaderlike and who gets to follow. Although few studies have connected these dots, no study to date has 1) adopted an intersectionality lens to acknowledge the interplay of class with a second axes i.e., gender 2) paid attention to how this class-gender interplay influences the ‘leadership process’, and 3) how this process unfolds in a country like Pakistan (also non-western) where how women experience their gender and class is likely to be shaped by other factors e.g., religion and patriarchy.


Prof. Tina Kiefer and Dr Innan Sasaki