The stereotypical image of a scientist is still very much that of a white male with glasses and wild curly hair, dressed in a white coat. But is this how it is in reality?
Astute Radio’s Carol Stewart started a conversation with Dr Sayeda Abu-Amero who very much debunks this myth as she is female, Asian and a single mother. Despite Sayeda’s father being told by her sixth form tutor that it was a waste of time for her to apply to university, Sayeda not only defied her teacher’s view of her and went to university, but she also completed a PhD.
Sayeda now lectures on core skills for scientists and was nominated for the First Women Awards (Science and Technology) in 2010, proving just what you can achieve when you adopt a ‘can do’ attitude.
She discusses some of the challenges women in science face, particularly the issue of women exiting the profession before reaching the senior echelons as well as the profession still being male dominated at the top.
What is stopping talented women reaching the top? Is the thought of being cooped up in a laboratory for 30 or more years off putting for girls and women? Or are there systematic barriers that make it difficult for women to get to the top of the profession?
Sayeda reveals how a career in science is in fact exciting and varied and not as mundane as some would believe. She also tells how developing a very strong support network helps with the challenges faced as a Mum working in this field.
What more can be done to make the profession more attractive to young girls? How can women be encouraged to stay in science once they have children? How we educating our teachers about career advice?
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