Dr Maeve O'Sullivan

Assistant Professor in Human Resource Management and Decent Work

J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, University of Galway

Decent work, Future of work, Older workers, Gender equality, Precarious employment, Public policy

white clouds and blue skies
Dr Maeve O'Sullivan

Maeve researches and lectures in a variety of human resource management, organisational behavior, leadership and management-related subjects. Maeve was managing partner and held senior management and consultancy roles in both public and private sector organisations in Ireland, the UK and at the European Commission in Brussels. Maeve’s research to date has been primarily centred on identifying the factors influencing labour market inequalities and finding multi-level, impactful solutions to inform policy and improve individual work and organisational performance. Specific scholarship strands relate to decent work (part-time, precarious and gig economy work) as well as low-paid sectors of the economy and inequalities in the labour market, pertaining to gender, age and access to decent work.

Maeve's work contributes to these SDGs

SDG 1,3,4,5,8,9,10,14,16,17

Maeve's current research projects include a study on the impact of and attitudes towards menopause in the workplace, a Government of Ireland commissioned; trans-disciplinary project examining whether policy interventions are required in the workplace to better support people following pregnancy loss and a Low Pay Commission-funded project examining job quality in the home care sector.

Key Target: 8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments



Sustainable Human Resource Management explores the role of HRM in making work systems sustainable, as well as the role of organisational leaders in contributing to corporate sustainability and to overall societal sustainable development. The module, taught at post-graduate level, uses a cross disciplinary approach through including research and insights from other disciplines such as; strategic HRM, green HRM, organisational behaviour, corporate sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and emerging leadership perspectives.

Focused on Targets 8.5 - Full employment and decent work with equal pay; 8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments

Human Resource Management & Decent Work aims to develop an understanding of the underlying theories and practices within the field of HRM an decent work and examines how these concents shape the employee life-cycle. Taught at under-graduate level, this module provides a foundation to develop knowledge and skills in the HR functional areas of resourcing, performance management and reward.

Focused on Targets 8.5 - Full employment and decent work with equal pay; 8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments


Maeve is a collaborator on the PLACES Pregnancy Loss in Workplaces: Informing policymakers on support mechanisms project. Commissioned by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth commissioned this project to examine the workplace experiences of people coping with pregnancy loss. Full report: https://lnkd.in/eXaFcPH5

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

Direct impact SDG Targets

1.B - Create pro-poor and gender-sensitive policy frameworks

3.4 - Reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health

4.7 - Education for sustainable development and global citizenship

5.1 - End discrimination against women and girls

5.4 - Value unpaid care and promote shared domestic responsibilities

5.5 - Ensure full participation in leadership and decision-making

5.A - Equal rights to economic resources, property ownership and financial services

5.C - Adopt and strengthen policies and enforceable legislation for gender equality

8.2 - Diversify, innovate and upgrade for economic productivity

8.3 - Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises

8.5 - Full employment and decent work with equal pay

8.8 - Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments

10.1 - Reduce income inequalities

10.2 - Promote universal social, economic and political inclusion

10.3 - Ensure equal opportunities and end discrimination

10.4 - Adopt fiscal and social policies that promotes equality

16.7 - Ensure responsive, inclusive and representative decision-making

16.B - Promote and enforce non-discriminatory laws and policies

17.18 - Enhance availability of reliable data


1.3 - Implement social protection systems

1.A - Mobilize resources to implement policies to end poverty

3.7 - Universal access to sexual and reproductive care, family planning and education

4.3 - Equal access to affordable technical, vocational and higher education

5.6 - Universal access to reproductive health and rights

8.6 - Promote youth employment, education and training

9.2 - Promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization

14.5 - Conserve coastal and marine areas

17.15 - Respect national leadership to implement policies for the sustainable development goals

17.19 - Further develop measurements of progress

SDG wheel

Maeve's work examines societal inequalities relating to gender, age and access to decent work.

woman in blue dress shirt and blue denim jeans standing beside brown wooden chair

Photo by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash

Photo by Daria Pimkina on Unsplash


a city square with flowers and a clock tower in the background

Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Photo by Daniel Zbroja on Unsplash

Featured Publications



Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (2024). Pregnancy Loss (under 24 weeks) in Workplaces:
Informing policymakers on support mechanisms. https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/dc98a-minister-ogorman-publishes-report-on-the-pregnancy-loss-in-the-workplace/

SDG 3,5, 8, 9, 10

Duggan, J., O’Sullivan, M., & O’Sullivan, M. (2024). Essential or excluded? Union pressures and state responses to platform work in three liberal market economies. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/10242589241231731

SDG 3, 8, 9, 10

O'Sullivan, M., Cross, C. and Lavelle, J., 2021. Good or bad jobs? Characteristics of older female part‐time work. Industrial Relations Journal, 52(5), pp.423-441


Cotter, G., Bonenfant, G., Butler,, J., Caulfield, M., Doyle Prestwich, B., Griffin, R., Khabbar, S., Mishra, N., Hally, R., Murphy, M., Murphy, O., O'Sullivan, M., Phelan, M., Reidy, D., Schneider, J., Sharifi Isaloo, A., Turner, B., Usher, R., Williamson Sinalo, C. (2022) 'Creating a Community of Praxis at University College Cork'. International Journal of Development Education and Global Learning, 14 (2):1-12

SDG4.0, 4.3, 4.4, 10.0, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3, 12.0, 12.5, 13.0 1.0, 1.1, 3.0, 3.1, 3.2, 8.0, 8.1, 8.5, 8.8

O'Sullivan, M., Cross, C., and Lavelle, J. (2020) 'The forgotten labour force: Characteristics and trends for older female part-time workers in Ireland'. Irish Journal Of Management, 39 (1):47-60

SDG 8.1, 8.5, 8.8, 3.8, 3.d

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