We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Our People

Dr Mariann Hardey


Associate Professor in Marketing, Directorate for Advanced Research in Computing (ARC) Institute

Dr Mariann Hardey is a member of the Marketing Group at Durham University Business School. She is a social media professional and academic and the BBC North East commentator for social media and digital networks. She read literature at the University of Sussex and later undertook a research MA followed by a PhD at the University of York.


Mariann is a social scientist and digital humanities scholar. Her research interests have been long concerned with mediated relationships and digital communications, while brining a richer comprehension of opportunities around working in technology into the process of leadership with a focus on supporting gender equality in tech in particular.

Early on in her career Mariann utilised the use of digital interaction ethnographic research for use in marketing and business development for startup companies. In 2014 she secured seed corn funding to develop approaches to understand how leadership is communicated and understood in Tech Cities. This work continues and will begin to feed into new projects to investigate the emergent capabilities of women leaders working in Tech Cities along with the legal and commercial issues with the now infamous “women in tech” (WIT) label.

Mariann is currently setting up the ‘WiT’ Flourshing project for the 2020 launch of the first exhibition about women professionals in tech.

Mariann is the Institute Lead and Durham PI for the Creative Fuse North East project 2016 - 2018. [weblink:] The project is one of the first trans-dsciplinary projects to bring together support from the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Arts Council England (ACE), and European Research Development Fund (ERDF). The Phase I report is availabe from July 2017.

Career Break - Mariann took time out in 2016 to spend time with her baby daughter.

Current projects

Creative Fuse North East (CFNE)

Launched April 2016 – August 2018

Researcher: Dr Mariann Hardey (PI at Durham), along with four other university partners, Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside and Northumbria.

Funding: £2.7m (£1.2 AHRC, £1.5m ERDF and ACE partners).

Academics work alongside industry, cultural organisations, charities and the public sector, to explore how creative, digital and IT firms can have a sustainable future in the region adding value to the region’s broader employment base.

Creativity Works (ERDF)

Launched January 2017 – August 2018

Researchers: Dr Mariann Hardey (PI at Durham) working with Gretchen Larsen, Gerald Moore, Pete Phillips and Ed Ruck-Keene.

Funding: ~£1.5m ERDF and match funding from Durham University.

The Creativity Works is set up to link students with regional work and placements beyond the lifetime of the CFNE research. There is also the opportunity to put in place a number of Innovation Projects (~£50k each) that focus on the creativity, digital and IT (CDIT) at the heart of the CFNE project. Durham currently has two projects in the pipeline.

Analysis of Social Media – eXperimental: Demonstrating the Value of the UK General Election Social Media Dataset for Social Science Research

Researchers: Dr Mariann Hardey, Dr Ibad Kureshi, Pedro Cardenas-Canto

Research dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of e-government and the impact of social media for predicting data analysis. This research is collecting the General Election 2017 social media content. We are interested in exploring the extent to which data from social media can be used to predict (beyond the classic sentiment analysis) interesting social and political phenomena especially elections.

Gender In Tech Cities (gitc)

Researcher: Dr Mariann Hardey

Research on access, use and attitudes to working in Tech Cities based on ethnographic data and on biennial surveys covering (for example) digital and social inclusion and exclusion, social networking, safety and privacy concerns, regulation, and leadership behaviour.

Leadership and Key Points of Transition Amongst the ‘Women in Tech’

Researcher: Dr Mariann Hardey

Along with partners from three Tech City sites (London, New York and California), data is being collected in relation to leadership-seeking tasks in two themes: Network Building (interactive decision making) and Commercial Presence (evaluating digital information).

PhD supervision

Mariann is particularly interested in hearing from students who want to take an interdisciplinary approach to their research. Mariann would encourage student's with Social Science and Arts & Humanities backgrounds to get in touch about their research ideas.


Mariann is the Module Lead for two undergraduate programmes: Integrated Marketing Communications; and Information Systems.

Mariann is the Module Lead for the postgraduate course: Contemporary Marketing Communications

Mariann also contributes to learning and teaching resources across faculties including Social Science and Arts & Humanities.

Related websites

Research Interests

  • Women in digital leadership roles
  • Consumer-generated-content (CGC)
  • Tech Cities
  • Digital information systems
  • Network society
  • Web 2.0, digital social networks and brand development
  • Wearable tech and digital consumption
  • Social apps
  • Digital Humanities

Research Groups


Contact Details

Associate Professor in Marketing, Directorate for Advanced Research in Computing (ARC) Institute
+44 191 3340120