Dr Leonora Risse is an economist with interest and expertise in labour economics, gender equality, economic psychology, demographic and population economics, education, disadvantage and wellbeing.

Her current research focuses on understanding gender differences in economic opportunities and outcomes. This includes understanding the gender pay gap, women’s participation in the workforce, women’s under-representation in leadership, and the role of attitudes, personality traits and societal norms.

Leonora earned her PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland, and gained public policy experience working as a Senior Research Economist for the Australian Government Productivity Commission.

Leonora recently spent time in residence at Harvard University as a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program (WAPPP) at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She formerly held a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia) and is now appointed as a Lecturer in Economics at RMIT.

Leonora has been actively involved in establishing the Women in Economics Network (WEN) in Australia, and engages regularly with public audiences on gender equality issues.


“How can economics contribute to the pursuit of gender equity?”
Moderating the 2019 Australian Gender Economics Workshop Policy Symposium with Lisa Annese (Diversity Council Australia), Trish Bergin (Office for Women), Hon. Dr Andrew Leigh MP (Shadow Assistant Treasurer) and Professor Helen Hodgson (Curtin University; National Foundation for Australian Women)


PhD in Economics, University of Queensland (2008)
Bachelor of Economics (Honours Class I), University of Queensland (2002)
Bachelor of Arts (Majors in English and Journalism), University of Queensland (2001)

Current appointments & affiliations

Lecturer in Economics, RMIT University (2020-present)
Research Fellow, Women and Public Policy Program, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (2019-2020)
Women in Economics Network (WEN)
Economic Society of Australia (ESA)
Global Labor Organisation (GLO)
ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course (LCC)
National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW)
Gender Equity Victoria (GenVic)
American Economic Association (AEA)

Presentation of Vice-Chancellor’s Fellowship with RMIT Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean