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Women in Science

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Video clip: Kay was told that if she tied her hair back she would be taken more seriously. She didn’t follow this advice but sometimes wore glasses because that seemed to make a difference.

I think it’s more attitudes around the boardroom, if you are the only woman or one or two women in sixteen men. I remember, at one stage, people used to say, ‘Why don’t you ever tie your hair back because they’ll take you seriously?’ And I’m never going to do that but I did put my glasses on because it did make a difference. Actually, it still does ...

Does it?

... and the remarks and a very strange remark that people will make, ‘My goodness, Kay, you look really smart.’ And I look at myself and I say, ‘Well, actually, you’ve got a suit on.’ So, you know, what’s the difference? It’s somehow they [men] accuse us of power dressing and I don’t think I do power dress but I do like to look smart and I think it does make a difference to whether they take notice of you or not but I think that is true whether you’re male or female. But it’s more true if you’re female, probably, and maybe that’s going, maybe that’s an old fashioned attitude, I hope it is, as we move forward.