Professor Jo Silvester

BSc Psychology; MSc Occupational Psychology; PhD Psychology

  • Professor of Work Psychology

Expertise: political work, leadership, diversity.

Research groups and centres

Jo is a Professor of Work Psychology whose research focuses on leadership emergence and effectiveness in complex work environments. Her research has been foundational in understanding the nature of political work within legislatures and political parties, as well as its importance in business and the public sector. As an academic and practitioner, Jo has led cross-party research investigating political skills required for government, leadership development for aspiring and elected politicians, and the intersection between political work and diversity. She has worked with UK political parties to develop fair and robust candidate selection procedures, and more recently with the House of Commons to investigate organisational culture and trust. Other research interests include diversity in the workplace (e.g. financial advisors’ perceptions of wealthy female clients, how senior women and BME leaders navigate leadership emergence) and personality predictors of political effectiveness.

Jo’s work has been published in leading international journals, including The Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Applied Psychology, Political Behavior, Human Relations, British Journal of Psychology, and European Journal of Finance. She has received research, enterprise and PhD funding from many different organisations, including the ESRC, Home Office, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Civil Service Learning, IDeA, Philips, Boots, Ford, and J.P. Morgan.

  • Member of International Advisory Board, BSS University of Aarhus
  • Member – Academy of Management
  • Member – British Psychological Society
  • Member – European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology

Impact and engagement examples

  • political work
  • leadership emergence and effectiveness
  • diversity

Working papers

  • Silvester J., Wyatt, M., Ellen III, B.P., & Ferris, G. (Under Review) Campaigning to Win: Political Skill, Efficacy, and Intentions to Influence Votes in a British Parliamentary Leadership Contest.
  • Baeckstrom, Y., Marsh, I., & Silvester, J. (Under Review) Financial advice, wealth and gender: Risk tolerance, knowledge and confidence.