Black Sea Women in Nuclear Network (BSWN) is a regional professional organization, that unites experts in nuclear fields from Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and other countries.

We are women and men from the Black Sea countries representing civil society and academia, national governments, and industries. Interdisciplinary by nature, our network brings together women in STEM and policy from national governments, industry, civil society, and academia. We join together to support the safe and secure use of peaceful nuclear technologies and prevent nuclear proliferation.

The network is a platform for professionals to promote gender equity and increase women’s leadership roles in nuclear fields, as well as offer professional exchange es, mentoring, and professional development opportunities.


BSWN aims to connect, support, and empower women stressing aspirations for more female voices in nuclear fields.


BSWN envisions the creation of barrier-free and diverse opportunities for women from the Black Sea region to excel in nuclear fields and increase presence in leadership.

Who we are

As a regional nonprofit professional organization, BSWN unites experts in nuclear fields from the Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, and other countries. It comprises women and men from Black Sea countries representing civil society and academia, national governments, and industries. Members and partners join to support the safe and secure use of peaceful nuclear technologies and prevent proliferation in nuclear, chemical and biological fields.

Black Sea Women in Nuclear is a network that aspires to create a community where members can establish professional and personal relationships. Our key priorities include highlighting the abundance of regional knowledge and expertise; exchanging views on gender-related issues; and exploring mentorship, training, and networking opportunities for female voices within the field.

History of creation

Initial motivations to create the Black Sea Women in Nuclear Network arose from a conference dedicated to empowering women in Ukraine in Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Held in Kyiv in October 2019, participants discussed opportunities to promote women in nuclear sectors, with a particular focus on nuclear security education and gender awareness. The conference wrapped up with the aspirations to create a regional network to support female voices in the nuclear field.

Building on this idea, the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) and Los Alamos National Laboratory, supported by the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy and the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, further developed the Black Sea initiative. This would not have been possible without the tireless work of Margarita Kalinina-Pohl, Olga Martin, and Nataliia Klos, who were at the forefront of initiating the creation of BSWN and bringing together key stakeholders to keep the network running.

These efforts culminated in a workshop organized by CNS and the Odesa Center for Nonproliferation to finally launch the network. The event brought together over 50 participants to celebrate the network and amplify the voices of women in nuclear fields.

In line with the workshop’s focus of bringing women professionals together to create a network, participants had the unique opportunity to engage with speakers in meaningful and personal capacities. During the panel sessions, female professionals at various stages of their careers spoke about their experiences as women working in nuclear fields. Speakers shared observations about gender equality specific to their workplaces and in their home countries in general.

The discussion panels also brought together male colleagues reflecting on how to be better allies, and prominent women experts who discussed their career paths, challenges, and opportunities. The idea to add a panel featuring male experts was based on recommendations from prior regional events to include more men in gender-related discussions. The importance of mentorship was brought up by various regional and international stakeholders throughout the workshop.

The workshop set the tone for the following BSWN initiatives to promote informal and intimate discussions that reveal common struggles shared by women in the field and create powerful bonds that translate across linguistic barriers, unlikely partnerships and collaborations, and geographic distance. Today the BSWN is a network that aims to create strong ties between women in the Black Sea region and beyond who deal with nuclear-related issues.