As a chemist, Faculty of Science alum Dr Georgina Such has dedicated her career to investigating nanoparticles to improve the delivery of drugs and vaccines. Recently, Georgina has taken on the role of Associate Dean (Diversity, Inclusion & Women in Science). Discover why below.
Diverse scientists will solve the challenges of the future
I am so passionate about a career in STEM. Science is always changing, so a career in science means you are always evolving, learning something new.
Importantly, it is also a career where you can help answer big questions to improve quality of life for our society. It is pretty rewarding to know that your job can have this type of impact.
It is clear that our need for scientists is just going to increase in the future and thus the opportunities are going to be there.
Therefore, I would encourage women to embrace a career in science, and make sure we have a diverse workforce and thus the best chance of solving challenges of the future.
Diversity must become mainstream
I have been a member of the Faculty of Science Diversity & Inclusion Committee for a number of years, and also led the Women in Science Network since its development in 2018. I have had the opportunity to meet many of my colleagues from across the Faculty, and this experience has made me feel really connected to our amazing community.
I would like to see the conversations surrounding STEM and diversity becoming mainstream, so it is not a side issue but actually integrated into our business model automatically.
I think the Faculty of Science has made important progress towards this aim by recruiting an Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion for the first time. This means integration of diversity and inclusion will occur in all management meetings within the Faculty.
A safe space means everybody can thrive
I see my new role as the Associate Dean (Diversity & Inclusion) to develop initiatives and events so that everyone within the Faculty feels included and supported.
Diversity and Inclusion is about everyone having a safe space at work, so they can truly thrive. We are only going to get the best out of people when they feel completely accepted, regardless of their identity.
All staff and students need to feel they have a voice in how we make the Faculty of Science a better, fairer place to work.
It is not always going to be easy, but it will be worth it
It is so important that we show young women that there is not just one type of career in STEM. The careers are extremely diverse. Young people looking for opportunities need to remain flexible and open-minded and actively search out opportunities.
Balancing having children and childcare responsibilities with running my own research team has often been hard. One example of this was when I commenced my Future Fellowship in the School of Chemistry. I was pregnant with my son at the time so I had to postpone my fellowship and then work part-time. This meant it was harder to develop momentum quickly.
However, while you never know where your journey will take you, if you are an active participant in the journey, it is likely it will be great.