Blog: Inspiring women in research 101
April 11, 2023

Blog: Inspiring women in research 101

One of the objectives of the Young European Ambassadors (YEA) network which is not mentioned on the website but is a major part of the initiative, is inspiring and supporting one another. This is what happened on March 29th at the ‘Women in Research’ online panel discussion. Freya, Joanna and Elsie, three YEAs from the EU/UK chapter, shared their experiences, reflections, and advice on being in academia and social science research with another fifteen YEAs from their chapter. With their insights and tips, “bricks” were laid to help create a bridge connecting the academic world to the young women wanting to enter it.

Despite all three speakers coming from different disciplines of political science, they all had something in common: being present and active in a field dominated by men. Their work is their own unique way of empowering themselves, women, and other marginalised communities, because as Freya said: “to shed light on specific issues like discrimination, we can do research and by putting it down on paper, we then have evidence that the problem exists and that there is a lack of measures to tackle it. When you bring this research to the policymakers, they then cannot deny the problem. Research can help keep them accountable to their promises.” This helped participants understand how academic research can have a tangible impact by directly affecting policy. Academic research is a valuable tool that can help to create societal change.

Despite all three speakers experiencing similar barriers as women in research, the ways they face them are unique but founded on the same principle: being passionate about what they are doing and conducting research on topics that have not yet been explored. As Elsie said: “it is a huge success to turn the stones that have been left unturned and reveal a narrative that was ignored before.” Helping to circulate these new narratives in the academic world leads to a better understanding of the topic, which, in time, can reach all levels of society and make a change. You always must start somewhere! As Joanna put it: Don’t be afraid! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and start even from somewhere that you did not expect! It is all part of the process!”

At a time when only 23,6% of women are amongst the heads of institutions in the higher sector in the European Union, it is crucial that women have the opportunity to support, inspire, and motivate each other. In a reality where women are not always given the space to develop their skills, we need to make the space for that ourselves, which is why the event was organised last month. So thank you Freya, Joanna, Elsie, and Anna, who hosted the event, for showing us that this is possible!

Interested in the latest news and opportunities?

This website is managed by the EU-funded Regional Communication Programme for the Eastern Neighbourhood ('EU NEIGHBOURS east’), which complements and supports the communication of the Delegations of the European Union in the Eastern partner countries, and works under the guidance of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and the European External Action Service. EU NEIGHBOURS east is implemented by a B&S Europe-led consortium. It is part of the larger Neighbourhood Communication Programme (2020-2024) for the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood, which also includes 'EU NEIGHBOURS south’ project that runs the EU Neighbours portal.

The information on this site is subject to a Disclaimer and Protection of personal data. © European Union,