Leonora Risse

Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Leonora Risse is an economist who specialises in gender equality. Her research focuses on gender gaps in the workplace, including the gender pay gap and women’s under-representation in leadership and decision-making.

Through her research translation work, she regularly engages with governments and organisations on evidence-based policies for gender equality and how to apply a "gender lens" to policy through gender responsive budgeting.

Dr Risse's economic expertise extends to labour economics, disadvantage and wellbeing. She engages regularly with the media to empower everyday audiences with a greater understanding of economic issues.

Dr Risse is currently appointed as an Associate Professor in Economics at the University of Canberra, a Research Fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia, and an Expert Panel Member on gender pay equity for the Fair Work Commission. Formerly she held roles with the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University and the Australian Government Productivity Commission. She earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland.

Dr Risse is a co-founder and former National Chair of the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia.

She serves as Program Director of 'Pathways to Politics for Women' at the University of Canberra. Pathways is a nation-wide initiative, by the Women's Leadership Institute Australia and the Trawalla Foundation, to support more women to enter politics in Australia.  

In 2021 Dr Risse was named as one of Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, An Economic Analysis of Maternity Leave Provisions in Australia, University of Queensland

Award Date: 24 Nov 2008

Bachelor, Bachelor of Economics (Hons I), University of Queensland

Award Date: 18 Dec 2002

Bachelor, Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland

Award Date: 21 Aug 2001


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