A few weeks ago at MRS Impact 2022 the MRS Diversity Inclusion & Equality council presented “The Impact Inclusion Collective” booth – a group of speakers giving bitesize sessions on topics currently hot on the DI&E agenda.

The booth session on Day One was expertly hosted by Michael Albert Brown, MP of Insight, Data Solutions and Marketing at UM as well as a long-standing member of both MRS Pride and the MRS DI&E council. Sadly, on day one technology was not our friend! The recording that we hoped to share did not want to play nicely, but fear not! We will be releasing individual write ups of each of the topics we covered and linking to all things useful to you from each session.


Another fantastic contributor to our booth sessions was Danielle Todd, who as well as being head of Client Strategy at Relish, also sits on the MRS Diversity, Inclusion and Equality council AND is an advisory board member and London lead for Women in Research! Danielle joined Michael to give everyone an update on what has been happening in the world of WIRe:

Danielle noted that they saw a marked increase in people reaching out to the WIRe network during the pandemic. People found themselves in potentially stressful situations such as being furloughed or having to home school children whilst also fulfilling a job role, which meant that support networks like WIRe became even more essential.

As Michael pointed out that he had observed women leaving the industry entirely during the pandemic, for a range of reasons, they talked about how the pandemic may have affected women more than men:

“When you have to pause, to reflect and say, ‘I need to focus on and prioritise other things’ there are going to be particular challenges that women, as well as people from ethnic minorities or other backgrounds are going to have on top of the standard ones”.

The upside to this for Danielle was being able to see people really “leaning in” and showing a strong desire to still have connections across different networks. An unintended plus side of the pandemic observed by Danielle was that with everyone being forced to do things remotely, this became a bit of a “leveller” and meant that more people could connect:

“On one of the virtual events we had in the UK we had people dialling in from Canada, from Nairobi, people live in different time zones coming in, and that was something beautiful just being able to see so many women being allies to each other”.

Danielle went on to talk about how 2022 sees us celebrating 15 years of WIRe, but that the work that they do is not yet complete:

“I would love to see the day when WIRe doesn’t have to exist, or a day when we don’t have to have an inclusion collective. I don’t think that day is now.”

In their 15th year WIRe are going to be celebrating achievements from the past 15 years, but also looking ahead. They are bringing back in person events, with more of a regional focus so that they are not just London-centric.

On a wider angle, Danielle spoke about how happy she is to see all the different groups coming together and working as a collective, pointing out that there is not just one lens on something, there are multiple lenses, all of which are essential to the industry moving towards a place where people can bring their whole selves to work, and ensuring that companies are the best that they can be.

Michael asked Danielle how people could get involved; WIRE would encourage people to sign up via the website (link below) so that they can be aware of all the events that will be coming up. And there was a plea made to anyone attending in person events:

“If you’re someone who IS very confident and outgoing, go and find someone in that room and have a chat with them and see how you can help. How can you make someone’s day better?”

To wrap up, Danielle highlighted the accelerate program that WIRe launched last year which has had huge success and people will be able to sign up to that soon (link below).




Get the latest MRS news

Our newsletters cover the latest MRS events, policy updates and research news.