Women in Graphene Career Event 2017
Timed to coincide with International Women’s Day on the 8 March the Graphene Flagship’s Women in Graphene event drew a sell out crowd at University College London to hear from inspirational speakers and develop their professional network.
The day started with a talk from Professor Cinzia Casiraghi from the University of Manchester. Her talk, entitled Adventures of a Female Scientist in Flatland, gave the audience a glimpse into the hard work and determination she needed to succeed. Likening her research career to an iceberg, she spoke about how people see the success at the top, (she is a renowned academic), but not the hard work and sacrifices that lie beneath.
The second talk of the day was something a little different. The polar explorer Felicity Aston MBE spoke about her successful attempt to become the first woman to ski across Antarctica. This journey of 1744km took 59 days and gave her a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Felicity spoke with incredible passion and honesty about her journey. Her motto of ‘to keep on moving forward you just have to get out of the tent’ seemed to resonate with the audience.
Ellen Pugh from the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) spoke about how they are creating and providing initiatives to improve women’s career progression. She spoke about the challenges still facing women in academia in the UK and how the Athena SWAN awards scheme, which the ECU administers and seeks to award universities and departments with the commitment to equality, is helping to change things for the better.
In the final talk of the afternoon, bringing the industrial perspective to the day, we heard from Gaute Juliussen and the team from Graphitene. Speaking about the importance of diverse teams, Gaute outlined how Graphitene is trying to hire and retain a much more diverse workforce.