This chapter — from the book Negotiating Gender Expertise in Environment and Development — reflects on the challenges of assiduously working for bringing gender in, and keeping it central, to the realms of environmental science, capacity-building activities and policy engagement.

Through a conversation with researchers at SEI — who work in centres across Asia, Europe and the US — the author details multiple challenges at various scales. Such challenges relate to the complexities of “being a woman scientist” and to differing disciplinary and professional backgrounds, as well as to the nature of work that involves navigating encounters between epistemologically masculine fields which often overlook the micro-scale of human and more specifically women’s experiences. The reflections in this chapter are hence rooted in the never-ending dilemmas about self-identifying and being identified as gender professionals, the ontological and epistemological tensions between natural and social science researchers, as well as the politics and practice of gender work in a historically technical, and increasingly managerialist field.