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Women in Science

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Audio clip: Sally thinks that having children just at the time a woman is expected to set up her own lab is one of the biggest barriers to women’s success in science.

Then what happened after that? Did you then seek funds for your own research?

So it was clear, the way that the career structure goes in our area of research is that you would generally do two postdoctoral positions of two or three years each, and then be expected to find your own funding and set up your own group. And if you don’t achieve that, there isn’t much scope for anything else within that academic environment. It’s a very tight pyramidical structure. And so a lot of people leave academic research at that point if they can’t make it to the next step and will either join Industry or, or some other peripheral science environment. And so that leap from, from being a, a postdoc to setting up your own lab is an enormous leap to have to make…


And it’s unfortunate that it almost always comes at the same point in time for women that they also want to have children. And I think this is one of the biggest barriers to women succeeding in science.