The voices of our CYGNA community come from around the world. Together, we are proudly growing as academics and exchanging knowledge and resources across borders. In total, nearly 40 countries are represented within in CYGNA. However, as 90% of our members work in a country different from where they were born, we also represent many of the other countries on the map and are a truly global network.

As a contribution to this year’s International Women’s Day, all members had the opportunity to explain why and how CYGNA empowers them and how we can empower other female academics. We combined their voices into a story about the importance of CYGNA for female academics.

CYGNA is more than a network

CYGNA is more than just a network; it’s a flourishing and nurturing environment within which female academics find empowerment and support. Through CYGNA, we meet senior role models who exemplify the values we aspire to, fostering sponsorship and creating a haven for all to thrive. In this inclusive space, we share experiences, resources, and opportunities. We are challenging the notion of a singular one-way route to successful careers in academia and are confronting the imposter syndrome head-on.

CYGNA operates on the principles of collectivism and collaboration, where all our members come together to support and uplift each other. We celebrate both big victories and small triumphs, strengthening our ability to face challenges holistically. By connecting with amazing academics and engaging in knowledge exchange, we enrich our academic journey while enlarging our minds, echoing Mary Wollstonecraft’s call for the end of blind obedience.

CYGNA not only cultivates confidence but also helps develop a well-rounded, sustainable academic profile, thanks to its inclusive and uplifting face-to-face and online gatherings. It is a safe space where every voice is respected and valued, every idea respected, and every challenge is met with collective support. As we continue on our academic paths, CYGNA provides the role models, the inspiration, and the safe space we all need to flourish and lead by example.

On this special day, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our members who eloquently expressed the values and essence of CYGNA and its profound, positive impact on empowering female academics. Your words beautifully encapsulate the flourishing and nurturing environment, the spirit of collaboration and the invaluable support that CYGNA members worldwide collectively provide.

Thank you for contributing to our collective efforts and highlighting the importance of fostering a safe space for female academics. Your dedication to uplifting one another and creating an inclusive space where all our voices are valued is truly commendable and pivotal for the network’s existence. Let us continue to flourish, lead by example, and inspire future generations within and beyond CYGNA. Thank you for your invaluable contributions to women’s empowerment in academia.

Christa Sathish on behalf of The Lead Team

[Anne-Wil, Christa, Ciara, and Clarice]