Information for and about the Cygna network membership

Our network has well over 350 members, representing more than 100 universities and more than 30 countries. Currently our members are concentrated in the area of Business & Management, but we are keen to expand to CYGNA wider Social Sciences and Humanities to promote interdisciplinary interaction and research. 

Members come from a wide range of London based universities and other British universities. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic, jalf of our membership is international. For more details on our meetings see here. A quick overview of past presentations can be found here. We maintain a readings and inspirations section for female academics, a LinkedIn group, and hashtags #cygna_london #cygnawomen

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.

What does CYGNA mean to its members?

At our 50th meeting we also asked members to share a few words about what CYGNA meant to them on a Padlet. The word-cloud below is a perfect summary of what CYGNA aims to be: a friendly, kind, inclusive, and supportive community, providing a safe space/place to exchange ideas, share experiences, provide advice, inspire, and learn. We think that's pretty amazing :-). This succinct, but wonderfully evocative, comment by the equally wonderful Luisa Pinto says it all.

Belonging, learning, camaraderie, friendship and sharing. My academic family: I'm an only child who suddenly has a community of sisters. Thanks!

How CYGNA is helping its members?

Our swans have different reasons for joining the network. Some are mainly interested in the topics discussed in the seminars; some particularly enjoy the networking element or the personal stories of career struggles. Others join our meetings to meet [potential] research collaborators; many of us make CYGNA days our fixed day for meeting our co-authors face-to-face. Several of our swans have used the CYGNA network to gain inside knowledge about job opportunities and different university cultures. Here is what some of our members had to say:

From my first meeting in 2016 and through today, Cygna has been a source of inspiration and support. It is the only group in which a question that I send to a member gets a response in a couple of hours, no matter whether the question is addressed to someone who I know very well or only by name. The trust and good will embedded in the network is extraordinary -- a testament of the love, care and purpose that the founding members have put in the network. Thank You All! 

A safety net of safety and comfort in an increasingly aggressive world, and an example of generosity in the age of greed. Here's to many more years to come! 

A safe space in which we listen to and support each other, share and learn, give each other practical advice, find new collaborators, test out ideas, and have a great laugh together! A community of women academics who are (successfully) working towards making academia a better place for everybody.

Unique academic network which embodies Amy Edmondson’s concept of psychological safety through which we share and learn, grow and develop as individuals and scholars, scholarly teams and organizations.

A super supportive, welcoming and generous community; a safe space to exchange ideas, learn with each other; a group of enthusiastic women eager to share their experiences for the benefit of others; a brilliant environment encouraging to pause and reflect. 

A kind and understanding network/community of colleagues and friends, from which I draw much comfort and inspiration. I always look forward to meetings and feel energised and re-spirited afterwards. Thank you everyone, not least our fabulous convenors!

CYGNA helped me feel supported by women colleagues who share similar experiences and challenges within academia. I gain lots of insights into a variety of topics that I would not have gained in any other way. Also, I find it rewarding to meet with like-minded people, who share similar goals and undergo similar challenges and who support one another with ideas of how to capture opportunities and overcome challenges on our academic journey, all in a relaxed and friendly environment.

CYGNA has been a wonderful support to me in various ways. Several colleagues there have helped me with publications and acted as critical readers before submissions. I also found great support when changing job and getting career advice. It was very valuable to have a safe place in which I could discuss specific offers and get advice choosing what was best for me personally and professionally.

I met many great female scholars through this network. With one of them I ended up editing a special issue at the European Journal of International Management. CYGNA really helps girls in academia to get their name out there!

Cygna has been a great place to meet other academics with similar interests. I have always felt reenergised after attending Cygna events. I have also found that the topics that we discussed are relevant and practical. For example, the seminar dedicated to social media in the academic context was very informative and made me take action. It made me think about my profile in social media and, consequently, revise my personal and professional information available online.

Being an early career academic in Australia, I feel that CYGNA is a valuable way for me to be connected to an international community of like-minded scholars, who are generous in sharing their experiences and providing helpful advice. The regular emails and updates inspire and motivate me in my research and career. I hope to join one of the CYGNA events in person one day when I visit the UK!

Cygna has helped me greatly when I was finishing my PhD and was looking for my first academic home. I have received lots of helpful advice from Cygna members then regarding where to apply and how to prepare a strong application.

As someone who finds diversity of views rewarding, I was always apprehensive when invited to attend groups that reinforced certain identities, gender included. I did understand the value of such groups, but I never fully clicked. Two year and counting with Cygna and the only times I feel anxious is when I know I cannot make a meeting or cannot stay to the end. At Cygna I expanded my research by starting to work with colleagues from other universities; I strengthen personal relations with work colleague by socializing after meetings; I learned new ways to cope and conquer adversities that still affect women in academics, by listening to candid accounts about the lows and highs of working in academia.

Belonging, learning, camaraderie, friendship and sharing. My academic family: I'm an only child who suddenly has a community of sisters. Thanks!

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