The Women Leaders @IR & Foreign Policy network aims to promote women leadership in international relations & foreign policy, regardless of the line of work: diplomacy, international organizations, academia and think tanks, business, journalism, etc.
It is often said that if more women were at the helm of foreign policy, there would be more peace in the world. However – and despite the fact that women have played important roles – there is little research about the actual foundations of this claim. While women’s leadership is increasingly gaining momentum, women involved in International Relations-related jobs – be it in academia, diplomacy, international organizations, government or international business – are still facing more difficulties than in other areas in climbing the seniority ladder.
In IR-FP related jobs, in fact, it is even more difficult for women to keep a work-life balance and to cope with the often contrasting expectations on women one finds across different cultures and countries. Properly understanding these difficulties, how to coop with them, and which are the variables that facilitate success in IR/FP for women is essential to break the glass ceiling in IR & FP.
Our research work is thus comparing women leadership in IR and Foreign Policy, looking at their career paths, at the policies they promoted while in office, and at outcomes they generated. This is helping us better understand the concrete difficulties women leaders face in embarking in IR-FP careers and in designing specific training to help more women succeed in IR & FP-related careers. A first training was organized Brussels in 2013.
Our work consists of a body of research to be published in journal articles, op-eds, and a forthcoming book with Brookings Press. The network also organizes conferences and panels.