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Women in research – finding balance
In celebration of International Women’s Day, meet two researchers who not only look for scientific answers, but also look for balance when it comes to career and family.
"It was very important that my mother was highly successful in her career as a judge. This led me to understand that you can have a family and be great at your job at the same time. Equally important was having a father that supported and encouraged her to pursue her career." -- Dr. Sampayo

PHILADELPHIA, March 8, 2017 – Clarivate Analytics together with the Australian National University (ANU) in October 2016 presented the inaugural Women in Research Citation Awards to 12 leading researchers in Canberra, Australia. The awards honored the outstanding achievements of early to mid-career women researchers in Australia across all fields of research in science, social sciences and the humanities.

Two of the awardees shared their views with us regarding their aspirations for women in STEM.

Dr. Annie Lau of Macquarie University and Dr. Eugenia Nijgh de Sampayo of the University of Queensland agree that the biggest challenge they face as women researchers is managing productivity at work, while balancing family life. Dr. Lau’s advice: “seek as much help as you can – whether that’s from work, your partner or your family.” Alternatively, she suggests hiring help, if necessary.

Many positive strategies exist to promote women in science careers, but those strategies rely on changing perspectives to highlight the equally valuable contributions women make to science, explained Dr. Sampayo.

And change can come at many stages in life, different places in a person’s career and through a variety of experiences. Consider the earlier years. Dr. Lau thinks that by engaging young people through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, we can not only influence their understanding of the world, but can “help young minds develop.” It’s important to normalize the STEM experience through role models, often in the same way that working mothers become role models to their children.

Dr. Sampayo agrees. “It’s very important for young girls to see first-hand that they can pursue a successful career in STEM. They need role models . . seeing mothers or close female relatives who have successful careers,” she said. “For me it was very important that my mother was highly successful in her career as a judge. This led me to understand that you can have a family and be great at your job at the same time. Equally important was having a father that supported and encouraged her to pursue her career. I think having these kinds of role models is important for both boys and girls alike, and is a crucial first step to breaking down gender biases.”

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange. Clarivate is proud to honor women like these young and outstanding researchers around the world who know the importance of believing in your own capacities. “Be willing to work extra hard and realize that you can (and probably will have to) learn things that might be outside your comfort zone in order to achieve your goals,” said Dr. Sampayo.

Click here to learn more about International Women’s Day.

Read a blog about how Clarivate Analytics are celebrating women in science in Kenya.

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