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Mary White

Senior Lecturer

Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies


Mary is an enthusiastic, driven and motivational senior lecturer and HRM consultant with proven flexibility to support individuals in an inclusive learning environment. Mary is a recognised leader in forging partnerships and links within the business community. Furthermore, she is skilful in leading change for both individuals and teams. Within the learning environment Mary demonstrates she is a creative course developer with a reputation for an innovative approach to achieving outcomes on work-related issues. She is an excellent communicator at all levels and a champion for diversity and equality issues within the workplace. This year Mary was appointed as one of the teaching and learning champions for the University.

One of Mary’s greatest strengths is her ability to bring both the theoretical perspective of HR and the added value of her workplace experience in leadership, organisational development and HRM. Her portfolio is extensive and includes: absence and performance, change management, coaching, diversity and equality, emotional intelligence, business planning, and all aspects of team building and leadership. In previous roles she has led on designing and delivering leadership programmes for managers at all levels. Within HR, Mary has led on projects including the development of a core behavioural competency framework for the entire work force of a local authority; contributed to the reduction of absence from 8.7% to 4.5% in a financial year by developing and delivering an absence management toolkit, and introducing a policy to support individuals with dyslexia (which was later shared with other organisations). A current work initiative is Mary’s Involvement with the Growth Project where she has supported individuals through mentorship. One of her current mentees states: “Mary has been of significant help to me in gaining clarity about the needs of my business and supporting me to gain skills and successful outcomes.”

Within her role at Solent University, Mary has demonstrated her skills as a course leader and has led one team to achieve Level 1 (High Confidence) Banding on the CIPD Intermediate Diploma in HRM (which had previously been Level 3 (Limited Confidence)), and maintained this for three years. The external examiner for the CIPD stated on their last visit that, “Solent University is the Rolls Royce of delivering CIPD Intermediate Diploma in HRM”. Part of her remit has been to lead on the MBA Leadership units for Enhanced Leadership and Leading for Innovation and Change.

Mary is course leader for the Chartered Management Institute for Leadership and Management, which was launched in 2016. Mary is a keen advocate of appreciative inquiry, both as a research and change management method. During the last two years Mary has led on several projects conducting research through appreciative inquiry (AI) with different stakeholders and working in collaboration with outside stakeholders. One project was research for the Southampton City Council Public Health who needed to access 'hard to reach' stakeholders involved in the investigation of obesity with under fives. Using AI as a research approach, Mary led and facilitated research that was the first of its kind in this area. Other research projects that Mary is involved with include leadership and inclusion. Mary has used AI as part of the Vice Chancellor’s focus groups (communication) to progress the outcomes of the staff attitudinal survey within the University.

Mary seeks to promote diversity and equality as the norm and leads on workshops to promote engagement on issues such as disability, race, age and sexual discrimination. Part of her approach has been to actively lead and support groups seeking to share information through networking opportunities.

Mary is an active Church Warden at St Marys Church for the Parish of Southampton.

Taught courses

Further information

Industry experience

Mary has extensive experience of working in both the public and private sector in the specialism of HRM and specifically in leadership, organisational development and diversity. Through living and working in the Middle East and Europe she has gained considerable experience of working across cultures and how inclusivity is achieved in the learning environment. Her roles within the academic sector include both course and unit leader responsibilities.

Teaching experience

From September 2014: Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Management, Solent University

From May 2014: Open University Tutor in Leadership Certificate with OU

April 2013 - October 2014: Part-time Lecturer in HRM and Organisation Studies, University of Portsmouth

September 2013 - October 2014: Part-time Lecturer at levels 5 and 7 in CMI Leadership and Management awards, City College, Southampton

January 2011 - September 2014: Senior Lecturer in HRM, Southampton Solent University

2005 - 2012: Academic Tutor in Academic Studies, University of Southampton

June 2009 - August 2012: Senior HR Consultant, Hampshire County Council

May 2005 - November 2008: Southampton City Primary Care Trust

2003 - 2005: Diversity Lead, Hampshire Constabulary

1996 - 2003: British Council, Dubai

Research interests

Research, enterprise and advanced professional practice interests

  • Collaboration in research at SSU across different schools regarding the use of appreciative inquiry as a research tool for the Department of Health in the area of nutrition for the under fives and also in a public health setting.
  • Leadership development in Southampton University Hospital using appreciative inquiry.
  • Inclusion in relation to age and disability using appreciative inquiry for Southampton City Council Digital Exclusion Project.
  • Widening participation in higher education using appreciate inquiry and working with key stakeholders in Southampton.

Research, enterprise and advanced professional practice outputs

  • Invited conference paper at the Health and Wellbeing Conference 2015.
  • Regular contributor to conferences at Solent University.