Today marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science! There are many, many posts by fellow scientists under the hashtag #IDWGS2021, and many colleagues are posting their stories of how they’re celebrating their own achievements (and that of others).
If someone asked me fifteen years ago whether I would be interested in becoming a scientist, it may surprise some of you to hear that I would have laughed and said no.
At the time, I wanted to be a teacher.
Maybe an Author…
Or a Vet (because animals are far more adorable than humans)…
But I had no career goals, and I didn’t really have an interest in Science itself. I enjoyed knowing stuff, but it wasn’t like I had this passionate drive for science. Sometimes, you need certain events and people to gently nudge (or push) you into a particular direction, and it hadn’t happened to me yet.
I’ve written about my journey since then in my ‘How did I become #PhDLife’ series of posts, but it took many chance encounters and positive feedback for me to realise that science is really cool.
Eventually the fascination took on more traction, I enrolled in further degrees, and eventually I ended up with a Ph. D. From graduating high school to now, it’s been a ten year journey. A lot has happened in that time!
I am grateful to every single person who took a chance on me, and gave me opportunities to grow and develop into the person I am today.
I’m extremely grateful to all of my female mentors, whether they be my high school teachers, Ph. D supervisors, my current boss/Director, my fellow colleagues (past and present), our Institute Director, past Heads of Departments… the list goes on! I’m glad it’s a list! And I hope female leadership continues to grow and expand. I feel more motivated when I see someone I can relate to in high ranking positions, doing what they love, and showcasing their expertise. It’s inspiring, as a fellow woman, to know that there are women out there who are making the world a better place, and that I could be like them one day.
I may not be in the lab as much anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’m not doing science stuff. I still teach when I can (so I did end up being a ‘teacher’ of sorts, in the end), I still get into the lab when I can, if an opportunity to do so comes up, and I’m still going to keep talking about all the cool things I’ve done, or may be doing right now.
If you have time today, I hope you look up that earlier hashtag and read some posts by other scientists. If you’re curious about my own journey, this Blog is certainly the right place to learn more about what life as a scientist/Ph. D student is like.
…And now for some images… of my first ever Western Blots!
A Ph. D graduate in Microbiology, residing in Victoria, Australia. Currently working in multiple locations but still in the STEM field. 👀 🦠 🧫 🧬