Richenda Gambles

Richenda Gambles

Tutor for Admissions

As Tutor for Admissions, Richenda is responsible for overseeing the admissions process for our MPP and DPhil programmes. She works with colleagues across the School to ensure the School attracts, accepts and supports outstanding students from across the world who display exceptional academic ability, commitment to public service, and evidence of leadership and impact. She is also a Departmental Lecturer at the School and participates in teaching, supervision and assessment of our MPP and DPhil students.

Prior to joining the School in 2011 she was a Departmental Lecturer for five years at the Department of Social Policy and Intervention here at Oxford. She has also worked as a journalist writing for a range of UK national and international media outlets and is passionate about ensuring academic work is communicated in clear and engaging ways so as to maximise its impact. She has a PhD in Social Policy focused on parenting and the early years (Open University, 2011); an MSc in Gender and Social Policy (London School of Economics, 2002); and a BSc in Social Policy with first class honours (London School of Economics, 1999).



Richenda’s research relates to family and social policy and she has recently focused on the experience of becoming a parent and of parenting during the early childhood years. Her most recent research examined the ways in which UK policy and other public discourses about parenting has assumed and encouraged parents to act; and the different ways parents respond to these callings, and with what personal and political consequences. Though her work on admissions is her primary focus, in spare moments she is working on developing this research into a book that explores the rise of an increasingly pervasive parenting industry (of which policy is a part) and which considers how this plays out with parents in a range of contexts. Issues of particular focus include gendered assumptions and divisions of labour, messages about feeding and taking care of young children, and challenges relating to juggling cultures of contemporary parenting with cultures and practices of paid work.

She has published widely on gendered challenges relating to work-life balance and is the author (with Professor Suzan Lewis and the late Dr Rhona Rapoport) of The Myth of Work-Life Balance: The Challenge of Our Time for Men, Women and Societies, which explores how to mitigate a range of work-life pressures across a number of developed and developing countries.


Gambles, R. (2013) 'Managing the gendered dynamics of parenting during the New Labour government years', Children's Geographies, 11 (2) 188-201

Gambles, R., (2010) ‘Supernanny, Parenting and a Pedagogic State’, Citizenship Studies, 14 (6) 697 - 709

Gambles, R., (2010) ‘Going Public? Articulations of the personal and political on’, in Mahony, N., Newman, J., and Barnett, C., (ed.) Rethinking the Public: Innovations in Research, Theory and Politics, London: Sage

Gambles, R., and Whitworth, A., (2009) 'Social Citizenship and the Question of Gender: The Suitability and Possibilities of a Marshallian Framework', in Greer, S., (ed.) Devolution and Social Citizenship in the UK, Bristol, Policy Press

Ben-Galim, D. and Gambles, R., (2008) ‘The ‘public’ and ‘private’ of work-family reconciliation’ in Seeleib-Kaiser, M., (ed.) Welfare State Transformations, Basingstoke, Palgrave

Gambles, R., Lewis, S., and Rapoport, R., (2007) ‘Evolutions and Approaches to Equitable Divisions of Paid Work and Care in Three European Countries’ in Crompton, R., Lewis, S., and Lyonette, C., (eds.) Women, Men, Work and Family in Europe, Basingstoke, Palgrave

Lewis, S., Gambles, R., and Rapoport, R., (2007) ‘The constraints of a “work-life balance” approach: an international perspective’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18 (3) 360-373

Gambles, R., Lewis, S., and Rapoport, R., (2006) The Myth of Work-Life Balance: The Challenge of Our Time for Men, Women and Societies, Chichester: Wiley, published with a foreword from Robert Reich (translated and published in Danish: Balance Mellem Liv Og Arbejde – En Myte? Et Globalt Perspecktiv, Narayana Press, Gylling, Denmark, 2007)

Gambles, R., Lewis, S., and Rapoport, R. (2005) ‘Overcoming workplace and family barriers to change’ in Stanley, K., (ed.) Daddy Dearest? Active Fatherhood and Public Policy, London: ippr

Rapoport, R., Bailyn, L., Lewis, S., and Gambles, R., (2005) ‘Globalisation and the integration of paid work with the rest of life’ in Poelmans, S., (ed.) Work and Family: An International Research Perspective, Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Rapoport, R., Lewis, S., and Gambles, R., (2004) ‘Work-personal life integration: visions and pragmatic strategies for change’ in Lewis, S., and Cooper, C., Work-Life Integration: Case Studies of Organisational Change, Chichester: Wiley

Lewis, S., Rapoport, R., and Gambles, R., (2003) ‘Reflections on the Integration of Paid Work and the Rest of Life’ in Journal of Managerial Psychology, 18 (8) 824-841