On International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I would like to give a shout out of appreciation and thanks to all the excellent women contributing to the success of our Hub across all levels and in all our many disciplines – and send a message to women and girls the world over who currently work in science, follow science or are seeking to find their path into science.

a young Professor Fiona Tomley in white lab coat
Fiona Tomley in her student days

Being a woman in research (as in life) can be tough. We may have to work hard to dispel societal perceptions and biases about ‘experts’ – and even harder for our abilities in the workplace to be recognised, valued and fairly treated.

It can be a struggle to find role models and mentors who can help our career development, and difficult to develop networks of support, especially in the current climate of lockdown and isolation.

Fiona Tomley graduating

But being a woman in research is also exciting, exhilarating and rewarding. Nothing quite beats the thrill of the exam passed, the paper published, the grant won or the recognition achieved. So on this day, I ask that each of us pauses for a moment to confirm that:

We believe in ourselves and our abilities

We will not let gender stereotypes limit our ambitions.

We will challenge biased or inappropriate misconceptions.

And we will support and encourage each other to be our absolute best.