Irina Costache is a gender policy expert and researcher holding a PhD in Gender Studies. Irina’s career combines over 12 years of experience in formulating social policy with conducting research and higher education teaching on issues such as equality polices, gender based violence, anti-discrimination, and LGBTQI+ rights. Irina, has been working as a consultant with major international organizations such as the World Bank, UNICEF, European Women’s Lobby and Open Society Foundation, as well as a few national organizations such as Save the Children and ACCEPT. She authored several reports on gender equality, prevention of gender-based violence (also in schools), prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, diversity, equity and inclusion. Irina teaches classes on gender and violence and gender and public policy at the University of Bucharest. In 2021/2022, Irina assisted the University of Bucharest to develop its own Gender Equality Plan.
In 2011/2012, Irina was a Fulbright fellow at UCLA’s Center for European and Russian Studies (CEES) where she worked on a project examining anti-trafficking policies in Romania and Republic of Moldova. Upon her return Irina helped to organically develop a local, community based NGO focusing on gender equality, and women’s rights, the Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender – A.L.E.G. In between 2017 -2019, Irina was the President of the organization which had by then transformed into a well- articulated and respected feminist NGO. In between 2016 and 2017, Irina served as advisor to the Deputy Minister for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men where she pushed forth a public agenda that prioritizes women’s safety, and quality and dignified specialized services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
After a high level experience in national administration, Irina turned to international relations and rule of law maintaining a gender angle. Irina worked for two of the largest diplomatic missions in Romania, the British Embassy in Bucharest and the U.S. Embassy. She continued to follow her values and expertise and combined her passion for gender equality with foreign relations and rule of law. While with the British Embassy, Irina co-hosted the launching of the Charter of Diversity in Romania in April 2018.
Most recently, Irina kick-started her won consultancy firm Equal Advice that provides consultancy services and trainings on D&I, gender equality, mental health and well –being.
It is critical that we foster and encourage diversity in our classrooms and workspaces. All people must have a seat at the table, an opportunity to develop, and a chance to speak. These past years have shown that resilience lies in solidarity and diversity. #May2022 bring this vision into action!