Diversity and Inclusion Hub

Professional Communication: Discrimination, Prejudice and Bias in Healthcare, Law and Businesses

Professor Louise Mullany, Professor in Sociolinguistics, School of English

Louise Mullany is Professor of Sociolinguistics in the School of English and the Founder and Director of Linguistic Profiling for Professionals, based in the Centre for Research in Applied Linguistics at UoN. She is also Director of the D&IRH.

Her most recent research on enhancing effective professional communication investigates and addresses linguistic discrimination, prejudice and bias in public life. Her interdisciplinary research carried out with Dr Loretta Trickett from Nottingham Law School at NTU on misogyny hate crime was submitted as evidence to the UK Parliament’s 2018 Women and Equalities Select Committee’s investigation into street harassment in public places. They worked with Stella Creasy MP (July 2018-Sept 2018) to provide systematic evidence of the linguistic nature, type and intensity of street harassment currently taking place. Their findings influenced amendments which Creasy put forward to the ‘Voyeurism’ bill, resulting in the UK Government agreeing to authorise a Law Commission Review of hate crime, including a systematic review of misogyny as a hate crime.

Mullany and Trickett have presented their research and recommendations of a national roll out to The Law Commission on multiple occasions, with the Law Commission’s recommendations due to be announced during 2020. The policy changes have lasting benefits for victims each year, enabling women to safely report crimes and incidents, with assurances that they will be taken seriously. Latest statistics from Nottinghamshire Police record that over 300 cases have been reported in Nottinghamshire and eight other police forces have also now brought in the policy across the country. This ongoing research on hate crime underpinned a panel on Parliament Day in 2016, chaired by Mullany in the House of Commons with MPs, civil servants, the Metropolitan Police, the Lord Mayor of London’s Office, and the Fawcett Society. This panel influenced policy nationwide by encouraging other police forces to follow the lead of Nottinghamshire to make misogyny a hate crime.

Professor Mullany’s research has policy impact in key Government priority areas, gender-based violence, gender inclusive workplace, crime reporting and reduction. Her research on gender and leadership communication has informed the communication practices of Nottinghamshire Fire Service and the NHS to reduce workplace discrimination and bring more equality, diversity and inclusion by improving leadership opportunities and colleague interaction. She has also delivered her research to the Government Equalities Office as part of their WAGE campaign for changing workplace cultures and eradicating sexual harassment in the workplace







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