I’m Dr Zuleyka Zevallos, an applied sociologist of Latin-Australian background. I hold a PhD in Sociology. I work as a senior policy researcher. I am also an Adjunct Research Fellow with Swinburne University.
I began my career as an academic before joining the Australian Public Service leading interdisciplinary research teams. Later I managed the research team for an environmental health and safety investigation commissioned by the state government, and then worked as a research and social media consultant. I then developed and implemented the Australian Academy of Science’s national program to increase gender equity and diversity across higher education and science organisations. Most recently, I have been working in consultancy and social policy.
I specialise in analysing issues of gender and sexuality, culture, discrimination and diversity in the workplace, social media, environmental health and safety, and interdisciplinary research.
I support the careers of sociology graduates via my not-for-profit Sociology at Work, which I founded in 2009. I also co-manage several other not-for-profit groups serving public education, science literacy and environmental awareness.
I acknowledge and pay respects to the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of Country where I live, in the city we now call Sydney.
Read my extended biography below or visit my research blog The Other Sociologist.
I began my sociology career in 2001, teaching sociology and working as a research assistant while I was also writing my PhD dissertation. I completed my PhD at the end of 2004.
Throughout this time, I worked as a lecturer, convenor, teaching assistant and researcher at Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, from 2001-2005, as well as a lecturer at Monash University in 2005. Over the years, I taught courses on introductory sociology; ethnicity, race and multiculturalism; families and diversity; gender and sexuality; and the social impact of technology. I also worked on research projects related to public perceptions of social good; setting up a biotechnology database and producing materials for a related academic website; I assisted on a project on “Rich List” businesses; and I worked on a study on social marketing for vulnerable consumers. I left this work to pursue other opportunities beyond academia. Thus began my career as an applied sociologist.
In 2006 I moved from Melbourne to Adelaide, where I joined the Australian Public Service. I worked within an interdisciplinary team of scientists from both the social and natural sciences. Our team specialised in research for strategic policy, social modelling and developing databases and analysis tools for government clients. I was also a Science Team Leader on two large, long-term projects; one was dedicated to the analysis of media information campaigns, and the other explored intercultural communication. I also conducted research on a broad range of topics, addressing issues such as political violence; the social inclusion of minority groups; leadership and behaviour; power in social networks; as well as media and website analysis.
I left almost six years later to return to Melbourne.
In 2012, I worked as the Senior Analyst for an environmental health and safety investigation. I led a team of 23 analysts evaluating thousands of reports and hundreds of interviews. I reviewed the training practices and managerial procedures regarding hazardous chemicals and their connection to cancer and other illnesses found amongst emergency response workers and volunteers.
In the same year, I also worked on independent research and social media as I established my consultancy, Social Science Insights. I supported clients who wished to improve their services and communities through quality social research as well as educational and inspirational social media. I provided research and training on workplace diversity, health, public education, and corporate responsibility. I worked with a range of businesses and not-for-profit organisations; from community groups delivering education; to businesses in the catering and food industry; to fitness and wellbeing entrepreneurs; to fashion and beauty professionals; to technology providers; and more.
In 2015, I moved to Canberra to join the Australian Academy of Science, as Program Manager of Science Australia Gender Equity (SAGE). I designed and implemented a pilot of the Athena SWAN Charter in Australia. This is an equity and diversity accreditation and evaluation program for universities, research and medical centres. The objective is to improve the hiring, promotion, retention, recognition and participation of all women, including Indigenous and transgender women, as well as other under-represented minorities in science. I was tasked with recruiting six organisations for the pilot. Within the first year, 40 institutions had joined from across higher education, science institutions and government agencies. I created a training program using a framework of intersectionality (examining the interconnections between gender, racial and other inequalities). We also established a national symposium addressing intersectionality and policy changes in science, technology, mathematics and medicine (STEMM).
After the successful launch of this program, I left the Academy to work in consultancy and research projects in the not-for-profit and social policy sectors.
