Celebrating Women in Science 2022
February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. A day dedicated to celebrating girls and women in science all over the world, with the aims of inspiring, promoting and encouraging equal access to science, gender equality and empowerment. This day is a reminder that girls and women play an essential role in science and technology, and their participation should be supported and celebrated.
At Random42, we believe it is crucial to motivate women of all ages into the world of science. As a company, we are committed to upholding these principles, and we will continue supporting and recognising all the amazing women in science. We are fortunate to have many inspiring women in our team who have built successful careers within science.
We commemorate this day’s significance by celebrating Random42’s women in science as they share their own experiences, thoughts, and inspirations.
Ellie Burt – Junior Project Manager
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science – Brunel University
I always loved science in school, but I had a fairly narrow idea of the career paths it would open up for me. Nevertheless, I continued to study science subjects at A-Level, going on to complete a degree in Biomedical Science and Genetics. My curiosity and constant desire to learn is what really inspired me to pursue a career in science – as it’s a subject that never stops. No one person will ever know everything about science, and as our understanding deepens, we realise there is even more we don’t know. When I left university and joined Random42, it opened my eyes to a world of exciting creativity within the scientific field. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the need for effective science communication. This has really driven my desire to contribute as a Woman in Science, because the importance of representation and equality in such an extensive field should never be underestimated. I would encourage all women and girls who share a curiosity and passion for science to pursue a career in the scientific field, as the opportunities are endless and the network of amazing role models is extraordinary. I would like to thank the amazing team at Random42, both women and men, who have created a community that celebrates and supports all women and girls in science!
Antonia Toneva – Junior Project Manager
BSc (Hons) Psychology – University College London
My fascination with science started from a young age. My parents often like to remind me how much I loved learning lessons from my sister’s Biology textbook and reciting them at family events. There is a recurring joke about my persistence and determination to deliver the information in full, as I would start from the beginning if I was ever interrupted. As the years went by my interest in science continued to grow, nurtured by the amazing female teachers and role models I’ve had throughout my life. Their constant support and encouragement meant that I never felt like career in science was out of reach. My interest in human behaviour and neurocognitive science inspired me to study Psychology at UCL. And while Psychology is largely female-dominated subject, there is still a very clear gender difference for research roles as well as teaching positions which are male-dominated. During my time at UCL, I was able to conduct neurocognitive research with the support of some of the most amazing mentors who gave me the confidence that as a woman I can pursue a career in science and do brilliantly. I think it is important to share these experiences and celebrate the teachers, mentors and leaders who help us make science more inclusive for the future generations.
Leah Zard – Project Coordinator
BSc Zoology – University of Leeds
My passion for science started from a young age, inspired by my mum who was a nurse at the time. Growing up in the countryside, I was always interested in animal science as well as being fascinated by how the human body works (especially the immune system!), and evolution. Fast forward to high school and it was easily my favourite subject, so I went on to study Zoology at university, following in the footsteps of my two older sisters who also studied science degrees. The past couple of years have shown how incredibly important science is to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s great to see more people become interested and inspired by scientists. I am thrilled to now be working in an environment which combines creativity, science, and communication alongside an inspiring team of women.
Harriet Oddy – Marketing Operations Director
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science – University College London
Like many of us who pursued a career in science, I was an inquisitive child, and with the help of supportive and encouraging science teachers, I channelled my curious nature into a passion for science. My Grandma actively encouraged my interest in science. She worked in a pathology laboratory and the importance of science in the progression of healthcare was something that we often discussed as a family. Alongside this, another influence for my interest in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, was illness within my family, specifically witnessing how treatments (or the lack of them) impacted the outcomes for the patients. Whilst studying, I developed an interest in women’s health, an area that has been slower to develop treatments and has lengthy diagnostics routes when compared with other therapeutic areas. Campaigns around women’s health areas including, endometriosis and menopause, are helping to increase awareness, which in turn encourages further research to improve women’s health. Women make vital contributions to science, continuing to push forward progression not only in this area but throughout therapeutic development. I always imagined studying science would lead me to take part in important research to find the next miracle drug – improving the lives of many people. However, there are so many interesting options available to science graduates and instead, I went down the science communication route. At Random42, I am lucky enough to be working with motivated and inspiring women who are all passionate about making a difference through science. At no point in my education or career, have I ever been told I couldn’t do something because of my gender, nor did I ever believe it. I hope we support future generations in this way so that one day gender doesn’t come into question when discussing pursuing careers in STEM.
