Personal details

Associate Professor Robyn Mayes
Associate Professor
Faculty of Business & Law,
School of Management
Discipline *
Business and Management, Human Geography
+61 7 3138 1010
View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
Identifiers and profiles

Doctor of Philosophy (Curtin University of Technology)

Professional memberships
and associations
  • Director, Center for Decent Work & Industry QUT Business School
  • Co-Deputy Director QUT Centre for Justice
  • Director, QUT Business School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and Engagement Strategy
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy, UK
  • Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy (Indigenous)
  • Member, Institute of Australian Geographers

labour migration, au pairs in Australia, gender, corporate social responsibility, work and workers in the digital economy

* Field of Research code, Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC), 2008


Robyn Mayes is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business and Law.  Her research is informed by a social justice agenda and critical feminist approaches.  Robyn’s work draws on the multi-stranded disciplines of Human Geography and Gender Studies. Core, interrelated research themes span corporate social responsibility and global production, gender in organisations, work and working in the gig economy, and labour migration and mobility. She has led substantial ethnographic research in rural communities; and qualitative organisational case studies.

Her most recent work explores gender in STEMM research careers (ARC LP 190100216); paid work in the digital economy (ARC DP 180101191); labour mobilities including temporary transnational migration and FIFO work; and geographies of resource extraction.

Robyn has published 2 edited books, over 40 journal articles and book chapters, including in top tier international journals and reference books, and is regularly invited to speak at a range of national and international fora. She has been principal or named investigator on ARC and industry grants attracting over $2million in research funds.

Through her service she seeks to contribute to social justice goals. For example, she is Founding Director of the QUT Business and Law Faculty Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and Engagement Strategy (2020-23), and Chairs the QUT Unversity Equity Committee (2021 to present).

She has served on the Board of the Immigrant Women’s Emergency Support Service (2016 to 2020) and served on the Federal Government Australian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) National Multi-Stakeholder Group.

Google scholar

Select current projects

ARC Linkage Project (2021-23): Achieving gender equality in STEMM hospital and health service research: This project addresses the crucial and vexed question of why gender inequality remains pervasive and persistent in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) workforces, despite substantial and wide-ranging efforts to effect change. Specifically, it examines the systemic causes of gender inequality in hospital and health research environments, a highly under-researched area of national significance. The project will result in critically-informed, pragmatic strategies that enable health service organisations to detect and redress gender inequality. The research advances inclusive and effective STEMM workforces and, ultimately, world-leading health research practice and gender equality in Australia

CIs: Robyn Mayes (QUT Business School), Paula McDonald (QUT Business School), Janet Davies (QUT Faculty of Health; Metro North Hospital and Health Service) Christina Malatzky (QUT Faculty of Health ) Peter Frederiksen (QLD Health; Metro North Hospital and Health Service)      Partners: QLD Health; Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

ARC Discovery Project (2018-21) Work and workers in the digital economy: This  project investigates the organisation of paid platform work from the perspective of both workers and the intermediaries they use to find work. It focuses on the economic and socio-cultural motivations and experiences of platform workers and how companies, technologies and managerial strategies shape the nature of the work itself. The project will contribute to knowledge of workforce transitions and shifting work/home boundaries and inform the development of appropriate labour regulation.

CIs:  Paula McDonald (QUT), Robyn Mayes (QUT), Damian Oliver (UTS), Andrew Stewart (UofAdelaide) and Penny Williams (QUT).

CRC ORE: Navigating socio-political stakeholder environments  Using the debate around the Adani Carmichael Coal Mine as exemplar, the aim of this project is to identify the complex drivers and interactions of multiple stakeholders operating in the Australian mining sector’s social and political environment. From this, the project seeks to advance understandings of what might constitute ‘good mining.’

QUT Business School CIs : Robyn Mayes; Bree Hurst; Amelia Hine

Au Pairs in Australia: this research examines the growing presence of au pairs in Australian households and what this means for the division of caring labour, the meanings of motherhood, and the role of care work in women’s labour market participation.

Mobile/migrant labour: this work examines labour migration in both domestic (eg FIFO) and transnational (eg temporary labour migration in the resources sector) contexts with a focus on how this mobility is gendered, how it is experienced (emotionally and physically), along with intersections with corporate social responsibility.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Robyn Mayes.


Areas of teaching:

  • Organisational Behaviour
  • Managing Out: community and stakeholder engagement
  • Research Methodologies
  • Critical Literacies: thinking and reading critically

Reading Strategies for Research Students This set of short videos presents active reading strategies grounded in scholarly practice through which students can hone their skills and improve efficiency and confidence. 

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Robyn Mayes.


Robyn has conducted large-scale qualitative research projects in rural and regional communities and in collaboration with public and private sector organisations culminating in substantial public reports.

She has recently completed research funded by the Cooperative Research Centre: Optimising Resource Extraction to understand the evolving stakeholder landscape of contemporary and future mining.

This information has been contributed by Associate Professor Robyn Mayes.


For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.


Awards and recognition

Membership of Review Panels on Prestigious Grant Applications
Reference year
Appointment to Australian Research Council Selection Advisory Committee (2020-2021)
Advisor/Consultant for Community
Reference year
Management Board Member (and Treasurer 2018)
Appointment to State/National/International Reference Group or Government Committees
Reference year
The Australian Government committed to implementing the internationally-recognised Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in May 2016. I am a member of the national Multi Stakeholder Group tasked with oversight of national implementation lead by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
Keynote Speaker/Expert Panel Member/Invited Speaker for a Conference
Reference year
Mayes R 2016 Keynote Gender and (Im)mobilities International Conference, Norway, Embodying rural change: labour migration and the gendering of everyday (im)mobility.

Research projects

Grants and projects (Category 1: Australian Competitive Grants only)

Achieving Gender Equality in STEMM Hospital and Health Service Research
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year
Working the Gig Economy: The Organisation of Digital Platform Work
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
Start year


Current supervisions

  • Shop floor worker voice in the Strategic CSR agenda of the Sri Lankan apparel industry
    PhD, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Deanna Grant-Smith
  • Understanding the barriers and enablers to Australian Indigenous career succession and progression in the workplace
    MPhil, Principal Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Juliana Mclaughlin
  • Understanding dynamics of emancipation and co-optation in social finance ecologies: The case of alternative food networksFeeding (from) the crowd: ecologies of social finance in alternative food networks
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Carol Richards
  • The Social Construction of Spaces of Spas and the Identity of the Masseuse in Sri Lanka
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Deanna Grant-Smith
  • Can Gig Work also be Decent Work? Exploring the Social Implications of the Gig Economy
    PhD, Mentoring Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Dr Jannine Williams, Dr Penny Williams
  • 'Walking the Chain': A Sustainable Value Chain Analysis for the Australian Cotton Industry
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Alice Payne, Adjunct Professor Elinor Buys
  • Understanding food waste governance: the case of small-scale restaurants in Australia
    PhD, Associate Supervisor
    Other supervisors: Associate Professor Carol Richards

Completed supervisions (Doctorate)

Completed supervisions (Masters by Research)