October 12, 2021 | Women Committee

Personally, I remain firmly convinced that any revolution, be it personal, professional, political or other, be it on a small or large scale, only has a real chance of succeeding in the long term if it has been catalyzed from within by the person(s) directly concerned and/or impacted by it.
It also seems to me that you need to have a sufficiently critical mass to set a revolution in motion.
In this case, we know that women are under-represented in the diplomatic world.
Therefore, I wondered whether we should not first aim to reach a sufficiently critical mass of women diplomats who could then set in motion the revolutions that they consider necessary and a priority for women in the diplomatic world.
If so, the question arises as to how to reach this critical mass.
There are (more and more) legislations that aim to impose quotas for women’s representation at any level. Whether it be in boards of directors, political parties or representations, governments etc…
Personally, I am not convinced of the effectiveness of imposed quotas, as such.
Also, I think that, for instinctual, physical or psychological reasons, certain functions or missions are more likely to be carried out by men and others by women.
For me, the difference between men and women is foremost an asset that should be exploited rather than pushed aside by claiming equality.
Concretely, in terms of diplomacy, wouldn’t it be better to highlight the (many) qualities that are specific to us, that distinguish us from men and that are essential to the exercise of the diplomatic function?
For example, it seems to me that a diplomat must, above all, show humility, dedication, discretion and patience.
Also, a diplomat is only an intermediary, often a conciliator, and cannot, in my opinion, be driven by a desire for power. He must accept that another person benefits (alone) from the glory of what he may have achieved behind the scenes.
Aren’t these qualities particularly present in women, much more than in men?
I don’t know if there are any scientific studies that concretely link certain qualities of women to certain qualities needed for diplomacy.
If not, wouldn’t it be interesting, via the possible introductions we have (for example with the foreign ministries), to gather from different countries the common denominators in terms of the qualities (psychological, temperamental, etc…) required for diplomats, for example, via the assessments that they set up in the context of diplomatic appointments.
Then we could, with this information, try to prove in a scientific (psychological) way, for example by the functioning of the female brain, that many of these qualities are just as much, or even clearly more, present in women.
Perhaps some members of WIDC and centers such as could guide us in the scientific and psychological research and studies needed to do this?
Perhaps they would even be interested in conducting some studies?
Supported by these studies we could, as a first step, highlight these differences which are major assets for a diplomat and, consequently, make the diplomatic world aware of the real added value of integrating more women for reasons other than quotas, imposed from the outside, without any real explanation.
Once the critical mass of women diplomats has been reached, they could then set their own objectives and demands, in order of priority.
If so, the revolution would be initiated from within, which brings me back to the beginning of my reflection.
Charlotte Piers