Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies - European University Institute

Former Director Brigid Laffan reflects on her career and on women in academia

Brigid Laffan, who is just finishing her eight-year term as Director of the Robert Schuman Centre, sat down with her colleague Elena Torta for an extended interview reflecting back on her career and the difficulties of being a woman in academia.

06/09/2021 | News - Video

"Unless you have a significant number, a 'critical mass' of women at decision-making level, the one or two women present are the ones carrying the burden. The more women around the table, the more the perspective that they bring is heard." - Brigid Laffan

Brigid Laffan is finishing up her mandate as Director of the Robert Schuman Centre. Professor Laffan joined the EUI in 2014 after leaving the School of Politics and International Relations, University College Dublin (UCD), where she was Professor of European Politics, as well as Vice-President of UCD and Principal of the College of Human Sciences from 2004 to 2011. In November 2018, she was ranked among the 'women who shape Europe' by POLITICO and was also awarded by the University of Limerick Alumni Association with its highest honour. In September 2014, Professor Laffan was awarded the UACES Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012 she was awarded the THESEUS Award for outstanding research on European Integration. In 2010 she was awarded the Ordre national du Mérite by the President of the French Republic.

As Professor Laffan finishes up her final year as Schuman Director, she sat down for an extended 'farewell' interview with her colleague Elena Torta reflecting back on her long and storied career, discussing her memories of the EUI and the Schuman Centre and sharing personal insights into the difficulties of being a woman working in academia.

Watch the full video on the Robert Schuman Centre YouTube Channel.

Join us in thanking Brigid for a wonderful eight years at the Schuman Centre. Best of luck in the future!

Brigid Laffan reflects on her career and on women in academia

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