top of page


Diversity and Productivity from Education to Work is an innovative collaboration carrying out research to better understand the relationship between diversity, inclusion and productivity in the UK, and provide new insight into the barriers to under-represented groups reaching their full productive potential.

The project has been awarded £2 million by the Economic and Social Research Council and is led by The Inclusion Initiative at the LSE, in collaboration with researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, University of Sheffield, University College London and University of Warwick.


Dr Grace Lordan, director of The Inclusion Initiative, leads this innovative collaboration to advance the understanding of the barriers to creating diverse workforces, and provide new evidence on the impact of diversity on business performance, and how firms can maximise the benefits of diverse teams. It will also explore the crucial role of the education system as the start of the ‘leaky pipeline’ in which individuals from under-represented groups lose access to career opportunities, creating a substantial ‘lost potential’ of highly qualified individuals.


A multidisciplinary team will tackle the project’s questions using cutting edge qualitative and quantitative methods from several disciplinary perspectives. The team will work with businesses to design, test and implement the recommendations from its research, directly affecting practice and hence workplace diversity. This will allow for an immediate impact on improving the opportunities of under-represented groups, in addition to increasing diversity in a way that maximises the benefits to firms.


The Diversity and Productivity project is further advised by the Academic Advisory Board, comprised of leading academics in diversity and productivity and by the Impact Advisory Board, drawn from policymakers and industry leaders, drawn from policymakers and industry leaders.


“We will work with businesses, policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure that this collaboration leaves a legacy of practical solutions.”

Dr Grace Lordan 

Our objectives

The Diversity and Productivity project's research agenda is designed to help the UK move closer to reaping the full benefits of the productive potential of its workforce, by leveraging diversity and inclusion.


Our overall objectives are to:


  • Increase productivity in the UK by enabling firms to create more diverse workforces and provide new insights into how best to maximise the productive potential of diverse teams

  • Increase education and career opportunities for individuals from under-represented backgrounds, by providing insight into the ways education policy and practice can widen access to productive education pathways, and by broadening the talent pool that firms can attract, appoint, and promote

  • Work with policymakers, practitioners and businesses to ensure that the project’s findings address their key questions and concerns, and translate into tangible improvements in practice


  • Produce high quality research, published in top academic journals, that adds clear value to the academic community, in addition to public and business policymakers, e.g., on the ‘business case for diversity’, and ensure the data, code and learning from our work is freely available to support future research


  • Build the capacity of early career researchers to ensure they have the passion, methodological expertise and engagement and impact skills necessary to forge research careers focused in this area. 



Our research agenda
School Workshops for 15-18 year olds

As part of DaPEW's aim to examine the vital function of the education system as the initial stage of the 'leaky pipeline,' the Discover Economics team is dedicated to enhancing the diversity of economics students, by targeting school students aged 15-18 years old through a series of in-person workshops conducted on school premises. With 888 students across 15 schools engaged in more than 30 sessions currently, the initiative also involves 232 student champions, undergrad or postgrad econ students trained to deliver these workshops.


The campaign's goals include broadening the appeal of economics, altering perceptions of the field, and attracting students from underrepresented groups, such as women, state school/further education college attendees, and minoritized ethnic groups. This effort addresses young people in the 15-17 age range, influencing their post-16 qualification decisions and university or apprenticeship subject choices. By reshaping perceptions and showcasing diverse economists, particularly in schools where economics isn't a subject, the campaign aims to encourage a wider pool of students to consider economics.



bottom of page