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Why are they paid so much?
Episode 214th November 2023 • Work FORCE • Dr Grace Lordan
00:00:00 00:27:08

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Why are they paid so much?

What influence does the complex world of workplace dynamics have on income? In this episode we delve into the myth of meritocracy, highlighting how factors beyond talent and skill often determine salary. From education and the choices you make early in your career to the pervasive influence of parents and socio-economic factors. We discuss the unsettling gender and race pay disparities and explore promising solutions for a more equitable system. 

Work FORCE is a podcast hosted by Dr Grace Lordan (, author of Think Big, Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want and professor at the London School of Economics. You can buy Think Big Here:



Work FORCE unravels the behavioural science behind things that happen in the workplace that impact your success and wellbeing, blending academic evidence with real life experiences.  


Follow Grace on X or Instagram @profgracelordan; on LinkedIn drgracelordan 

Joining the WorkFORCE discussion are:

Michael Bohm

Michael J. Boehm is Professor of Empirical Economics at Technical University Dortmund. Prior to that, he was assistant professor at the University of Bonn (both Germany), during which time he spent two years as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. from the London School of Economics in 2013. Michael's research is primarily concerned with labour economics and its intersections with econometrics, firm productivity, personnel, technological change, and macroeconomics. Topics include technological and demographic change, regional inequality, the role of firms and the allocation of talent in the labour market. His contributions have appeared in renowned international journals, including Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Labor Economics, Quantitative Economics and International Economic Review.

Review Michael’s work at

Find out more about Empirical Economic Research at

Marc Keuschnigg

Marc Keuschnigg is Professor of Sociological Theory at the University of Leipzig in Germany. In addition, Marc is Associate Professor at the Institute for Analytical Sociology at Linköping University in Sweden. He leads research groups on cultural dynamics, spatial inequality, and computational text analysis. Marc obtained his doctorate from the LMU Munich (2012) and his habilitation from Linköping University (2018). Before that, he was a visiting scholar in Mangalore, India. He is Vice President of the International Network of Analytical Sociology (INAS) and member of the supervisory board of the Leibniz Institute for Social Sciences (GESIS).

Find out more about Marc’s work on his website

Sheeraz Gulsher

Sheeraz is Co-Founder of People Like Us, an award-winning non-profit that celebrates and supports professionals from underrepresented backgrounds in media and marcomms. Sheeraz is a passionate campaigner for equal pay for ethnic minority workers in the UK.

Find out more about People Like Us and access the Pay Gap toolkit on their website

Follow Sheeraz and his work on LinkedIn

For additional bonus content from all of this episode’s guest conversations visit the Work FORCE YouTube channel: @ProfGraceLordan

Dr Grace Lordan is the Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative. Find out more about The Inclusion Initiative on X @LSE_TII or visit

Dr Grace Lordan is leader of 

Work FORCE is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / 






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