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On Think Tanks was founded in mid 2010. It has evolved from a blog into a global platform dedicated to study and support policy research and policy research centres, or think tanks. The members of the On Think Tanks Team and its Advisory Board are spread out across 6 continents!

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Women in think tanks

Are there barriers to women succeeding in think tanks? If so, what are they? Are women funnelled into certain policy issues or do they themselves choose to work on different topics than men? Does gender shape the way discourse and research is developed? Do men and women apply different methodologies? These were some of the questions that this series on Women in Think Tanks seeks to answer. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter: #womeninthinktanks
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    Women in Think Tanks: Thinking about gender and equal opportunity in think tanks

    This is the first post of the new On Think Tanks series on Women in Think Tanks edited by Meghan Froehner. In this introductory post, Meghan outlines the series and talks about how her own experience has been reflected by this issue. She sums up with an introduction of the contributors and the themes they will discuss. This series will be updated weekly, so expect more posts coming soon. Read full article
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    Perspectives from a Former Think Tank Director on the Gender Dynamics of Knowledge Organisations

    In the second post from the Women in Think Tanks series, Priyanthi Fernando discusses how the issue of women’s participation in think tanks can lead to assume that the nature of think tanks is that of gendered organisations, which base their organisational culture on the binary relationship between women and men. She further discusses problems arising from this categorisation based on her own personal experience working and leading a Sri Lankan think tank for ten years. Read full article
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    More Women in Government, More Women in Think Tanks

    In this post of our series on Women in Think Tanks, Ruth Levine, discusses the value of matching diversity in public policy with think tanks and scholars and of having women engaged in policy research in contexts where women are increasingly serving as elected representatives and appointed officials. She touches on the benefits of increased representation for think tanks in having their voices heard and suggests strategies for fostering women’s participation in think tanks. Read full article
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    Experiences from two DC-based Thinktankers: Women-led Organisations and the Critical Importance of Recognising Care Work

    This fourth post from our series on women in think tanks provides a perspective from two DC-based thinktankers. The editor relays feedback from interviews with Claudia Williams, of the Washington Area Women's Foundation, and Tiffany Boiman, of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor. The post discusses their experiences in women-led organisations and the importance of recognising workers' care responsibility through organisational policies on family leave and work life balance. Read full article
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    Women in Think Tanks in Peru: Conversations with Cynthia Sanborn and María Balarín

    The fifth post in our series on women in think tanks draws on interview feedback from two women thinktankers working in Peru. Cynthia Sanborn contributes her perspective as the Director of CIUP, emphasising organisational assessments of diversity and the crucial role of providing spaces for women researchers to maintain the same level of visibility as male researchers, as well as the possible role of donors in supporting organizations gender equity efforts. Maria Balarín shares her perspective from her work at GRADE as well as her research findings from a recent publication on women in the social sciences, emphasising the importance of recognising and addressing subtle institutionalised gender dynamics prevalent across professional fields. Read full article
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    Women in think tanks series: lessons so far

    The series on Women in Think Tanks has proven to be extremely successful. This post reflects on some of the lessons learned so far and outlines future actions that On Think Tanks will promote to pursue this agenda in the future. Read full article
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    Redefining the ‘ideal worker’: Rachel Moss offers a unique perspective on gender performance in the workplace.

    Are we allowed to show emotions in the workplace? How is this different for women and men? As part of the series on Women in Think Tanks, we are re-posting Rachel Moss' article on gender and emotionality in the workplace, based on her own experience as a scholar and on her studies in performance of masculinity in medieval romance. Read full article
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    Is there a systemic gender bias in knowledge production? A look at UK Universities and Think Tanks

    In this eighth post in our series on Women in Think Tanks Josephine Tsui, of the Overseas Development Institute, analyses the gender distribution of staff in top think tanks and universities in the UK in an attempt to determine if there is systemic gender bias in knowledge production. The posts presents data on development and economics policy areas calling attention to gender imbalances between think tanks and universities and policy research areas and highlights gaps in available data on women's representation. Read full article
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    Consolidating themes and identifying strategies for change: next steps in supporting women in think tanks

    The last post of the Women in Think Tanks series. Meghan Froehner attempts to answer key questions about the importance of promoting women in think tanks, outlines a set of recommendations for think tanks, and a possible agenda for future action. Read full article
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    Strategies to increase women in higher education leadership in public universities in Uganda

    The effort to address women's continuous under-representation in leadership positions in universities and research is a matter of principles, but also a way to address large losses for higher education institutions, as women's abilities are being under-used. This blog post summarises the findings of a study presenting strategies to increase women's participation in positions of leadership in public universities in Uganda. Read full article
Additional content on women in think tanks from On Think Tanks can be seen below.
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    Women in Think Tanks: The Interviews

    July 31, 2016
    At On Think Tanks, we’ve had the opportunity to interview several women working in think tanks around the world. Here is a selection of what they have to say: 
Laura Zommer (part 1) Director of Communications at CIPPEC, Argentina Interviewed by Leandro Echt Part 2, Part 3 Priyanthi... Read full article