This year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we reached out to some of the female members who are an integral part of our Society (44% of our membership base!) to find out know what motivates, drives and inspires them, and what their proudest moments are. Notepad in hand, we interrupted their busy schedules to ask them some questions. Here’s what they said:
Dr Anna Crown and Dr Helen Simpson both completed their PhDs whilst starting a family and value the career support they received:
“I think this is an example of how it is possible to achieve a ‘work life balance’ and a reminder to senior colleagues of how important and influential their backing and encouragement can be”, says Anna.
Helen adds, “I frequently thought I would never finish my PhD. I will be eternally grateful for the support received”. Despite the challenges, Helen’s research achieved a citation for Excellence in Published Clinical Research in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Louise Hunter agrees that support is one of the essential ingredients for career success:
“My biggest achievement has been securing my MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship. It made me value the faith others had in me, and taught me the importance of persevering towards a goal!”
Other members value being mentors or good role models. Lisa Shepherd’s proudest moment was becoming SfE Chair of the Nurse Committee, “representing, supporting and educating Endocrine Nurses in the UK. This also led to my becoming one of the founding members of the Federation of International Nurses in Endocrinology.”
Professor Karen Chapman has several proud moments: “They have all been every time one of my PhD students or RAs have won a prize or recognition for their research. That’s a wonderful feeling.”
Dr Antonia Brooke was proud to be told by one of her male trainees that she was his role model, and likes to think that she leads by example: “I’m training programme director and Clinical Lead whilst running a household and a family (and being the major breadwinner).”
And acknowledgement never goes amiss – For Professor Maralyn Druce, “my proudest career moment was the first time that anyone sent me a party invitation addressed to ‘Professor Druce’. – That was pretty cool.”
Anna Crown and Karen Chapman have previously contributed to The Endocrinologist, submitting some of their thoughts about women in science. Anna also shared some tips on how to survive endocrinology as a woman with The Endocrine Post.
Be Bold for Change
This year’s International Women’s Day campaign tag line, ‘Be Bold For Change’ prompts all of us to continue to push the agenda for gender parity. So what are our members doing to ‘be bold’?
Here’s some tips on following their example:
- Act as a mentor for men and women
- Share tips on how to juggle responsibilities to achieve a work-life balance (e.g. challenge out of hours career-related meetings)
- Promote women’s networking or leadership events
- Create opportunities for women to discuss the challenges they face in their careers
- Attend inspirational talks or events by successful women in any career path
- Raise the issue of equal representation in boards or committees.
- Recommend or nominate women for committees, talks or chair sessions.
Do you know an amazing endocrinologist you’d like to nominate for a Society Committee? We’d love to hear about them! Find out how to nominate them.