Into Science
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Women have been making significant contributions to science since the earliest times. Despite this, women still find themselves encountering “roadblocks” to success. Whilst progress toward closing the gender gap in STEM has been made, women continue to be underrepresented across scientific fields.

We interviewed nine prominent females working in various scientific disciplines and asked their opinion on what could be done to help combat gender inequality and encourage the next generation of female scientists into the field.

You can find out more about these women and their inspiring stories by downloading the Women in Science eBook and reading their full interviews

Jennifer Doudna, PhD
Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Cell Biology. University of California, Berkeley
We must support and fund basic scientific teaching and research for women at every level. For students that take a keener interest in science, they must be further encouraged by male and female mentors, have equal access to grants, and be able to join key research projects and collaborate with other scientists around the world.”
Right now, there's a huge emphasis on early productivity, on spending all your time on your work in the early years. And if you're doing that, you can't be with your children, bringing up your children. So there needs to be more flexibility to align [academia] not only with the male life cycle, but with the female life cycle. I think that's one of the things that's most needed.

The other thing is just to take women more seriously. To not discount something just because a woman said it, or a woman wrote it.”
Adele Diamond, PhD, FRSC
Canada Research Chair in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, University of British Columbia
Allison Paradise
CEO and Founder of My Green Lab
Encouraging women to enter into science means encouraging them to do what they are most passionate about from a very young age. It means letting girls explore their world with the same vigor as boys. It means giving them the tools they need to be resilient in the face of criticism and adversity. And it means setting an example for how to leave behind the expectations of society and be true to yourself.

Run your own race. And if your race finds you driven to explore the world we live in, you might want to start embracing your future as a scientist.”
To increase the diversity in STEM we need to find ways to value different approaches and provide space for those voices that are often unheard. We need to change the perceptions and challenge stereotypes. Supporting those working in STEM fields with mentors and a support network is essential. We can all do our part by positively encouraging the younger generation and provide to them the support that they need.”
Andrea Gilpin, PhD
General Manager of the Goodman Pediatric Formulations Centre
Emily Chen, PhD
Senior Director of the Thermo Fisher Precision Medicine Science Center
I think flexibility is also a big issue – it’s important to accommodate the family life of women (and men) who choose to have a family as well as an academic career. Continuing to improve the flexibility of scientific training and career paths, alongside increased efforts to promote individual and gender diversity in science, should help us move towards a future of genuine equality.”
Life is too short to pursue a career that you don't love. Rather than focusing on a career that can make you money, focus on a career that will bring you joy and give you a purpose and you will be far better off.”
Elisabeth Williams, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Biomechanics, Swansea University
Emma Yhnell, PhD
Health and Care and Research Wales Fellow, Cardiff University
Public engagement is a potential way to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM. If scientists are prepared to put themselves out there, come out of their ivory towers and be accountable to the general public, then I think that goes some way to changing the public perception of science and promoting a more inclusive approach.”
We need to teach girls that their thoughts and voice can be powerful, making a difference, having and impacting on their worlds. Self-doubt can recede when passion and intrigue concerning aspects of the world are fostered.

…I have learned from resilient women around me that one needs to persist until those ideas one feels passionate about see the light of day.”
Helen Joffe, PhD
Professor of Psychology, University College London
Susan Deuchars, PhD
Director of Research for the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Leeds, Chair of the Conferences Committee at The Physioogical Society
STEM careers are incredibly fulfilling, there is nothing quite like the joy of new discovery. However, scientific discovery benefits from collaboration and in this time of multidisciplinary research, it is important to find people to enable this to occur. This can be from within our institutions, within societies such as The Physiological Society, who provide important networking opportunities, or through industrial or medical links. A career in STEM requires dedication, a strong sense of team spirit and an open mind. Women possess these attributes in bucketloads, alongside intelligence, humour and empathy so they make brilliant STEM researchers.”