Rosie Fennessy – Senior Marketing Executive
BSc (Hons) Biology – University of Bath
Growing up, I always had a massive interest in science, constantly asking questions and wanting to know how, why or what if. Secondary school solidified this passion, where I had many great science teachers who got pupils excited to learn and always encouraged curiosity. These lessons and the support of my fantastic science teachers facilitated my decision to study Biology at university. Going from an all-girls school to university opened my eyes to the gender imbalance in STEM, with more males in my lectures than females. Despite this imbalance, I had many incredible female lecturers, supervisors, and mentors who always inspired and supported me throughout my university journey. This encouragement and support have continued with my career at Random42, where I feel incredibly fortunate to have such inspiring female colleagues and leaders in an environment where women feel valued and where women support women.
Pooja Chudasama – Senior Scientific Account Manager
BSc (Hons) Cognitive Science – University of Westminster
MSc Neuroscience – King’s College London
PhD Neuroscience – King’s College London
I had a huge interest in space from childhood – the stars, the moon – I wanted to be an astronaut! I was never discouraged or dissuaded by my family, especially my mum, who played a big part in encouraging me to always reach for the stars. Science was always my favourite subject in school, and particularly any lessons that focused on the brain, but I never really warmed to biology itself, and was not very good at it! This interest in the brain and how the human mind works helped me to pursue a degree in cognitive science, where I was surrounded by female supervisors and mentors who were beyond encouraging and so inspirational. Their support led me to reach further, and do a master’s and eventually, a PhD in neuroscience. During that journey, my supervisor and mentor was male, and he has been pivotal in helping me grow as a scientist and encouraging me, and the other female scientists in the lab, to have a voice in the scientific community – I know this is not always the case! I was lucky to be surrounded by incredible female, and male, friends, supervisors, mentors, and scientists during this time as I was growing as a female scientist – I even got to experience this across the ocean and meet other inspirational female scientists that are breaking the barriers in neuroscience, and science generally, at the moment. Today, at Random42, I still feel this support and encouragement as a woman in science. I think it is so important to celebrate the incredible women and girls in science and pave the way for future scientists to keep working hard and reaching for the stars!
Jordana Griffiths – Scientific Account Manager
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science – University of Sussex
MRes Biomedical Science – University of Southampton
PhD Cancer Immunology – University of Southampton
Since a young age, I LOVED science. It was always my favourite subject throughout school as it fuelled my inquisitive mind and provided answers that forever fascinated me, and still do! This excitement and passion led me to pursue a career in research where the people around me always supported me, albeit mainly men as unfortunately there is still a large gender imbalance in STEM subjects. This is why I was heavily involved in the surrounding schools’ STEM programmes throughout my PhD as I wanted to encourage and inspire the younger generation to pursue science as a subject regardless of gender. It is exciting to see how things are progressing in this field and days like today are important to highlight the success and achievements of female scientists.
Jennifer Hunter – Senior Scientific Account Director
BSc (Hons) Genetics – University of Glasgow
PhD Epigenetics and Reprogramming – University of Edinburgh
Growing up, I was fortunate to have family and friends who were supportive and put up with my constant questions, from space and how humans evolved to whatever film we were watching at that moment. Even now my friends will draw straws to see who ends up next to me at the cinema (time-travel ones are the worst)! From my high school biology teacher through to my PhD supervisor there has always been a largely male-driven influence in my scientific career, but I have been lucky enough to have personally been surrounded by encouraging mentors, both female and male, during those important stages and was never made to feel that my gender had any impact on my abilities. I was encouraged to believe that I could be whatever I wanted to be, to follow whichever dreams and goals I had, there was never a question of whether what I wanted was “a job for girls”. I was lucky because I know this is not always the case, which is evident from the gender imbalance in STEM subjects, particularly in higher positions. I think it is so important that we celebrate all the amazing contributions women have made to science and encourage everyone, male and female alike, to do their part to remove gender bias from the scientific community. We need to show future generations that if your passion is science, the only thing standing in your way should be your hard work, not your gender.
