Today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day which has been formally recognised by the United Nations since 2015.

The day provides a platform to promote equal access and strengthen participation in science for women, girls and other underrepresented groups.

Women have led ground-breaking research into public health, vaccines, treatments and innovative technology, and been on the front lines of COVID-19 response as scientists, health care workers and more.

It’s more important than ever to recognize women’s contributions in science, smash stereotypes and promote the opportunities available to female’s who are considering a career in the industry.

Below we hear from some of our Women in Science on their experiences and advice.

Nina Baulch
Associate Hydrogeologist

Have you faced difficulty in your career because of your gender, and how did you manage it?

Unfortunately yes. My advice for women in similar situations is to be prepared and confident, being a woman doesn’t make you any less intelligent! And don’t be afraid to ask questions and be inquisitive, the best scientists are constantly challenging ideas.

Dr Sarah Groves
Associate Hydrogeologist & Ground Water Team Leader

What advice would you give to a young girl interested in a career in consulting?

I would say, believe in yourself. Don’t expect to have all the answers…no one does. Its ok to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, you won’t continue to grow and learn. Reach out if you need help as everyone has been in your shoes.

What is the best thing about working as a consultant?

Working in a supportive team, gaining varied skills and regularly working on something different.

Sandra Walters
Associate Ecologist

Have you faced difficulty in your career because of your gender, and how did you manage it?

I have experienced on a few occasions when leading a field team in a male-dominated industry, that others (especially older males) assume that my male colleague is the lead and automatically speak with them. I engage people with confidence and technical acumen, and the biases quickly dissolve.

What made you decide you wanted a career in Science?

My Dad was a water microbiologist, and he was always warning us about the microbes (not) in our swimming pool that could kill us! I found that so interesting. I’m curious, and science allows curious people to indulge their curiosity.

Ryl Parker
Ecologist/Botanist

What advice would you give to a young girl interested in a career in consulting?

I challenge young girls in science to ask their professors for contacts in the industry so that they can get some experience, and if that fails, start contacting governments, consultants, and not-for-profit groups on LinkedIn or wherever else you can find them, and let them know you’re interested!

Judy Herold
Senior Water Resources Engineer

What made you decide you wanted a career in Science?

I remember at university discussing this question with other young women students in science and engineering and overwhelmingly there was a common theme…a lot of us had a role model or mentor who had played an influential part in guiding us to pursue a career where we could exercise our passion for mathematics, science and generally critical thinking. For me that person was my Dad. So I guess, firstly, recognising what you enjoy, what gives you a sense of achievement and it’s a bonus if you are good at it! Secondly, through the help of your networks and resources, finding that connection from a background in science to diverse career opportunities where you could help solve some quite awesome real-world problems.