UK WEN Initiatives

We will be focusing our initiatives around four main themes to bring the network together and make progress: Network, Support, Inspire and Action. You can also find our longer-term plans below.

Network: UK WEN Networking Annual Event

  • Lead: Misa Tanaka, Head of Research at the Bank of England

Following our successful launch in February 2023, we will bring together senior women economists from different sectors, to connect once a year. The annual event will feature inspirational speakers and panelists to discuss how the different sectors can work together to achieve the mission of UK WEN. 

The launch event was kindly hosted by the Bank of England, and we welcome offers from other institutions to host this annual event in the future.


Support: UK WEN Career Conversations

  • Lead: Chloe Maycock, Senior Economist in the Cabinet Office

Our objective is to support members to progress in their career, by hosting a series of events that facilitate networking, provide visibility of different career paths, discuss how to tackle common issues, and provide personal development opportunities.  

Our first career conversations event was held on 27 June 2023, kindly hosted by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Full event details, including a recording of the event, can be found here.


Inspire: UK WEN Inspirational Talks

  • Lead: Almudena Sevilla, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at LSE

The objective is to inspire young women who are studying economics to pursue a career in economics.  An example topic in this series is “Exploring the impact of women in economics: lessons and insights,” a joint event with the CEP (LSE) in March 2023. More details can be found here

We are aware that many universities have women in economics associations, and we welcome proposals to organise future events together or invitations to deliver talks.

Action: UK WEN Peer Learning Sets

  • Lead: Kate Collyer, Chief Economist at the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Lead for Best Practice Forums: Wanyu Chung, Associate Professor at the University of Birmingham

The aim of this initiative is to drive positive change through action-learning and best practice sharing.

UK WEN ‘Peer Learning Sets’ is a bottom-up initiative to aid the discussion on a shared challenge. The goal is to influence the implementation of practical solutions around practices and policies that increase diversity within the profession. PLS will be facilitated by an external consultant at a training session in January 2024.  For more information click here

‘Best Practice Forums’ are a top-down initiative consisting of round tables with decision-makers to identify challenges and share best practices with the goal of driving cultural and institutional change. We have partnered with CHUDE Head of Departments since October 2023 to deliver Athena Swan support and had several pilot sessions in 2023 across public and private sectors (ONS/CMA). 

Looking ahead: UK WEN plans beyond 2023-25

Over a longer term, we are very much looking for sponsors and partners to join forces with us to expand our activities, such as:

  • Monitoring representation: A cross-sector report on representation of women in economics profession in the UK, gender-specific barriers to progression, actions which employers can take to remove them. This could build on the existing RES gender report which covers only UK higher education.
  • Increasing visibility: Offering awards for influential UK-based women in economics; building a directory of women economists, who are willing to act as speakers at events and be interviewed by media.

UK WEN is sponsored by: