International Women’s Day 2021 at NIESR: Sarah Stevens
The theme for International Women’s Day (IWD) 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, asking us to “Celebrate women's achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.”.
To celebrate IWD at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), we are publishing a series of Q&A blogs written by women at NIESR to explore various topics to celebrate their achievements, including the challenges and barriers they have overcome. We hope these blogs raise awareness against bias and encourage us all to take action for equality.
Sarah Stevens is a qualified librarian and has been the Library and Information Manager at NIESR since 2014. Prior to joining the Institute, she was part of a team of librarians at the Bank of England, where she worked for almost 17 years.
How long have you worked at NIESR, and what does your role involve?
After working full time at the Bank for a sizeable chunk of my career, changes were made that were out of my control so I left. I was extremely fortunate to move to the role at NIESR, going from a large team to a single person role. Plus, I could move into part-time position. I support all staff at NIESR, from providing information, articles, books – anything they might need to undertake their research (within reason!). I also look after the NIESR website, alongside working with my colleagues in External Affairs; and I look for procurement opportunities that our researchers might wish to undertake. It’s a very varied role!
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
It is a chance to reflect on what is important and what remains to be achieved. There are still many barriers for women, both in the workplace and life, so we must not rest on our laurels.
What are some of your key career highlights?
I remember in the days of dial-up internet, once having to publish the MPC decision at the Bank – more of a “heart in mouth moment” than a highlight! A recent highlight at NIESR has been the publication of our Covid-19 Tracker. Everyone involved worked so hard on it, and to finally be able to launch it was very satisfying.
What advice would you give a young woman who is considering a career in economic or social research?
Don’t be disheartened by male dominance – having been in a support role in economic institutions for well over 20 years, I have seen many brilliant women succeed.