International Women's Day 2018: Women in atmospheric science share their stories
To mark International Women’s Day, women across the National Centre for Atmospheric Science have given us an insight to their work and experiences in science, engineering, technology and maths (STEM) careers. Today (8 March 2018) we are celebrating their fantastic contributions to UK research and innovation, and hope to inspire more women to work in STEM, in particular, at the forefront of atmospheric science.
We spoke to women across the breadth of our organisation, in roles as diverse as data scientists, instrument scientists, training and communications managers, and PhD students. Their responses are inspiring and motivating for all of us, but also recognise the ongoing challenges faced by women in our field, and more generally.
Our scientists have highlighted how we can encourage more women to get involved in STEM subjects, suggesting the need for “strong and positive role models with a can-do attitude”, and that “diversity in all its aspects should be addressed.” To continue to pursue global scientific excellence, both men and women need to continue to break down barriers, and strive for a diverse and equal workforce.
This year, International Women’s Day is running a #PressforProgress campaign which will continue the positive movement of support and activism to secure parity between the genders.
Select a question below to see the answers.
Why did you choose a career in STEM?
I really enjoyed chemistry at school and had inspirational teachers - Mr Lally, Mr Gallagher and Dr Crooks. My strengths were in science and maths and it was a natural progression to do a degree in chemistry Ruth Purvis (Research Fellow)
I had a passion for weather since school, particularly for severe weather and so I wanted to study meteorology Lindsay Bennett (Instrument Scientist)
Science is interesting! You’re always learning so it’s an active career Freya Lumb (NCAS PhD Student)
I wanted to know why things happen the way they do! Barbara Brooks (Head of the Atmospheric Measurement Facility)
I studied physics, following in my parents footsteps. I was no doubt influenced and inspired by their interested from an early age - lots of visits to science museums, telescopes etc! Victoria Bennett (Head of Earth Observation at Centre for Environmental Data Analysis)
NCAS takes its lead from the NERC equality and diversity action plan aiming to level the playing field between genders, and access a breadth and depth of thinking to drive forward excellence in our science. We support International Women’s Day and hope to inspire people to pursue atmospheric science as an interest, a passion, or a career.