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Department of Management

Dr Levke Henningsen

Dr Levke Henningsen

Lecturer in Leadership and Organisational Behaviour


 Streatham Court 1.65A


Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK


Levke Henningsen is a Lecturer in Leadership/Organisational Behaviour at the Department of Management of the University of Exeter Business School. She joined the University of Exeter in September 2022. Previously, Levke held a position as a postdoctoral researcher in Social and Business Psychology at the University of Zurich (Switzerland).

She received her PhD in November 2018 from the University of Zurich (Switzerland). In her dissertation (which was embedded within the Swiss Federal Equal Opportunities at Universities Program), she investigated the impact of discriminatory and self-selection processes on women’s underrepresentation in professorships and administrative leadership positions of universities.

In 2019, Levke won an Early Postdoc.Mobility Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation for her project on the effects of experienced workplace incivility on career-related choices. In the framework of this project, she joined the Center of Social and Cultural Psychology at the University of Leuven (Belgium) from August 2020 until September 2021 and the King’s Business School at the King’s College London (UK) from October 2021 until January 2022.

After receiving her diploma in Psychology (equivalent to MSc) from the University of Magdeburg (Germany) in 2011 and before starting her doctorate in 2013, she joined a non-profit organization in Berlin (Germany) that offers advice on equal opportunities, diversity, and participation for politics, the economy, and science. 


Intermediate diploma in Psychology (equivalent to BSc; University of Magdeburg, Germany), diploma in Psychology (equivalent to MSc; University of Magdeburg, Germany); PhD (University of Zurich, Switzerland).

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Research interests

  • Leadership, careers, and gender
  • Leadership and career ambition
  • Workplace incivility
  • Work-life balance
  • Affirmative action

Levke’s research interests include gender diversity and leadership in organizations, discriminatory and self-selection processes in career advancements, affirmative action policies, work-life balance, and the effects of experienced incivility at work. Her previous research focused on effects of gender-based affirmative action policies in hiring processes, on effects of gender discriminatory and self-selection processes for professors’ administrative leadership ambitions, and the role of the social context and gender norms in the dynamics of reconciling life domains. This research provided action implications for the practice and strengthened collaborations between practitioners and scientists from various disciplines.

Research projects

Levke’s current research projects focus on employees’ interpretations of and responses to experienced uncivil workplace behaviour and the changing nature of work.

Overt workplace discrimination has become largely unacceptable. However, scholars have identified modern, covert forms of gender discrimination that sustain inequalities at work and beyond. To better understand one of these covert forms (i.e., selective incivility) and how it contributes to inequality in careers, the project investigates the psychological mechanisms through which experiences of uncivil behaviour at the workplace affect employees’ career-related attitudes.  

In another research project, Levke assesses the effects of flexible work arrangements on the gendered segregation of work and careers.

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Journal articles

Saxler FM, Dorrough AR, Froehlich L, Block K, Croft A, Meeussen L, Olsson MIT, Schmader T, Schuster C, van Grootel S, et al (2024). Did Descriptive and Prescriptive Norms About Gender Equality at Home Change During the COVID-19 Pandemic? a Cross-National Investigation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin Abstract.
Olsson MIT, van Grootel S, Block K, Schuster C, Meeussen L, Van Laar C, Schmader T, Croft A, Sun MS, Ainsaar M, et al (2023). Gender Gap in Parental Leave Intentions: Evidence from 37 Countries. Political Psychology, 44(6), 1163-1192. Abstract.
Henningsen L, Horvath LK, Jonas K (2022). Affirmative Action Policies in Academic Job Advertisements: Do They Facilitate or Hinder Gender Discrimination in Hiring Processes for Professorships?. SEX ROLES, 86(1-2), 34-48.  Author URL.
Henningsen L, Eagly AH, Jonas K (2022). Where are the women deans? the importance of gender bias and self-selection processes for the deanship ambition of female and male professors. JOURNAL OF APPLIED SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, 52(8), 602-622.  Author URL.


Bollmann G, Clot-Siegrist E, Henningsen L (2019). Conciliation des domaines de vie: Le rôle du contexte social et des ressources d'adaptabilité. In Masdonati J, Massoudi K, Rossier J (Eds.) Repères pour l'orientation, Lausanne, Switzerland: Antipodes, 49-78. Abstract.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards and Honours

  • Early.Postdoc Mobility Fellowship of the Swiss National Science Foundation

Invited lectures & workshops

  •  Guest lecturer, Chair of Social and Business Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Zurich
  •  Key note speaker at H.I.T. program (High Potential University Leaders Identity & Skills Training Program – Inclusive Leadership in Academia; leadership program to train and empower female professors in Switzerland to become university leaders).
  • Women’s underrepresentation at work and in higher education: Psychological approaches and implications. Guest speaker at LIPS – Lessen In de Psychologie voor de Samenleving, Faculteit Psychologie en Pedagogische Wetensschappen, KU Leuven, Belgium.
  • The [under]representation of women in academic leadership positions: Effects of gender discrimination and self-selection. Guest speaker at the Research Colloquium of Gender Studies, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • The appeal of the deanship position from the perspective of women and men professors. Keynote Speaker and panel discussion participant at the Annual Meeting of Women Professors of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • The effects of gender and leadership stereotypes on career success. Workshop conducted at the Career Services for students, PhDs, and staff of the University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

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I enjoy teaching courses to students of all academic levels and from different disciplines on topics such as gender diversity, leadership, and careers. I developed and conducted Master student courses on gender, leadership, and careers, Bachelor student courses on leadership and career research as well as experimental research methods. Furthermore, I mentored students in Master project groups and research colloquiums and supervised Master and Bachelor theses. 



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