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Women's Careers in International Development & Humanitarianism - A Gendered Perspective

Produced by: Lucy Lu and Maria Jose Álvarez

In honor of women’s history month, the RE: project has produced a special highlight compilation from our previous diversity and inclusion series that showcase the diverse career experiences of women, in collaboration with the Women in International Affairs Network (WIAN).

In this series, we gathered a number of incredible women mentors at the forefront of the international development and humanitarian sector. This series highlights remarkable women who are changing the international development and humanitarian sector for a more equitable future. Their inspiring interviews share their obstacles, challenges and advice to help us get to know them, as well as how intersectionality has molded their experience.

This compilation video showcase a brief highlights of our interviews. If you’re interested in learning more about each Mentor‘s, you can find the link to their individual podcast in the description below.

This short highlight video focus on 3 questions we discussed with our mentors. We first asked about career related struggles they faced in the ID sector as a women. We have received a variety of answers which illustrate interesting commonality and complexity of gendered obstacles women faces. We then asked them what do they think needed to change in order to ensure a more equitable outcome for women. We last asked what advice they would give other women who is just starting out their career.

🎙 [EP 1] features Chris Franks the Chair of Women in Aid and Development.

📻 In this podcast: Chris talked about diversity inclusion and intersectionality issues within the international development sector(with a special focus on the Australian ID sector) as well as advice she has for women just starting their careers in the aid and development sectors.

☁️About Chirs: Chris has worked in the aid and development sectors for over four decades. Chris is based in Sydney, Australia and she is currently Chair at Women in Aid & Development, a networking group that encourages and inspires women working in the aid, development and humanitarian sectors to secure leadership roles, and the sector to achieve gender equity. Chris also has experience working in Cufa, an International Development Working Group, Habitat for Humanity Australia, Family Planning NSW, among other humanitarian organizations.


🎙 [EP 2] features Bhanvi Anand, the Director of Education Initiatives at PNG Sustainable Development Program.

📻 In this podcast: Bhanvi talked about diversity inclusion and intersectionality issues within the international development sector (where she shared her perspective as an Indian Australian) as well as advice she has for women just starting their careers in the aid and development sectors.

☁️About Bhanvi, Bhanvi is currently based in Sydney, Australia and is the Director of Education Initiatives at PNG Sustainable Development Program, a fund that invests in initiatives supporting the development of communities in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea through a focus on health, education and upliftment of livelihoods. Prior to joining PNG, Bhanvi worked across various finance, banking and strategy roles within the Commonwealth Bank and as an independent consultant. She seeks to solve social problems through data-driven development and impact programs, particularly in the areas of financial exclusion and vulnerability. Lastly, she is a passionate advocate for creating diverse and inclusive workplaces.


🎙 [EP 3] features Chinyere Sussan Ezinwa, the coordinator of Girls in Parliament (Anambra State, Nigeria), a public speaker, passionate volunteer, Girl-child advocate and social entrepreneur.

📻 In this podcast: Ezinwa shared about personal experience with gender discrimination, she discussed prevailing gender norms in Nigeria, her experience working with Western NGOs as local experts, and advice she would give women in the sector, particularly in the COVID-19 era.

☁️About Ezinwa: She has been working to empower young girls on building a healthy self esteem and preparing them to become "job creators, rather than jobseekers." She has a keen interest in humanitarianism, gender and social change, and has worked as Project Manager at Whispering Hope Africa Initiative and as a volunteer for the Youngstar Foundation.


🎙 [EP 4] features Cianne Jones: Cianne is a lawyer, women's rights activist, career development coach and founder of WIL Uganda (Women In Leadership), a grassroots female-led charity in Uganda.

📻 In this podcast: Cianne shares her career path to international development starting from being a lawyer, and the challenges she faced to have her voice heard as a persevering career woman in Part 1 of the Podcast. In the Second podcast, Cianne shares her experience as a founder of WIL Uganda (Women In Leadership - Uganda), and advice and knowledge that a young professional entering the International Development and/or Political sector should know as we become the generation to further changes in our society.

☁️About Cianne: Transitioning from a career in family law in London, she has been thriving a career in the international development sector over the last 7 years spanning youth development, early childhood development and women's empowerment. As a strong advocate for decolonisation of the development sector, she works to empower people to become agents of change in their own communities. Cianne is also passionate about women empowering each other, and lead a monthly group coaching workshop to support women to fulfill their potential.


🎙 [EP 5] features Shani Cain, ex-CEO of the Oaktree Foundation,

📻 In this podcast: Shani shares her experience with #diversity and #inclusion in the International Development Sector, her challenges as a female in the ID sector, and her key tips for females striving to make a career in the ID field!

☁️About Shani: Shani is the CEO of the Oaktree Foundation, which is Australia's largest youth-led international development agency with over 250,000 supporters. Previously working in settlement, community development and advocacy at the Centre for Multicultural Youth, Shani not only is a CEO, but she is also a Board Member for Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and Executive Member for the Campaign For Australian Aid. She is is an active believer in the ability to change the world and is passionate about youth, gender and climate.


🎙 [EP 6] features Catherine (Kate) Kiama, the Director of Program at She's the First.

📻 In this podcast: Kate discusses the creation and meaning behind She's the First, the #challenges of #gender norms and communal norms as a female in Kenya, and the fight against prejudiced #identity and #perspective. 📻

☁️About Kat: Born a feminist, Kate is passionate about the law and addressing #socialinjustices affecting women and adolescent girls globally. Holding a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of London, she is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. Currently, Kate is the Director of Program at She's the First ( Previously, she has worked as a Lawyer and Program Associate at the Aids Law Project, undertook her articles at TripleOKlaw LLP, and served as a grant manager at the Nike Foundation supporting the Girl Effect Movement.


🎙 [EP 7] features Judith Mwaya, Policy Analyst - Tech for Development Unit at Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Podcast coming soon!


🎙 [EP 8] features Stella Yoh, Investor at IDB Lab.

Podcast coming soon!

For more interesting content on career building in international development/social science/humanity fields:

A huge thank you to all of our amazing mentors!


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Why should you join the RE:Project Community?

Our mission is to re-think, re-skill, and re-imagine the future of work for those in social science-related fields, with a focus on International Affairs and Development. We believe that technological changes have radically altered the way we work by disrupting skills requirements, creating challenges for young social scientists who largely rely on soft skills. Therefore, those pursuing generalist or qualitative disciplines will have to re-skill in an oversaturated job market favoring STEM and tech.

However, most universities’ career services do not yet offer such robust training for students. At RE: Project, we seek to help millennials and Gen Zs not only find a job, but build dynamic, “future proof” careers. We offer an active platform that demystifies career possibilities, helps build professional networks, and supports re-skilling for a changing job market.

At our core, we seek to reduce growing unemployment among young social scientists in an increasingly technologised job market. Our cutting-edge content allows our community members to stay current and learn from experts at the forefront of their industry.

In the short-run, we offer tailored career support by creating curated real-life, authentic content generated by real people of the millennial generation working the industries. Practitioners with 4–7 years of experience can offer as many insights (or more!) as 50-year-old CEOs and Directors about how to break into the industry.

This way, young job seekers can interact with mentors using social media live (visit our Linkedin page, Instagram coming soon), and blog posts.

User-generated blog posts, interviews, and tips will also be very welcome.

In the long run, the ultimate goal of this platform is to grow into the forefront community for the Future of Work for social scientists.

You can also get involved with our work as a mentor, a community ambassador right on organizational capacity. Find out more here

If you got any good content ideas, any interesting people you’d like us to interview, or interested in joining the team as a content creator email us at


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