Beatrice Fihn

Field: non-profit/disarmament

Position & Organization: Executive Director, ICAN

How did you get started in this field? At university I did an internship with WILPF and their disarmament programme, and I got hooked. I loved the international context, the UN and the feeling that we were trying to make the world better.

What do you like about your work? I love all the people I get to meet. I’m constantly talking to people of all ages, all nationalities and different backgrounds. It’s very stimulating and inspiring.

What do you not like about your work? It’s very hard to not feel too invested in the cause you’re working for. Sometimes I feel personally responsible for ensuring nuclear disarmament, which is way too much for one person or even one campaign to handle.

Do you have any advice for women who want to enter this field? Don’t be too intimidated or impressed by senior people and “important” people. Most of them don’t actually know as much as they come across as knowing.

What makes you hopeful for the future? I’m very hopeful because I am fortunate to work with and meet so many smart, passionate, and enthusiastic people. And the fact that they are using their skills to make this world better instead of solely for profit is so inspiring. Most people want a better world and we are making progress all the time — even on days when it doesn’t feel like it.

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