Varsha Patel – Scientific Account Manager
BSc (Hons) Human Genetics – University College London
MSc Molecular Medicine – Imperial College London
MRes Biomedical and Translational Science – King’s College London
PhD Molecular Genetics – King’s College London
I have always been an inquisitive person and find it fascinating to learn about how the body works, which led me to choose science as a career. I completed my PhD in Molecular Genetics, before which I completed a BSc (Hons) in Human Genetics, an MSc in Molecular Medicine, and an MRes in Biomedical and Translational Science. I have also worked in academic research. Throughout my time at university and working in academia, most of my supervisors were strong, successful women, who inspired me to achieve greater heights as a woman in science. I became passionate about communicating science during my PhD, as I presented my work to a whole range of audiences, from scientists and clinicians at large international conferences to patients who contributed their tissue samples to my research. At Random42, I continue to communicate exciting science topics with a creative twist.
Laura Price – Global Account Director
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry – The University of Birmingham
As a teenager, there was never a question in my mind that I would study anything other than science once I left school. Having an inquisitive mind that always needed an answer for everything was only heightened by fantastic Biology and Chemistry teachers at school. Since joining Random42 in 2016, the work we do in transforming complicated science into concise, visually stunning outputs has reminded me that now, more than ever, scientific education is of the utmost importance. In 2020 the world was faced with an unfathomable public health emergency and science was the only light at the end of the tunnel in the fight against COVID-19. It is the scientists and researchers; irrespective of gender, religion, or race, who have worked tirelessly together to accelerate the development of potential medicines to prevent or treat the virus. These professionals highlight the importance of inspiring young women and men to believe in the wonder of science.
Lucy Roberts – Marketing Communications Director
BSc (Hons) Chemistry – The University of Sheffield
MSc Science Communication – The University of Sheffield
I was always an extremely inquisitive child who never stopped questioning the world around me. One thing that was almost always able to answer my incessant questioning was science! Throughout my time at school, this interest was encouraged and nurtured by various teachers. As I got older, I realised that scientific reasoning, supported with evidence, was the only answer that ever really satisfied my curiosity. Throughout my time at university, I discovered my passion for science communication, particularly sharing fascinating scientific discoveries with lay audiences. In my lifetime, I have never seen communicating science effectively be more critical than in the last few years, where scientific experts were thrust into the media spotlight as the world sought answers to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am a big believer in the necessity of celebrating and supporting women in science at every level, and it has been really motivating and inspiring to see such a strong feeling of women supporting women throughout our industry and within Random42.
Elly Spreckley – Medical Director
BSc (Hons) Physiology and Pharmacology – University of Manchester
PhD Neuroendocrinology – Imperial College London
As a child, I always preferred science books to fiction, particularly those with pop-up body parts and the (slightly gory) Horrible Science books, which sparked my interest in biology. With many male and female family members who have worked as nurses, dinner table discussions revolving around various diseases and treatments were the norm. After studying Physiology and Pharmacology at university, it became clear that I enjoyed writing about science and wanted to pursue a career in medical writing; however, a Ph.D. would be necessary to follow this path. My undergrad supervisor, Dr. Elizabeth Sheader, was very supportive and encouraged this choice. I went on to do a Ph.D. in an area I had previously enjoyed studying, the neuroendocrine systems involved in appetite control and potential treatments for obesity. In my current role at Random42, I relish the unique balance between science and creativity and aim to continue building a strong team of scientists with confidence that gender has no impact on our abilities.
This article highlights how important role models were to Random42’s women in science throughout their upbringing, education, and careers, and how there is a crucial need for young women to have role models in science as a part of their support network.
A big thank you to our women in science who have helped share some very inspiring ideas about the importance of celebrating and supporting all women and girls in science!
If you are interested in a career with Random42, please view our jobs page to see our current opportunities.