FEATURE5 July 2021

Inger Christensen – Research Hero

Features People

The Market Research Society has launched the Research Heroes programme to celebrate the sector’s unsung heroes. Inger Christensen has been named one of the Research Heroes for summer 2021. 

Inger Christensen, partner, Daughters of Sailors

Inger Christensen

Inger Christensen is one of the founders of market research recruitment company Daughter of Sailors and chair of the MRS Flex Forum.

Christensen was nominated as a Research Hero because: “She is always a vocal advocate of the industry and is annoyingly passionate about bringing in new talent and nurturing/growing current talent. She has worked with many juniors and now sees them in their roles as directors. She has never been a ‘quick buck’ recruiter, but an ex-researcher who genuinely wants to see people and the industry develop and excel – even more so in the last 12 months, when she has been actively promoting the Flex Forum and engaging business leaders and managers with this.”

What is the biggest challenge you have faced during your career?

Going from data collections, as quality and training manager for Perspective, into a recruitment consultant role at RPCushing (now Aspire) was a huge challenge. I learnt a completely new trade mid-career, and it took time adjusting to a commercial rather than an operational framework. But it was also amazing – I got to know lots of different agencies and met tons of brilliant people. An additional challenge was being the only one working a four-day week – and constantly reminded of the privilege. My passion for flexibility for everyone grew out of this period.

What will be the next big trend or development in the research industry, and why?

I think we will see further huge growth in research-specific technology, or restech. I love following what companies such as Lucid, Zappi and Voxpopme are doing and the active role they are playing in the industry. The last year or so has sped up our awareness of so many clever ways of working made possible by technology.

Who inspires you?

Lots of people inspire me. I really rate the work Versiti and Marie-Claude Gervais do on social equality and inclusion. Likewise, the work by Jessica Long of the Sustainability Unit at Ipsos. Initiatives such as CORe, WIRe and MRSpride fill me with hope. I also applaud James Endersby and his Significant Insights.

Finally, I'm inspired by people joining and contributing to FlexForum, for example Sinead Jeffries and Annie Auerbach but also many, many more. It’s such a joy working with Hayley Jelfs on developing the Forum and we're seeing a huge appetite for change and willingness to share. 

View the full list of Research Heroes for summer 2021

Research Heroes is an ongoing programme throughout 2021, with a second tranche of Heroes to be published in the autumn.