Championing Women in Research with Michelle Andre and Jessica Sage

We welcomed Michelle Andre, Managing Director, and Jessica Sage, Marketing and Events Director, from Women in Research (WIRe) to our podcast recently. Michelle has held executive and management level marketing and design positions in a variety of industries and is a recipient of multiple industry awards. And in addition to her role at WIRe, Jessica is an avid volunteer, working with local organizations that serve homeless populations, preserve traditional farming techniques and create community from the ground up. We discussed how WIRe helps to advance the voices of women in research, both for themselves and for the greater good of the industry.


Michelle brought to our attention that WIRe has been contributing to the industry for 18 years - and they’re still growing. She shared, “I think a lot of people are familiar with our events that we put on, but we actually have a lot of other educational and networking programs that we offer for every stage of the care journey. So that might be something new for people today about WIRe.” (And of note: there is a new Women in Research city chapter launching this month in Auckland, where Infotools is based.)

When discussing the mission of Women in Research, Michelle notes, “Our mission with WIRe has always been to champion diversity in our industry by arming women and other marginalized groups with the tools they need to develop professionally, advance their careers, their contributions to the industry, to build those really important connections and just stay inspired.”

Talking about the programs that WIRe offers, Jessica shared, “Our educational networking events are definitely our most well known. We do those in important cities globally, twice a year and those are open and free to anyone of any gender to attend. But we do have some lesser known programs that are free and accessible as well.” She continues by noting, “Our Office Hours program, for example, is a little bit lesser known. It's an on-the-fly mentorship program. So you can ask our panel of experts a question at any time and get a response.”

Jessica also tells us about the new Wire Accelerate program: “It's a fully remote professional development program,” she said, “and it features career boosting content that's going to be applicable to market researchers at any level in their career. It's equipping women with the tools they need to progress in their careers. And it also has an added community engagement benefit... So you get a chance to discuss and explore that program's content together with others in the industry.”

Another program that Jessica is keen to discuss is the WIRe Exec program. “We have over 100 women in the group - it's for women executive and business leaders in the industry.”  She explains, “There's networking involved with it [including] speaking opportunities. We do a monthly community round-table, there's some advisory services and a lot more.” She continues by sharing, ”We'll be doing two summits for the group this year. One will be in the US and one will be in Barcelona. If you are interested in attending either of those, you could reach out to Michelle.”

Jessica concludes by pointing out, “I think the best way every person listening today could start to support us, is just being a part of our community. If you go over to the website and hit the ‘sign up’ button, you can join our mailing list. That's where you can find a local chapter near you. You can also let us know if you'd be interested in being a sponsor or a mentor in the future.”

Through collaboration and allyship, WIRe promotes the contributions and voices of women in research, with many different programs and resources. If you're a senior insights professional, please consider becoming a mentor. You can be a woman, a man or anything in between, it doesn't matter. Everyone is welcome.

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