Celebrating Women in Science – Juliette, Jasmin, & Dani share their experiences
When you have a team of 75% women with BScs, MScs, or PhDs in science disciplines, every day is a celebration of the important role females play in STEM fields. But as tomorrow marks the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we took some time to reflect on a female perspective of working in STEM.
We asked three of our employees, Juliette, Jasmin, and Dani, about their experiences studying STEM and why they felt it was so important to acknowledge and celebrate women in science
Juliette is a Senior Account Manager at Sciad, with a first-class MChem in Chemistry from Sheffield University.
Jasmin is an Account Manager at Sciad, with a Biology degree from Sheffield University and experience in communications in the engineering sector.
Dani is Sciad’s content executive, with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Biosciences from the University of Oxford, where she studied the evolutionary ecology of aggression in fruit flies.
Why do we need women in science?
Juliette: “Innovative thinking only comes from bringing together different groups of people, so it makes sense that we need people from all genders, backgrounds, and ethnicities, to challenge the status quo and solve our biggest global challenges. Given that ~50% of the world’s population are women, missing out on that experience and intelligence would be a big mistake.”
Jasmin: “Companies who consistently hire the same type of person will create a team with a very limited skill set. Science requires collaboration between individuals with different skills, backgrounds, and perspectives to innovate the next big thing. Our differences are our greatest strengths and therefore having a diverse scientific team that includes both men and women is a recipe for success.”
Dani: “From my experience, the more points of view you take into account when approaching a question, the more likely you are to discover novel solutions to challenges instead of simply following the status quo. Women can offer important insights into all fields, especially fields like healthcare - with a greater percentage of care responsibilities taken by females than males, females can use this lived experience to give a more patient-centric viewpoint.”
Why do we need a day for women and girls in science?
Juliette: “I’m lucky to have come from a background where women were expected to go into science - my mum was a scientist, my school advocated for women to be involved in the STEM subjects, but I know that’s still rare in the UK, let alone globally. Having a day to focus on women in science really emphasises this challenge and keeps the drive for equality at the forefront of people’s minds.”
Jasmin: “Gender disparity in science is an ongoing issue and therefore it’s important to keep the conversation going. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science provides the world with an opportunity to come together to look for solutions to the issue and celebrate female scientists who often lack recognition.”
Dani: “I've grown up in a privileged position of being around parents, teachers and tutors who have never discouraged me from participating in science, but I'm aware this isn't the case for everyone. During my PhD, I studied fruit fly behaviour in a lab group with women and men from all backgrounds, and I think this allowed us to approach behavioural questions from new perspectives. For example, we were one of the first labs to look at female aggression which had previously been considered a ‘male’ behaviour. Celebrating women in science helps to encourage more research groups to adopt this diversity.”
Why did you study science?
Juliette: “It made sense! I enjoyed the challenge of testing theories and coming out with a conclusive answer - although as I progressed, I realised this was by no means a given!”
Jasmin: “Growing up, I was inspired by my mum who was a scientist. Her interest in health and the natural world is what led me to study biology at university. It’s great that I had a female role model in science from such a young age.”
Dani: “I've always had an interest in understanding how the world around me works. Through science, you can look around you and know why things happen as they do, which then empowers you to both protect our planet and to improve processes for the better.”
Do you have a female role model in science that you’ve looked up to?
Juliette: “Dr Jess Wade - I’m so impressed by all the work Jess is doing to document women in science and was thrilled to meet her as part of our work with the Royal Society of Chemistry towards the end of 2022.”
Dani: “I’ll always be grateful to my first female science teacher, Mrs Mühlemann, who made the subject exciting. Also my PhD supervisor, Jen Perry, who was one of the most intelligent yet caring people I've known, and did an excellent job as a PI at a top university, a mentor to students, and a fab mum to two young children.”
Putting diverse faces to science
At Sciad, we’re proud to have a team of so many female scientists who are using their skills to support female researchers & entrepreneurs through building compelling campaigns to publicise their important work. Having women in science communication helps to put diverse faces and voices to exciting breakthroughs and discoveries, ultimately making a more inclusive sector.