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Dr Dulini Fernando, British Academy Fellowship

Advancing the Careers of Refugees in the UK

Britain is home to refugees from countries like Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Syria. Many refugees find themselves in low-wage unstable employment regardless of skill-sets. The situation is often worse for women who are frequently depicted as requiring more support than men and as having little aspirations for career progression.

Through her Fellowship, Warwick Business School's Dr Dulini Fernando will examine how gender intersects with ethnicity, age and social class in skilled refugees’ career aspirations, experiences of career constraints, accounts of support and strategies for career progression.

Using an in-depth qualitative study adopting an intersectional approach, Dr Fernando aims to challenge homogeneous representations of refugee employees as a deficit category.

She will illuminate diversity and agency in their career experiences and contribute knowledge to develop effective policies and interventions to support refugees (especially women) in their employment.

Skilled refugee workers have a lot to offer to host countries if they are sufficiently supported.

Dr Fernando will illuminate the diversity of refugees' career experiences and contribute knowledge to develop effective support policies and interventions.

Skilled refugee workers have much to offer to host countries if they are sufficiently supported to get into the system. Dr Fernando will work closely with a London based social enterprise that focuses on empowering skilled refugees.

Dr Fernando’s research focuses on understanding how highly skilled individuals with socially disadvantaged identities navigate barriers, mobilize support, manage conflict, cope, voice and advance their career trajectories within competitive work settings and with what implications. The British Academy funded project will contribute to this body of work.


Find out more about Dr Fernando's research