Rafael Gomez

Professor and Director, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto

Activity Area - Training and Skills Development

Rafael Gomez is a Professor of employment relations and, since 2015, Director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources at the University of Toronto. He is co-lead IDEA’s Training and Skills Development Activity Area.

Before joining the faculty at the University of Toronto in 2009, Gomez was a Senior Lecturer in management and industrial relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Gomez’s current research examines the role of unions and other labour market institutions in providing the employee voice, and what this means for workers and broader democratic engagement.

In 2005, Gomez was awarded the U.S Labor and Employment Relations Association’s John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award for exceptional contributions to international and comparative labour and employment research. In 2013-14, his book The Little Black Book for Managers was a U.K. business book business bestseller. His second book, Small Business and the City, was published in 2015.

Gomez earned a PhD and an MA in industrial relations, as well as an MA in economics, from the University of Toronto. He got his BA in economics and political science from Glendon College at York University.

“Just over a decade ago I was asked to step in and teach an employment health and safety course at the University of Toronto mid-way through the term. Although I had published in a few areas that related to work and disability – e.g., publishing a few papers on whether volunteering is a viable path for those with disabilities to re-enter the paid workforce – teaching about disability and work introduced me to so many interesting subject areas but also to the scale of the challenges facing workers in our economy. I loved sharing what I was learning with my students, to a wider academic audience, and sharing best practices whether designed privately by companies or developed in partnership with unions/government. I always felt strongly that worker involvement makes workplaces better, but nowhere is this more evident than in the area of inclusive employment and recognizing that disability confidence is something that needs to be increased across all of society. IDEA/VRAIE is a way to celebrate great programs already in place and educate more employers to make that happen.”