Women are increasingly gaining momentum in International Relations-related careers but they continue to face barriers in achieving senior-level positions and leadership roles, whether that be in academia, diplomacy, international organizations (including EU institutions), government, or international business. Women currently hold 11.1 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and 10.8 percent in the House. In the U.S. Department of State, women make up 29 percent of the chiefs of mission, and 29 percent of senior foreign positions at USAID. In the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, 13 out of 71 legislators are women, and women hold only 9 seats in the current European Commission. Twenty-nine percent of the staff at the European External Action Service’s headquarters are women, and 19 percent of the European Union Head of Delegation are women.
In academia, women working in European Studies and International Relations are a minority to achieve senior positions, and only seldom are women invited to speak on panels discussing topics in foreign policy. In international business, women make up just 21 percent of senior management positions globally.
The Women@IR – WeBIND network aims to promote women leadership in International Relations-related jobs, and emphasize the need and availability of skilled women in the field. This project will compare and promote women leadership in the EU and the U.S., thus filling a gap in EU studies that have so far neglected the role women leaders play in EU policy making and International Relations. The project’s primary goals are to:
- Research the role played by women leaders in International Relations and Foreign Policy.
- Understand the difficulties women leaders face in Internal Relations-related careers.
- Lead a public diplomacy effort to change narrative about the role of women in InternationalRelations, Foreign Policy, and European integration.
- Map and promote women’s scholarly contributions to the fields within international relations.
- Train emerging women leaders to help them overcome barriers in International Relations-related careers.
- Create mentoring and support networks to help younger women succeed in International Relations-related careers, such as academia, diplomacy, international organization, government, or business.