Welcome new WLIA Fellow - Dr Leonore Risse



Dr Lenora Risse


Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, WLIA is building a community of leaders focused on achieving equal numbers of women and men sharing power and influence in Australia and today we warmly welcome a new WLIA fellow Dr Leonora Risse.

Dr Leonora Risse is a Lecturer in Economics at RMIT University whose research focuses on gender gaps in economic outcomes and opportunities, including understanding the role of gender biases and social norms in explaining gender pay gaps and women’s under-representation in leadership.


Bringing a strong policy orientation to her research activities, Leonora’s projects include initiatives to convert research insights on gender equality into practical action. This includes developing ways to communicate evidence-based policy solutions more effectively to businesses and consulting with government and industry to apply a gender lens to policy design. Her research extends into the economics of diversity, wellbeing and disadvantage, and creating educational resources to promote gender equality and inclusion within the field of economics.


“An emerging body of research makes it clear that placing the onus on women to change their behaviours and “fix” their supposed deficiencies is not the path towards gender equality. We need to flip the script and start to hold organisations, governments and leaders – not individual women – accountable for achieving gender balance in decision-making processes and positions of influence. Systemic problems require systemic solutions. My own field of economics provides a case example of how the under-representation of women in decision-making has meant that women are consistently left out of out of the policy picture and male-dominated sectors are prioritised. Achieving gender balance in leadership, government, business and the media – and at a critical mass needed to make a genuine difference – is essential so that a ‘gender lens’ can be applied to policy design, and the voices, values and lived experiences of Australian women become part the policy-making process.” Dr Leonora Risse


Leonora holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland and gained public policy experience as a Senior Research Economist with the Australian Government Productivity Commission. She is a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a co-founder of the Women in Economics Network in Australia, currently serving as National Chair. She is also an affiliate with the Life Course Centre, GenVic and the National Foundation for Australian Women.


Leonora’s professional affiliations include:

RMIT University

Women in Economics Network @WomenEconAU

Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School

RMIT Research

RMIT College of Business and Law


You can connect with Leonora via our Women For Media Database, her website, LinkedIn and Twitter


Please visit our fellowship page for more information.