The Real Deal

There are loads of incredible female scientists out there, achieving amazing successes and loving their jobs. Sometimes we all need a little more positivity, so this series of posts aims to highlight individual women in science and tell their stories.

I want to thank each and every woman who has responded and answered my questions so thoughtfully. Remember: you never know who you are inspiring.

If you're a woman in science and you'd like to feature on this page, please get in touch with me.

Dr. Katie Mack, Cosmologist
27th January, 2014

Dr. Sarah Kendrew, Astronomer and Engineer
17th January, 2014

Hayley Smith, Accelerator Physicist
10th January, 2014

Suzi Gage, Epidemiologist
15th October, 2013

Dr. Helen Czerski, Physicist
7th October, 2013

Dr. Renee Hlozek, Cosmologist
30th September, 2013

Dr. Marieke Navin, Particle physicist turned science communicator
9th February 2011

Georgina Sheedy-Collier, Physics student (now graduated!)
1st February 2011

Dr. Tamsin Edwards, Climate Modeller
17th January 2011

This series of posts was motivated by my own realisation that I was getting downbeat and disheartened about my own ability to stay in science as a career. I felt that perhaps I was just heading for the inevitable leaky pipeline and the statistics seemed to suggest that was likely to be true. Then reality kicked in... 

I went to a meeting at work where there wore loads of women in science having successful, fulfilling careers. Women just like me. So why was I being so negative? I needed to turn things around, I needed a little bit of positivity - which I wrote about here

On a day-to-day basis I don't want to focus on how few women there are in my field or how there might be unconscious bias against us just because of our gender. While those things are vitally important, they don't exactly motivate me to give 100% and to wake up each day raring to get to work.

Being both a scientist and a runner has some strange synergies. One thing that training for and running a full marathon has taught me is the power of a positive mindset. It can get you through those tough last few miles, or it can pull you up a seemingly impossible hill. I would not have believed the power of a positive mindset before I took up running. But now I know, so you don't have to run 26.2 miles to find out! I believe that trying to keep a positive mindset and focusing on the successes and amazing role models below will help me (and you, if you're thinking along the same lines!) counter the predominantly negative historical picture of women in science.

It's easy to get bogged down by the negativity and downbeat news surrounding stories of women in science. But I believe it's important when you're actually one of them to focus on the positives rather than the negatives! Changing your mind is such a simple, but powerful thing to do. I hope this series of posts will help others (women and men!) to be more positive about their own careers.

- Suzie, High Heels in the Lab

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