Hello Brussels! Our aim is to end the mysterious absence of women in the Brussels policy debate by building an online database of female policy experts and journalists: The Brussels Binder.
Because Brussels, we have a problem. The city of Brussels is full of talented women from all over the world, working in business, government, international organizations and civil society. Brussels, as the heart of Europe, is moving through tough times. Important plans and policies are debated at conferences to inform and influence politicians, journalists, activists, consultants and bureaucrats and set the agenda for Europe’s future. However- these conferences often do not include women. Last year, only one-quarter of all the speakers at Brussels conferences were female. And worse, at one-third of these influential and high-profile Brussels events there wasn’t a single female voice. Now this is really bad. With the difficult challenges Europe faces, we need to include all our best minds. We can’t do this by reproducing the same discussion and debates with the same speakers, who only represent half of the European population and workforce. We can’t ignore the opinions of the women in Brussels, because then we will fail to include the experience we need to come up with good policy.
But here’s the solution. In our experience, organizers of all-male events reply to challenges with one or two answers: “I couldn’t think of any women to invite!” or “There aren’t any female experts to invite.” But this is simply not true. The talented women are out there, they are just not being asked because we don’t know them. And this is where we want to help: support busy organizers of media programs and events to find women by offering them a searchable online database of female experts. This database should be free and publicly accessible, so that “I couldn’t think of any women to invite” becomes a practical impossibility