About Cygna

cygnaThe name CYGNA derives from the female version of the Latin word for SWAN (Supporting Women in Academia Network). The main objective of the group is to promote interaction among female academics based in the London area and to provide a forum for learning, support, and networking. Although most of our members work in business and management, we welcome participants from neighbouring disciplines.

The network was established in June 2014 shortly after Anne-Wil moved to London as a combined initiative of Argyro Avgoustaki, Ling Eleanor Zhang, and Anne-Wil Harzing. Our first official meeting took place in October 2014 at ESCP Europe.

HROB becomes CYGNA

After 12 successful meetings, we decided to relaunch the network in January 2017 with a new name (CYGNA) and an official logo. Both the name and logo were chosen through a collaborative process involving all members, who have now started to call themselves swans. The name CYGNA appealed to members for its Latin origins and its slight mysteriousness. The connotations and imagery elicited by the word swan were also seen as clear positives:

  • the traditional symbol of beauty and grace in ancient Greece, which, combined with the Latin name, provides us with strong academic roots
  • serene and calm on the outside, but madly paddling under the water, just like most academics these days
  • peaceful, faithful, and almost entirely herbivorous, but assertive when defending things that matter, such as gender equality and our research
  • at home in diverse environments (water, earth, air), reflecting the national and cultural diversity of our network, which counts more than 20 nationalities