I moved to Sydney in late 2016. I established an applied research program to address domestic and family violence. I later provided analysis of social movements; delivered strategic advice on corporate gender equity and inclusion measures; and various other exciting projects.
In mid-2017, I began work as a Senior Behavioural Analyst in social policy. I’ve led multiple projects to improve outcomes for marginalised and vulnerable populations. This includes improving up-take and access of programs by people at risk of recidivism; randomised control trials to increase completion rates of apprentices and trainees who are struggling at work; scaling a trial to boost self-help behaviour by first-year learners across New South Wales; and scaling a program to attract pre-service teachers to rural and remote schools. I currently lead a trial to improve career outcomes for people with disability in the public service.
Publications & Social Media
I have published over 200 government reports, academic articles, client reports, conference papers and other articles, as well as many other blog and social media posts. My research covers topics such as multiculturalism and immigration; intercultural education; gender equality; community development; environmentalism; political conflict; business and entrepreneurship; and interdisciplinary social modelling.
I have been blogging and writing on social media since 2009. My main research blog is The Other Sociologist, where I discuss issues of social inclusion (including race, gender and sexuality), as well as how to improve public science education and applied sociology.
I write about how social science can help businesses, community development and social policy on the Social Science Insights blog.
This website, ZuleykaZevallos.com, reproduces my academic publications and media interviews.
I also blog about arts, popular culture, social causes and visual sociology on my Tumblr.
My work has been featured in The Conversation, the London School of Economics and Politics, DiverseScholar, Latino Rebels, The Humanist, and Women’s Policy Action Tank. See my full list of academic publications and other selected writing.
Since 2006, I have been an Adjunct Research Fellow with Swinburne University, in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design.
In 2007, I founded the Applied Sociology Thematic Group, within The Australian Sociological Association, serving researchers working outside universities. In 2009, I established Sociology at Work (S@W). S@W is an international network of applied sociology practitioners, activists and students. We have a current membership of almost 34,000 people across our website and social media platforms. I maintain our blog, website and social pages.
I am one of the Managers for STEM Women, a not-for-profit group dedicated to addressing gender inequality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
From 2013-2019, I co-managed Science on Google+ (now archived), Biocultural Diversity & Land(Sea)scapes, and Equity and Inclusion in Physics and Astronomy.
My Research Interests
- Communities: social identities, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, class, nationality, youth sub-cultures
- Culture: migrants, race, multiculturalism, discrimination, social cohesion, socio-economic mobility of minorities, resettlement experiences of refugees, Islam in non-Muslim majority nations
- Media analysis: target audiences, comparative media literacy, website analysis, traditional and new media consumption in developing societies, social marketing, advertising
- Social Media: blogging communities, social influence patterns on Twitter, social networks and privacy on Facebook, public science on Google+, visual education via Tumblr, Pinterest and YouTube
- Political issues: civic engagement, politically motivated violence, national security, counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, human terrain analysis, social movements
- Education and training: intercultural communication, community development
- Business: Small business online practices, digital entrepreneurship, women Executives, social science in management training and development
- Social theory: social constructionism, ethnomethodology, feminism, postcolonialism
- Qualitative methods: in-depth interviewing, behavioural analysis, cultural assessments, ethnography, data management and ontology development
- Quantitative methods: I am passionate about making meaningful interpretation of Census data and social surveys. In my former work, I provided social science input to interdisciplinary social modelling.
In my Other Life, I am…
- An Avid Fashionista, especially of vintage and retro threads;
- A Movie Aficionado, especially of indie, international and horror films;
- Book Worm;
- Tireless Dancer;
- Art Fanatic;
- Pop Culture Tragic and Connoisseur of out-dated cultural references.
- Occasional Children’s Clown.
Connect with me
If you’d like to reach me via email, fill out the form on my Contact Me page. Otherwise you can find me on:
To read more about the purpose of my website and a super riveting disclaimer, click here.