Working in Brussels – a woman’s perspective

#10, March 2021

Angèle Liaigre

Policy Officer of the regional representation of Pays de la Loire (France) in Brussels


Angèle Liaigre is Policy Officer of the regional representation of Pays de la Loire (France) in Brussels.

Freshly arrived from the Netherlands, I started working in Brussels as an intern in February 2019. Soon after, I got a position as a Policy Officer within the regional representation of Pays de la Loire, working more specifically on Urban policies, Environment and Bioeconomy, incl. agri-agro projects.

This first “real” job was (and still is!) for me very exciting and I learned a lot during the past two years. With regards to my perspective as a woman working in the (in)famous “European bubble”, I have to say that in my career life so far, I did not experience much difficulty or inequality. I did struggle at first to find my place in my job, mostly because I was still experiencing the transition from student life to what I would (poorly) refer as “adulthood”, but also because I felt I lacked expertise on topics related to agri-food and bioeconomy. And I have to admit I still feel stressed when I have to discuss with people in a higher position than me, or with more experience in the job, although I do not make a distinction for them being men or women. I learned to trust myself more and to show confidence, which I think in turn helped me gain the respect of the people I work with.

This being said, I am aware of the difficulties other female colleagues can encounter, and I have friends who have experienced difficult situations at work, situations that would likely not have happened to men. Therefore, I cannot help but fearing that I might some day find myself in a situation where my gender would be the cause of hardships. Nevertheless, I choose to remain optimistic and I can tell things are changing. As more women voices are being heard, may it be on matters of the private or professional life, I believe steps in the right direction are being taken, and I will make sure that my personal professional career in the European bubble follows the same path in the future.