Before COVID-19 our events took place every two months at a London-based university. Meetings would normally run on Friday afternoons with a 15.00 start, followed by dinner to allow for more informal interaction.

Every meeting includes a mix of presentations, focusing on specifc research topics, research methods, career perspectives, publishing and research impact. We also regularly invite female scholars from other countries to broaden the network.

Since COVID-19, we run monthly meetings; all meetings are run online and attended by CYGNA members from all over the world.

If you are interested in being on the mailing list and/or attending our events please contact Anne-Wil Harzing ( Feel free to share this information to anyone who might be interested. We also maintain a readings and inspirations section for female academics and have a Twitter hashtag #cygna_london. A quick overview of past presentations can be found here. For a full description of our network see: Celebrating CYGNA: Supporting women in academia. An overview of blogposts of nearly all our meetings is here: CYGNA: Resource collection for the summer holidays.

Organizing Committee

Argyro Avgoustaki (, ESCP Europe
Anne-Wil Harzing (, Middlesex University
Linn Eleanor Zhang (, Loughborough University London
Shasha Zhao (, University of Surrey

Meetings for the 2020-2021 academic year

Please note: all times are London time, i.e. Winter time GMT+0, Summer time GMT+1.

Meeting 33: 25 September 2020, 10.50-13.30: Female leadership before and after COVID-19

Organizer: Linn Eleanor Zhang, Loughborough University London

  • Women can have it all: how to balance research, leadership and family before and after Covid-19, Kristiina Mäkelä, Provost, Aalto University, Finland
    • Commentary, Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University, Associate Dean for Research
    • Q&A with all participants
  • Leadership and resilience during and after Covid-19,  Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull, UK  
    • Commentary, Jenny Fry, Loughborough University, Associate Dean for Teaching
    • Q&A with all participants

Meeting 34: 22 October 2020, 10.30-12.00: How do I keep my job (in academia) in uncertain times?

Organizer: Anne-Wil Harzing, Middlesex University; Chair/Facilitator: Axele Giroud, University of Manchester

  • Shea Fan, RMIT University, Australia: Global Pandemic and its impact on women working in Australia’s Higher Education sector

  • Mariana Dodourova, Middlesex University, UK: A brief no-nonsense overview of the current UK HE environment
  • Marian Jones, Sheffield University, UK: Time to leave, or time to change? A gendered perspective on academic work during a crisis

Meeting 35: 26 November 2020, 9.00-11.00: The wonderful world of book publishing

Organizer: Marian Mahat, University of Melbourne

Meeting 36: 18 December 2020, 14.30-16.30: Everything you always wanted to know about the REF & CYGNA Christmas celebration

Organizer & presenter: Anne-Wil Harzing, Middlesex University

In the first part of this meeting you will have a chance to ask any questions you have always wanted to ask about the REF. Although the REF is specific to the UK, the general issue of national research evaluations and how they might impact on academic careers is relevant to all.

In the second part of the meeting, we will have Christmas celebration with a Secret Santa.

Meeting 37: 22 January 2021, 14.00-16.00: GLOMO: Working a Horizon-2020 project

Purpose: Overview of the GLOMO project to provide CYGNA members with some insight into how this grant proposal came into life and what may be important to get EU research money.

  • Cordula Barzantny, Toulouse Business School, France: Introduction and Overview to EU Horizon 2020 Project “Global mobility of employees (GLOMO)”  
  • Emilija Oleskeviciute, Cranfield Management School, UK: Pressures of the merging identities: migration, self-initiated expatriation, academia, international project, and mental health concerns
  • Giovanna Milani, Airbus Group & Toulouse Business School, France: Becoming a Global Mobility Expert by studying Expatriate Compensation: the industrial PhD experience
  • Acil Abdul Hadi, Toulouse Business School, France: The EU Horizon2020 PhD Experience: Challenges and benefits of pursuing a PhD after 8 years in the industry.
  • Monique Raupp, Cranfield Management School, UK: My own perceptions of hostile environments: a self-initiated expatriate in a BREXIT and COVID-19 era

Meeting 38: 26 February 2021, 9.00-11.00: Resistance to equality in academia and how to overcome it

Organizer & presenter: Susanne Täuber

Susanne will be presenting the results of a survey study she has conducted on this topic. She will also discuss the tension between formal equality initiatives and covert inequality regimes, as well as measures regarding how to align these two. Finally, we will share experiences on how to engage those benefiting from the existing inequality regimes to (a) acknowledge the inequality and (b) get on board as allies for equality.

Meeting 39: 18 March 2021, 9.00-11.00: Climbing up the academic career ladder: structural constraints and female academics’ personal strategies

Organizer: Huong Nguyen, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Speaker: Sharon Bell, Dean, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Honorary Professor, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Professor Sharon Bell will share her insights about career advancement for female academics / researchers, based on her ARC Linkage research and personal career experience. Dr. Huong Nguyen will then lead a group discussion on the following topics, based on her research on facilitators of and barriers to academic promotion at Australian universities:

  1. What strategies have you employed in climbing up the academic career ladder? What specific proactive actions have you undertaken? What worked? What did not work?
  2. Which organizational career management practices do your university offer? To what extent are they useful for your career advancement?

Meeting 40: 28 May 2021, 10.00-12.00: Who ‘does’ scholarly impact: women’s narratives of impact case studies in Business & Management

Organizer & presenter: Emily Yarrow, University of Portsmouth. Twitter: @EmilyYarrow1

In this session we will discuss recent research into women’s lived experiences of leading impact case studies as a part of REF requirements, and how women management scholars experience ‘doing’ impact. Together in the discussion we will explore the phenomenon of the gendered production of research impact, we are interested in how traditionally marginalized individuals overcome systems and processes that disadvantage particular scholars within business schools. There will also a be a chance to ask questions about other aspects of the REF, but please watch the video on this before the meeting: CYGNA: REF and Christmas during a pandemic

Previous research on impact case studies by CYGNA members:

Meeting 41: 24 June 2021, 10.00-12.00: Writing a literature review paper: whether, what, and when?

Organizer & presenter: Tatiana Andreeva, Maynooth University

We regularly do literature reviews as a part of our research process. Could (and should) these literature reviews be published as a separate piece of work?  In this session we will peek behind the curtain of the publication process of several literature review papers and based on this explore what the challenges of publishing literature reviews are and offer some tips how to address them. We will discuss this issue through the different lenses – from a PhD student to an established scholar (and a PhD supervisor).

Watch a brief video on CYGNA at my YouTube channel

Previous meetings

Pictures and presentations from all previous meetings are available: