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 most recent event of this kind was held on 7 Feb 2024. Further details including recordings and photos can be found here


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.

Our next event will be on 5 June 2024 – further details will be circulaed to the UK WEN mailing list in due course.


Inspire: UK WEN Inspirational Talks

  • Lead: Dr. Maria Psyllou, Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham

We offer 2 types of ‘Inspirational Talks’, working with partner organisations. 

The first, Inspirational Talks for Future Economists is designed for universities, women in economics associations and university economics societies. We bring together accomplished women in the field to share their personal journeys and insights. Aspiring economists gain valuable perspectives, motivation, and advice to fuel their passion for economics. The ultimate goal is to reduce the gender imbalance in economics studies by inspiring young women who are studying economics to confidently pursue a career in economics.

The second, Inspirational Talks for Future Leaders, is geared towards early-career women economists in both the public and private sectors. The talks feature influential women economists sharing their experiences and insights on navigating the path to leadership roles. The objective is to inspire and empower these professionals, boosting their confidence to ascend and excel in senior positions. By providing a platform for women role models in economics, our ultimate aim is to stimulate cultural change within the profession, fostering a more inclusive and diverse leadership.

More details on these Inspirational Talk events can be found here

Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating to host such an event: m.psyllou@bham.ac.uk 

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 Q1 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: