IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


Social class origin and job quality in the United Kingdom

24 April 2024, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Cheerful young man sitting in office with laptop. Adobe Stock / bnenin.

Join this event to hear Mark Williams explore class origin gaps in five domains of (non-pay) job quality: non-pay rewards, prospective opportunities, work-life balance, job design, and workplace relations in the United Kingdom.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Tobias Ruttenauer


Room W2.07
20 Bedford Way

In recent years, research has documented that those from working class origins are paid substantially less than those from middle-class origins, even within the same destination class (‘the class pay gap’). At the same time, there has been growing academic and policy interest in the notion of ‘job quality’, an umbrella term denoting the multiple dimensions of what makes jobs ‘good’ and ‘bad’, which includes, but is not limited to, pay.

This seminar explores class origin gaps in five domains of (non-pay) job quality. Across 10 job quality indicators, Mark will discuss how class origin gaps, most of which cannot be completely accounted for by compositional factors such as qualifications and class destinations, imply the ‘class ceiling’ extends to job quality more broadly – concluding that social mobility research and debates must factor in job quality.

This event will be particularly useful for those interested in the labour market, social class, pay gap, and the class ceiling.

Please note this is a hybrid event and can be joined either in-person or online.

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About the Speaker

Professor Mark Williams

Professor of Human Resource Management at the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London

Mark researches socio-economic disparities in the quality of jobs in the United Kingdom. Much of his work has focused on pay disparities across occupations and classes.

Over the years, his work has branched out into working conditions more broadly (e.g., job insecurity, job control) as well as in workers’ attitudes to their jobs (e.g., job satisfaction, job meaningfulness). More recently, his research has explored the relationship between labour market regulation and the quality of jobs.

More about Professor Mark Williams